Convergence Media History
Edited by Janet Staiger, Sabine Hake
Routledge – 2009 – 212 pages
Convergence Media History explores the ways that digital convergence has radically changed the field of media history. Writing media history is no longer a matter of charting the historical development of an individual medium such as film or television. Instead, now that various media from blockbuster films to everyday computer use intersect regularly via convergence, scholars must find new ways to write media history across multiple media formats. This collection of eighteen new essays by leading media historians and scholars examines the issues today in writing media history and histories. Each essay addresses a single medium—including film, television, advertising, sound recording, new media, and more—and connects that specific medium’s history to larger issues for the field in writing multi-media or convergent histories. Among the volume’s topics are new media technologies and their impact on traditional approaches to media history; alternative accounts of film production and exhibition, with a special emphasis on film across multiple media platforms; the changing relationships between audiences, fans, and consumers within media culture; and the globalization of our media culture.
Part One: New Methods. 1. From Accented Cinema to Multiplex Cinema, Hamid Naficy. 2. Franchise Histories: Marvel, X-Men, and the Negotiated Process of Expansion, Derek Johnson. 3. When Pierre Bourdieu Meets the Political Economists: RKO and the Leftists-in-Hollywood Problematic, Chris Cagle. 4. Touch, Taste, Breath: Synaesthesia, Sense Memory, and the Selling of Cigarettes on Television, Marsha Cassidy. 5. Rewiring Media History: Intermedial Borders, Mark Williams. Part Two: New Subjects. 6. Provincial Modernity? Film Exhibition at the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley. 7. Exhibition in Mexico during the Early 1920s: Nationalist Discourse and Transnational Capital, Laura Isabel Serna. 8. The Recording Industry’s Role in Media History, Kyle S. Barnett. 9. Forging a Citizen Audience: Broadcasting from the 1920s through the 1940s, Richard Butsch. 10. Bobby Jones, Warner Bros., and the Short Instructional Film, Harper Cossar. Part Three: New Approaches. 11. Bonding with the Crowd: Silent Film Stars, Liveness, and the Public Sphere, Sue Collins. 12. The Comfort of Carnage: Neorealism and America’s World, Karl Schoonover. 13. Talk about Bad Taste: Camp, Cult, and the Reception of What’s New Pussycat? Ken Feil. 14. Selling Out, Buying In: Brakhage, Warhol, and BAVC Understanding, Dan Leopard. 15. Whatever Happened to the Movie-of-the-Week? Alisa Perren. Part IV: Research Issues. 16. Doing Soap Opera History: Challenges and Triumphs, Elana Levine. 17. Stalking the Wild Evidence: Capturing Media History through Elusive and Ephemeral Archives, Pamela Wilson. 18. Historicizing Web Design: Software, Style, and the Look of the Web, Megan Sapnar Ankerson.
Janet Staiger is William P. Hobby Centennial Professor of Communication in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. The author of many books, her latest include Media Reception Studies, Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era, and Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception.
Sabine Hake is Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Topographies of Class: Urban Architecture and Mass Utopia in Weimar Berlin, German National Cinema, and Popular Cinema of the Third Reich, among many other books.