The Handbook of Communication History

Edited by Peter Simonson, Janice Peck, Robert T Craig, John Jackson

© 2013 – Routledge

528 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415892605
pub: 2012-12-10
US Dollars$110.00
Hardback: 9780415892599
pub: 2012-12-10
US Dollars$325.00

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About the Book

The Handbook of Communication History addresses central ideas, social practices, and media of communication as they have developed across time, cultures, and world geographical regions. It attends to both the varieties of communication in world history and the historical investigation of those forms in communication and media studies. The Handbook editors view communication as encompassing patterns, processes, and performances of social interaction, symbolic production, material exchange, institutional formation, social praxis, and discourse. As such, the history of communication cuts across social, cultural, intellectual, political, technological, institutional, and economic history.

The volume examines the history of communication history; the history of ideas of communication; the history of communication media; and the history of the field of communication. Readers will explore the history of the object under consideration (relevant practices, media, and ideas), review its manifestations in different regions and cultures (comparative dimensions), and orient toward current thinking and historical research on the topic (current state of the field). As a whole, the volume gathers disparate strands of communication history into one volume, offering an accessible and panoramic view of the development of communication over time and geographical places, and providing a catalyst to further work in communication history.


"The Handbook of Communication History is an important contribution to valuing ideas, social practices and media communication as they have developed over time, past cultures and the history of world geographical regions. The comparative aspects of many of the chapters also add genuine value to the editorial aim of shifting our gaze not only into history but across national and international borders and is highly commendable."

- Simon Cross, Nottingham Trent University, UK, in European Journal of Communication

"This book is a unique collection of research on a critical part of the communication field. It suggests that unless we become more reflexive on what research we are doing, the field will continue to grow without direction… I recommend the book for all researchers in the field."

- Emile McAnany, Santa Clara University, Communication Research Trends

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword

Robert T. Craig


Peter Simonson, Janice Peck, Robert T. Craig, and John P. Jackson, Jr.

1. Field

The History of Communication History. Peter Simonson, Janice Peck, Robert T. Craig, and John P. Jackson, Jr.

Media. David Crowley and Paul Heyer

Communication Research. Jefferson D. Pooley and David W. Park

2. Modes

Audiences: Publics, Crowds, Mass. Richard Butsch

Rhetoric in Cross-Cultural Perspectives. C. Jan Swearingen

Conversation. Peter Burke

Visual Communication. Michael Griffin

Communication in Music. Christian Kaden

3. Media

Print Culture. Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray

Journalism. John Nerone

Telecommunications. Gabriele Balbi

Radio Broadcasting. Christopher H. Sterling

Television. Andreas Fickers

New Media. Benjamin Peters and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

4. Society

The City. Juraj Kittler

Science Communication. Joan Leach

Politics. Josef Seethaler

Labor. Nathan Godfried

War. Mette Mortensen

Gender and Media: A Very Short Herstory. Karen Ross

Race. Murali Balaji and Letrell D. Crittenden

Organizing. Karen Lee Ashcraft and Pushkala Prasad

5. World

Rhetoric in Latin America. Susan Romano

'Cultural Imperialism' Revisited: The Case of Broadcasting in Latin America, India, and China. John Sinclair

Communication in Colonial and Post-Colonial Southern Africa. Donal P. McCracken and Ruth E. Teer-Tomaselli

Islam, Mediation and Technology. Nabil Echchabi

Jewish Media and Communication in the Modern Age. Gideon Kouts

East Asian Communication Studies. Guo-Ming Chen, Akira Miyahara, and Min-Sun Kim

Epilogue: The Futures of Communication. Lucien Sfez

About the Editors

Peter Simonson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Janice Peck is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UC Boulder.

Robert T. Craig is Professor in the Department of Communication at UC Boulder.

John P. Jackson, Jr., is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at UC Boulder.

About the Series

ICA Handbook Series

The ICA Handbook Series is a joint venture between the International Communication Association and Routledge. It is a series of scholarly handbooks that represent the interests of ICA members and help to further the association’s goals of promoting theory and research in the communication discipline.

These handbooks serve as benchmark summaries of current communication scholarship and set the agenda for future theory and research in the communication discipline. The series includes handbooks that consider content areas in communication research, methodological approaches to communication research, and theoretical lenses for scholarship in communication. The series volumes attempt to cross sub-disciplinary boundaries to address timely problems of international scope, not just representing different areas of the field but bringing them together to focus on intersecting problems and research interests. Such problems may be formulated as topical concerns (globalization; democracy; gaming and virtual environments; gender and sexuality), theoretical approaches (social cognition; critical studies), or matters of communication in general (communication theory across cultures; communication history).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies