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Media History 1


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Media History 1

  1. 1. Media History <ul><ul><li>Overview and 1 st session </li></ul></ul>Steen Christiansen [email_address]
  2. 2. What is this course? <ul><li>Basic knowledge of media history in English-speaking nations </li></ul><ul><li>The convergence of media, media products and the movements of cultural history </li></ul><ul><li>The connection between media and media technology </li></ul><ul><li>Placing a media product in both a media historical context and a cultural historical context </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the context and meaning of media products </li></ul>
  3. 3. Exam essay <ul><li>Six page assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one from a list of questions </li></ul><ul><li>Last session will be an exam workshop </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sample questions <ul><li>Give a brief outline of the history of the domestic sitcom and also give a more detailed description of a notable series from this genre. Your answer should also contextualize the development of this genre within the cultural history of the family. </li></ul>Questions by Jørgen Riber and Paul McIlvenny
  5. 5. Sample questions <ul><li>Describe the monster figure through the history of horror. Try to explain how the monster changes against the background of history and cultural history. </li></ul>Questions by Jørgen Riber and Paul McIlvenny
  6. 6. Sample questions <ul><li>How does the Web 2.0 concept relate to the earlier history of the Internet? </li></ul>Questions by Jørgen Riber and Paul McIlvenny
  7. 7. Sample questions <ul><li>Describe an example of subsequent (in later times) mediations of Shakespeare’s original texts, and relate the mediation to the period in which similar mediations were produced. </li></ul>Questions by Jørgen Riber and Paul McIlvenny
  8. 8. Definitions and questions <ul><li>What are media? </li></ul><ul><li>What is history? </li></ul><ul><li>What is media history? </li></ul>
  9. 9. What are media? <ul><li>Communication tools </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Extensions of man (McLuhan) </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is history? <ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><li>Explanation </li></ul><ul><li>Cause and effect </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is media history? <ul><li>The realization that context is significant </li></ul><ul><li>Mass media and its impact (CT: 224) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implies a fear of the masses / hegemony (CT: 164) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture industry and ideology (CT: 103) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Democratizing and increasing freedom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The press as watchdog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased contact with the world </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Chronology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listing events is a description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It does not explain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides overview but not insight </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Causality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Causality begins to locate the causes and reasons for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation rather than description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual causes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘Great men of history’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups causes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions , movements, schools </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Influence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Influence is a broad, vague term but does not imply plagiarism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It emphasizes structures and patterns across time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It also emphasizes developments and improvements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It connects to intertextuality but in a broader way than simply texts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Vertigo shot re-used in Jaws and since then in many, many other movies. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Trends and generalizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trends are smaller developments that never form movements or schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They come from a desire to generalize and gain a view of the big picture </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Periods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Periods are man-made, they are not natural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are useful, however, to describe changes </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Media history as description and explanation <ul><li>Significance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intrinsic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is a great work of art and has intrinsic value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The media product had a huge impact on later products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Flintstones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typicality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe not the best or even good, but a good example of the genre or type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Zombie Flesh Eaters </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Explanatory frameworks <ul><li>Biographical </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial or economic </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>Technological </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-cultural </li></ul>
  19. 19. History of the book and its impact on society <ul><li>Books didn't arise with printing, earliest books were hand-written </li></ul><ul><li>Writing was craftmanship, not art and scribes were not regarded as special </li></ul><ul><li>Oral culture was the dominant </li></ul>
  20. 20. History of the book and its impact on society <ul><li>Johann Gutenberg invented moveable type which allowed for fast printing presses </li></ul><ul><li>Before, specific blocks had to be carved </li></ul>
  21. 21. History of the book and its impact on society <ul><li>The printing press changed many things. </li></ul><ul><li>Quick, poor-quality copies were disseminated of new works, which meant there was little reason for printers to produce books. </li></ul><ul><li>This required legislation and publishers soon gained control over book printing. </li></ul>
  22. 22. History of the book and its impact on society <ul><li>However, in 1710 in England, rights were given to authors rather than publishers </li></ul><ul><li>This is what lead to copyright protection and formed the basis of all copyright law since then. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Reformation and its impact <ul><li>The printing press allowed for easier production of pamphlets and translated Bibles </li></ul><ul><li>It also meant that it was difficult to silence Martin Luther </li></ul><ul><li>The information monopoly is slowly destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda and censorship becomes part of print culture </li></ul><ul><li>Privatizes the religious experience to reading at home </li></ul>
  24. 24. Early public sphere <ul><li>“critical public debates of political matters” (Jurgen Habermas) </li></ul><ul><li>Public opinion is shared by reading pamphlets aloud </li></ul><ul><li>People engage in the political process, but the earliest public sphere was religious </li></ul>
  25. 25. Effect of book technology <ul><li>Print requires that written language becomes standardized </li></ul><ul><li>Books also establish linearity, from beginning to end </li></ul><ul><li>Books also establish authority </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-writing begins to take on significance as something original </li></ul>
  26. 26. Wiliam Shakespeare’s First Folio <ul><li>No original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s have ever been found </li></ul><ul><li>The Folios vary in content, and allows for the possibility of tampering </li></ul><ul><li>More than one Shakespeare? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Books and gender <ul><li>Early novels are seen as invading private space </li></ul><ul><li>Women read novels and stop doing their chores </li></ul><ul><li>Novels are clearly dangerous and no good </li></ul><ul><li>Female writers often have to use pseudonyms to write </li></ul><ul><ul><li>George Elliot </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Books become popular <ul><li>Dime novels </li></ul><ul><li>Books published in magazines, one chapter at a time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dickens </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reading becomes a popular passtime </li></ul>
  29. 29. Books and technology <ul><li>The introduction of the typewriter changes the book </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-writing and hand-written manuscripts lose their currency </li></ul><ul><li>The process of writing becomes different </li></ul>
  30. 30. Jack Kerouac’s original scroll
  31. 31. Books become literary culture <ul><li>With the advent of radio and TV, books gain a different status </li></ul><ul><li>They become prestigious, in the right formats </li></ul><ul><li>Books become a special, separate field with awards, juries and bestsellers </li></ul><ul><li>Books become literary culture </li></ul>
  32. 32. Literary culture <ul><li>The death of the novel is proclaimed several times over </li></ul><ul><li>Authors begin to experiment with typography, images, color, paper, etc </li></ul><ul><li>More and more books are produced – fewer, and fewer are read </li></ul><ul><li>Self-publishing becomes popular </li></ul><ul><li>Kindle and other devices try to replace the book </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright becomes an issue again </li></ul>