Download Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture by Lisa Gitelman PDF

By Lisa Gitelman

ISBN-10: 0262072718

ISBN-13: 9780262072717

Choice impressive educational name, 2007.

In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the novelty of recent media whereas she asks what it skill to do media historical past. utilizing the examples of early recorded sound and electronic networks, Gitelman demanding situations readers to contemplate the ways in which media paintings because the simultaneous topics and tools of historic inquiry. proposing unique case reports of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first allotted electronic community, the ARPANET, Gitelman issues suggestively towards similarities that underlie the cultural definition of documents (phonographic and never) on the finish of the 19th century and the definition of records (digital and never) on the finish of the 20th. hence, Always Already New speaks to offer matters concerning the humanities up to to the emergent box of latest media stories. documents and files are kernels of humanistic idea, after all—part of and occasion to the cultural impulse to maintain and interpret. Gitelman's argument indicates artistic contexts for "humanities computing" whereas additionally providing a brand new standpoint on such conventional humanities disciplines as literary history.

Making huge use of archival resources, Gitelman describes the ways that recorded sound and digitally networked textual content every one emerged as neighborhood anomalies that have been but deeply embedded in the reigning good judgment of public lifestyles and public reminiscence. in spite of everything Gitelman turns to the realm extensive internet and asks how the heritage of the net is already being advised, how the internet may additionally face up to historical past, and the way utilizing the net should be generating the stipulations of its personal historicity.

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Additional info for Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture

Sample text

37 For example, the history of the Salem witch trials is known largely because people at the time wrote about them. These documents contain legible information, but they also carry plenty of other data by virtue of their materiality—their material existence and material or forensic properties. 38 A shared sense of writing, of what can be written down and what cannot, also helps make them comprehensible in a lot of subtle ways. A whole social context for and of writing existed then in Massachusetts, and a related context presently exists, although today’s tacit knowledge of writing includes influential details about what writing isn’t: it isn’t like photography; it isn’t like sound recording.

The sociologist Bruno Latour (1990) has demonstrated just how powerful inscriptions (his “immutable mobiles”) are in the work of science. Scientists collect and circulate inscriptions, using some inscriptions—like electron micrographs, data sheets, lab notes, and cited articles—to produce others—such as grant applications and scientific papers for refereed journals. Other disciplines or types of inquiry work this way too. Classicists, for instance, work partly with inscribed archaeological 19 20 Introduction artifacts (stone tablets, coins, and so on) and inscribed archival ones (papyrus, vellum, and paper; manuscripts, print editions, concordances, and monographs).

44 And if the facticity and practices of doing physics and doing art history have changed in accordance with changing modes of inscription, it seems reasonable to think that the disciplinary practice of doing media history is changing with the media that it does history to. I The Case of Phonographs 1 New Media Publics 1878: Tinfoil Like any new medium, recorded sound could not but emerge according to the practices of older media. Edison stumbled on the idea of sound recording while working on telephones and telegraphs during the summer and fall of 1877, and communication devices like these provided an initial context for defining the phonograph.

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