By Lisa Gitelman

ISBN-10: 0262072718

ISBN-13: 9780262072717

Choice remarkable educational identify, 2007.

In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the novelty of latest media whereas she asks what it capacity to do media heritage. 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 matters and tools of historic inquiry. providing unique case reports of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first disbursed 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 files (digital and never) on the finish of the 20th. for that reason, Always Already New speaks to give matters concerning the humanities up to to the emergent box of latest media stories. documents and records are kernels of humanistic idea, after all—part of and celebration to the cultural impulse to maintain and interpret. Gitelman's argument indicates artistic contexts for "humanities computing" whereas additionally providing a brand new viewpoint on such conventional humanities disciplines as literary history.

Making vast use of archival assets, 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 any case Gitelman turns to the area large internet and asks how the historical past of the internet is already being informed, how the internet may also withstand historical past, and the way utilizing the net will be generating the stipulations of its personal historicity.

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

Sample text

29 The new medium depended on a worldwide trade in materials—like German chemicals and Indian lac (the insect secretion required to make the shellac for records)— as well as recording artists, recording studios, and phonograph and gramophone dealers around the world. ” The British Gramophone Company established subsidiaries in India in 1901, Russia in 1902, and Iran in 1906. In 1907, Edison’s National Phonograph Company (never more than a bit player on the international scene) had subsidiaries in Europe, Australia, Argentina, and Mexico.

Like the text-based World Wide Web developed at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and then transformed by the success of a more image-inclusive browser, Mosaic, written by programmers at the University of Illinois, the new medium of recorded sound was stripped of its research and development (R & D) past and became broadly commercialized. And like MP3 files and file-sharing technology for downloading music, the new medium distributed music in a new format, challenging existing market structures and provoking the bitter disputes over intellectual property that I have analyzed elsewhere.

Confirming much about the phonograph exhibitions was a “colored burlesque on the phonograph” titled Prof. Black’s Phunnygraph, or Talking Machine. Frank Hockenbery’s (1886) skit offers a comment on the phonograph lectures that it lampoons. The term burlesque did not then denote striptease as much as it indicated a topical, risqué comedy, full of witticisms pointed at events of the day, and the butt of Hockenbery’s burlesque are the phonograph exhibitions of 1878. As a “colored” burlesque, Prof. Black’s Phunnygraph also taps fifty years of blackface minstrelsy in its makeup.

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


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