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University of Chicago Press
Critical Terms For Media Studies

Critical Terms For Media Studies

by W. J. T. Mitchell, Mark B. N. Hansen
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Communications, philosophy, film and video, digital culture: media studies straddles an astounding array of fields and disciplines and produces a vocabulary that is in equal parts rigorous and intuitive. Critical Terms for Media Studies defines, and at times, redefines, what this new and hybrid area aims to do, illuminating the key concepts behind its liveliest debates and most dynamic topics.

Part of a larger conversation that engages culture, technology, and politics, this exciting collection of essays explores our most critical language for dealing with the qualities and modes of contemporary media. Edited by two outstanding scholars in the field, W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen, the volume features works by a team of distinguished contributors. These essays, commissioned expressly for this volume, are organized into three interrelated groups: “Aesthetics” engages with terms that describe sensory experiences and judgments, “Technology” offers entry into a broad array of technological concepts, and “Society” opens up language describing the systems that allow a medium to function.

A compelling reference work for the twenty-first century and the media that form our experience within it, Critical Terms for Media Studies will engage and deepen any reader’s knowledge of one of our most important new fields.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226532554
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 03/15/2010
Series: Critical Terms Series
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 778,129
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

W. J. T. Mitchell is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. He is the author or editor of nine books published by the University of Chicago Press, including What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. Mark B. N.  Hansen is professor of literature and arts of the moving image at Duke University. He is the author of New Philosophy for New Media, among other titles.

Table of Contents

Introduction W.J.T. Mitchell Mark B. N. Hansen vii


1 Art Johanna Drucker|3

2 Body Bernadette Wegenstein 19

3 Image W. J. T. Mitchell 35

4 Materiality Bill Brown 49

5 Memory Bernard Stiegler Mark B. N. Hansen 64

6 Senses Caroline Jones 88

7 Time and Space W.J.T. Mitchell Mark B. N. Hansen 101


8 Biomedia Eugene Thacker 117

9 Communication Bruce Clarke 131

10 Cybernetics N. Katherine Hayles 145

11 Information Bruce Clarke 157

12 New Media Mark B. N. Hansen 172

13 Hardware/Software/Wetware Geoffrey Winthrop-Young 186

14 Technology John Johnston 199


15 Exchange David Graeher 217

16 Language Cary Wolfe 233

17 Law Peter Goodrich 249

18 Mass Media John Durham Peters 266

19 Networks Alexander R. Galloway 280

20 Systems David Wellhery 297

21 Writing Lydia H. Liu 310

Contributors 327

Index 331

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