Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Friending the PastThe Sense of History in the Digital Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alan Liu

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451817

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226452005.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Imagining the New Media Encounter

Imagining the New Media Encounter

Chapter:
(p.35) 2 Imagining the New Media Encounter
Source:
Friending the Past
Author(s):

Alan Liu

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226452005.003.0003

This chapter studies "narratives of new media encounter" (accounts of how individuals and societies react to the introduction of writing, radio, television, the internet, Web 2.0, and so on) to suggest that major historical changes in the sociocultural order are mirrored in narratives of media history. Often, as in the case of Marshall McLuhan's writings, such narratives follow a plot of progressivist media determinism—of necessary change from old media to new media—even as they also reveal the more ambivalent experience of a "contact zone" between civilizations. At once descriptive and interpretive, tales of new media encounter are a foundational form of media theory—a kind of media archaeology of media theory. They show how societies experience history as communication and information media, and communication and information media as history. They register the experience of history as media history. Finishing on the promising example of a recent collection of essays on the digital humanities, the chapter concludes by asking the critical question: what is an imaginatively enriching, rather than deterministic constraining, narrative of new media encounter?

Keywords:   contact zone, digital humanities, Marshall McLuhan, media archaeology, media determinism, media history, media theory, narrative, new media, old media

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.