The Journal of e-Media Studies is a blind peer-reviewed, on-line journal dedicated to the scholarly study of the history and theory of electronic media, especially Television and New Media.  It is an inter-disciplinary journal, with an Editorial Board that is chiefly grounded in the methodologies of the field of Film and Television Studies. We welcome submissions across the fields and methodologies that study media and media history.

Inaugural Issue: Welcome

Introduction to the Inaugural Issue

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.322

Editor's introduction to the inaugural issue of the Journal of e-Media Studies, April 2008.


Toward A Visceral Scholarship Online: and Hypermedia Ethnography

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.285

This essay describes an experiment in scholarly presentation and ethnographic representation. The project, called, focuses on folk art and artists in Florida. It specifically examines Ruby C. Williams, Taft Richardson, Diamond Jim Parker, the Scott family, and Ginger LaVoie among many other folk and outsider artists represented on the website. Design functions as a crucial aspect of the content to illuminate the sensibility of the artists and traditions explored. The visceral, visual, and sonic modes function not as ornamentation. The visceral design of scholarship, not merely an ornament or a necessarily invisible lens for scholarship, has unique advantages. This essay describes those strategies and advantages of e-Media scholarship -- not scholarship about media or e-Media, but scholarship online.

E-poetry: between image and performance -- A cultural analysis

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.288

By establishing an opposition between two ways of studying e-poetry: the patrimonial stance, which historicizes and canonizes a corpus and the cultural stance, which discusses e-poetry in its social context, the article makes a plea for a broad, cultural approach to electronic reading and writing. This approach defines e-poetry in terms of performance, placing a strong emphasis on the mediated and often networked environment in which e-poetry creation and reception take place. The close reading of two examples by Pierre Alferi and Eric Sadin, two prominent authors of electronic literature in France, further illustrates the idea of writing and reading as performance as well as the necessity to study e-poetry within the broader landscape of different media and publication forms.

Que'est-ce qu'une madeleine interactive? Chris Marker's Immemory and the Possibility of a Digital Archive

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.289

This essay explores Chris Marker's 1997 CD-ROM, Immemory, to examine what is at stake in Marker's embrace of new media, specifically in the spatialization of memory into an intensive trajectory decided upon by the ambulatory movements of the user, and in the changed relation between technology, memory, and the archive. Contrary to those who view the ascendance of new media as provoking a crisis in the archive due to its governing tense of a perpetual present, this essay argues that digital media can provide new possibilities of organizing our relation to the past, and can generate exciting interfaces of personal and cultural memory.


Horace Newcomb in Conversation with Tara McPherson

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.320

Interview with television studies scholar Horace Newcomb about his career and his thoughts on the media environment today. Interview conducted by Tara McPherson in Summer, 2007.


A (Very) Personal History of the First Sponsored Film Series on National Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.312

Stanley Rubin reflects on his experience producing the television program "The Necklace," an adaptation of the short story "The Diamond Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant. The program won an Emmy Award for Best Film Made for Television at the very first Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in 1949.


Conference Review: TV Fiction Exchange

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.311

Conference review of TV Fiction Exchange: Local/Regional/National/Global, An International Conference held at Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire on September 5-8, 2006. Review by Michele Hilmes.

Fred Turner, "From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism"

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.316

Book review of Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (University of Chicago Press, 2006). Review by Anna McCarthy.


New Media Policy?

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.318

Editorial on the issues facing regulators such as the FCC in considering media regulation and policy in the era of new media. Editorial by Amanda Lotz

About This Issue

Issue Introduction

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.342

Issue Introduction


42 Kindles: A Discussion on the Evolution of Text

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.327

This essay discusses the hyper-mediation of text through a discussion of what a "book" is and means primarily through an analysis of the popular Kindle ereader. The book and text are also discussed from an evolutionary and revolutionary perspective as depicted in a variety of new and old media, touching on how the death of the book has been heralded for some five hundred years.

From Minority to Mainstream: Channel 4's Queer Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.325

Since the mid-1990s, a discernible increase has occurred in both the number and the range of gay, lesbian and queer representations on British terrestrial television. Taking Britain's historically minority-oriented Channel 4 as its focus, this essay examines a few of these representations as they appear within the channel's high-profile, prime-time and/or "flagship" programming, and specifically within Queer as Folk (1999), Sugar Rush (2005) and Skins (2007). It aims to situate these and the other gay, lesbian and queer themed shows produced by Channel 4 in the last two decades within the cultural, political and industrial contexts out of which they emerged, through engagement with specific broadcasting industry and government policy documents, and through British media coverage. Utilizing textual analysis and close examination of these reports and documents, the essay attempts to draw correlations between the specific modes of gay, lesbian and queer visibility offered by Channel 4's programming and the socio-political climate of the UK in the 1990s and 2000s, and ultimately seeks to determine why it was that Channel 4 (and indeed the British broadcasting industry more generally) have recently deemed certain kinds of queerness commercially viable, and others undesirable.

Inside the Box: Accessing Self-Reflexive Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.324

This essay reviews some of the literature that focuses specifically on self-reflexive television (or television as self-reflexive), a formal device that explicitly thematizes television and its border wars with the real. It asks how critics can take into account the rigorous recuperative ability of capitalism without simply slipping into a nostalgic privileging of stable distinctions between reality and entertainment, fact and fiction, outside and inside. The author applies this theoretical landscape to a close reading of a self-reflexive episode of The West Wing -- "Access," which takes the form of a fictional documentary about C.J. Cregg and her role as Press Secretary -- considering the textual, spectatorial, and economic operations in evidence. The essay explores how key problematics function in this specific case, but also demonstrates a broader intellectual approach that leaves space for complexities and contradictions. Ultimately, the essay argues that, while it is important to hold in view the complicity of self-reflexivity with consumer capitalism, the multiple subjectivities and realities of television's boundary crossings render this alliance far from simple or totalizing. What's evident in "Access" is that self-reflexive television (and, perhaps, television overall) is not intended to be mistaken for anything but a self-contained fiction, a simulacrum, a gimmick; but, at the same time, it transgresses these categories, ruptures the screen, seeps out of the television set, allows the spectator to pass into it -- in ways that are no less "real."

Two Versions of the Victim: Uncovering Contradictions in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Through Textual Analysis

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.341

The article investigates the role of the victim in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It argues that the genre of forensic science drama to which the series belongs gives greater emphasis on the victim than the perpetrator in the investigation of and in its narratives about crime. However, this does not mean that the victim is more empowered to tell his or her story of what happened. Rather, the investigators appear as the powerful agents who can "read" the body of victims and uncover the truth. Focusing on the male victims of the first four seasons of the original series, the article highlights how most of the time victims are presented as powerless -- as silent, passive and penetrate-able -- even though the series continues to draw attention to the idea that the holder of the truth is the victim. This polysemic construction which occurs on two different levels of the text allows for the text to be read as conservative, as underlining the power of the investigators to solve the problem of crime rather than a text that is essentially about victims.

Conjunction and flow: the gendered temporalities of (media) disaster

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.335

Catastrophe and Television in the Wake of Katrina: Working through the shift in the ideological parameters of the television form from conjunction to flow, as suggested in Raymond Williams' essays, the author argues that conjunction is still available and can denaturalize the flow form as a determinate paradigm of narrative incoherence and "full" subsumption. The argument of the essay traverses the formal, spatial and regional coordinates of the flow form, especially in disaster reportage on BBC World and the Indian media, which recompose imperial "worlds" and recast resistant gendered agencies. The essay proposes that flow can congeal into what the author terms "viewing configurations," and that within the regime of neoliberal capitalism conjunction can be rethought in the registers of global connection and a layering of gendered temporalities, as both a residual and an emergent form.

"Reporters Gone Wild": Reporters and Their Critics on Hurricane Katrina, Gender, Race & Place

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.336

Catastrophe and Television in the Wake of Katrina: This essay offers a meta-critique of the televised cable news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, examining published evaluations of the reporting in the earliest hours of the disaster, with a particular focus on the moments in which normative network news practices and rituals "broke down." The critics of the Katrina coverage reiterate tensions between conflicting journalistic epistemologies, most clearly manifest in disagreements between reporters "on location" and network anchors in distant studios. In these public arguments, discourses of journalistic authority are tangibly challenged and the efficiencies of professionalized knowledge resisted by "senses of place."

'That Part of the World': Hurricane Katrina and the 'Place' of Local Media

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.337

Catastrophe and Television in the Wake of Katrina: This article explores the ways that national mainstream news media serve as an authenticating and legitimating discursive frame that places significant limitations on how local news and community-based video can represent events. Taking the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as its case study, the article argues that discourses of "elsewhere-ism" have tended to negate the possibility for local media to enact necessary critiques of dominant ideological narratives that have the effect of re-positioning New Orleans as a resolved national disaster.


Vivian Sobchack in Conversation with Scott Bukatman

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.338

This wide-ranging conversation between scholars Scott Bukatman (author of Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, and Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century) and Vivian Sobchack (author of Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film, The Address of the Eye, and Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture) is anchored in their agreement that spectatorial experience and fascination are as central to academic research and writing as are the screen texts themselves. Bukatman and Sobchack discuss the expansion of screen and media studies and its objects, the pleasures of interdisciplinarity, the accomplishments of phenomenological method, and the formal and existential effects of digital cinema. They also touch on genres such as the horror film and the historical epic. Throughout, they also call for a more vital academic writing style in which affect and carnality, playfulness as well as sobriety, do not obscure meaning but inform and express it.

Working Theory

Virtual KinoEye: Kinetic Camera, Machinima, and Virtual Subjectivity in Second Life

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.340

The "virtual kino-eye" of the synthetic camera in a virtual world like Second Life not only realizes the kinetic possibilities imagined by Dziga Vertov for making "machinima" (digital video captured in a virtual world or 3-d game environment), but also is one of the ways through which virtual subjectivity is constructed. Virtual subjectivity is a mode of first-person experience in a virtual world that is founded on a fusion of visual and metaphoric point of view, shaped through "self-design" of the avatar and environment, reinforced and extended through social interaction, known through the avatar body's actions and movements in virtual space and place, and enacted through virtual agency.

About This Issue

Computational Cultures after the Cloud: A Special Issue of the Journal of e-Media Studies [Issue Introduction]

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.434

An introduction to "Computational Cultures after the Cloud" (a special issue of the Journal of e-Media Studies), this essay unpacks some stress points across the issue's various pieces, with an emphasis on how new forms of scholarly communication and activism are engaging emerging digital economies and digital labor practices. Instead of reading computation deterministically, the introduction highlights critically affirmative approaches to the perceived immateriality of computational work, its processing, storage, and circulation included. Throughout the essay, there is an emphasis on the convergences between online and off-line activities (especially forms of organization) as well as various media types. As the essay ultimately demonstrates, the cloud is historically unique because it is simultaneously immersive and at a remove, inviting frequent and seemingly effortless participation while fostering alienation, individuation, and exploitation. Echoing work by Jonathan Beller, Wendy Chun, Alexander Galloway, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Tara McPherson, Lisa Nakamura, and Trebor Scholz (among others), this perceived effortlessness tends to mask the material conditions and technical particulars that are often sites for political, aesthetic, and performative intervention. Contributors to the issue include Zoe Beloff, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Anne Cong-Huyen, Eric Freedman, Matthew Fuller, Hollis Griffin, Wendy Hagenmaier, Carl Hagenmaier, Eric Hoyt, Jonathan Kahana, Adeline Koh, Alexis Lothian, Mark Marino, Nick Marx, Alyssa McLeod, and Amanda Phillips.

Issue Preface

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.435

Preface to this issue


Can Digital Humanities Mean Transformative Critique?

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.425

What would digital scholarship and the humanities disciplines be like if they centered around processes and possibilities of social and cultural transformation as well as institutional preservation? If they centered around questions of labor, race, and gender and justice at personal, local, and global scales? If their practitioners considered not only how the academy might reach out to underserved communities, but also how the kinds of knowledge production nurtured elsewhere could transform the academy itself? Exploring the conversations that have centered around the Twitter hashtag #transformDH in the past two years, this essay argues that such questions are not hypothetical and that these digital humanities already exist. With the intention of inspiring further work in a similar vein, we offer a curated list of projects, people, and collaborations that suggest the possibilities of a transformative digital humanities.

Storage Wars: Clouds, Cyberlockers, and Media Piracy in the Digital Economy

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.426

This essay examines the role of online media piracy in the shift away from acquisition- and ownership-based models of consumption in favor of access-based models. In this media industry climate, cloud technologies have played an increasingly important role in providing audiences with content on their own terms. Piracy has long served a similar function, but it is taking on aspects of cloud services as well. I investigate how cloud technologies are changing media piracy activities by examining cyberlockers, web-based services that afford consumers both ubiquitous access and ownership of media content. Cyberlocker use for the illegal trade of copyrighted content, I argue, complicates conventional technological, legal, and cultural discourses about media piracy.

"Dark Mass," or the Problems with Creative Cloud Labor

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.427

Crowdsourcing has been praised as a means of distributing work and lowering the costs of production for a variety of contexts: commercial, creative, not-for-profit, academic, and so on. This article examines the problematics of creative crowdsourcing, with an emphasis on labor, both as a subject of representation and as a process that involves the work of volunteers, laborers, writers, and artists. The projects examined, Flight Paths and Mobile Voices (VozMob), offer two contrasting examples of such work that take migrant workers as their focus, thus providing ideal texts as a site of examination at the level of narrative, medium, context, and process. The readings offered situate the projects within the urban environments that inform them-Dubai and Los Angeles-and examine the politics of authorship and voice that must be reevaluated when studying born-digital literature.


Wendy Hui Kyong Chun in Conversation with Adeline Koh

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.428

Adeline Koh speaks with Wendy Chun concerning her thoughts on a new form of interdisciplinarity in higher education. Chun discusses topics such as the tolerance of failure, and comments on the changing status of the digital humanities. She also recommends some specific skills for the 21st-century humanist.

Matthew Fuller in Conversation with Mark Marino

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.429

Mark Marino interviews Matthew Fuller about developments in software studies and critical code studies over the past five years, as well as future directions for these approaches. In their conversation, the two discuss ways of creating discourse spaces for engineering, artistic, and interpretive disciplines to meet. Fuller describes ways to avoid the peril of science and technology studies (STS) becoming a kind of documentarian or attendant scribe to scientific research and commercial technological development. Fuller also offers examples of critical projects applying cultural studies to the nexus of these academic realms.

Zoe Beloff in Conversation with Jonathan Kahana: Mongrel Media and Contemporary Currency -- A Conversation on Brecht, The Days of the Commune, and Occupy Wall Street

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.433

Jonathan Kahana conducted this conversation with Zoe Beloff in conjunction with installations of Beloff's The Days of the Commune, a multimedia project based on Bertolt Brecht's 1956 play of the same name. Consisting of video shot during weekend rehearsals in public spaces around New York City; a performance of the play serialized to take as long as the 1871 Paris Commune; and drawings, broadsheets, and a website, Beloff's The Days of the Commune was mounted in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, and often coincided with the spaces and movements of the occupation in Manhattan. In this extended version of a dialog to be published with the Slought Foundation Blu-ray Disc of The Days of the Commune, Beloff and Kahana discuss the origins and sources of the project, its relation to Beloff's previous work, and its place in contemporary anticapitalist art, media, and activism.


Review of Old Maps Online

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.431

A Google Maps powered interface that allows users to search for digitized historical maps, Old Maps Online provides a uniquely spatial means of exploring online archival repositories. Although the project has been set back by funding limitations, it proves an important tool for researchers and teachers alike.

2010 FLOW Conference Report

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.432

Eric Freedman and Hollis Griffin review the 2010 Flow media studies conference. With its amalgam of roundtables and protracted yet hyperlocalized social media debates, the Flow conference demonstrates some of the growing pains of an evolving, dispersed, interdisciplinary area of study. These cracks in the foundation of disciplinary logic showcase the dialogic nature of the biennial gathering, and the relative success of its varied sessions. As a transmedia enterprise that engages with complex issues, the Flow conference refuses to reify formal and ideological rifts, and remains dialogic to avoid some of the pitfalls of rigidly linear approaches to scholarly inquiry. As equal parts scholarly event and hyperactive academic performance, Flow provides some key insights into the contested nature of conference space itself.

Working Theory

Media + History + Digital + Library: An Experiment in Synthesis

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.430

The Media History Digital Library (MHDL) digitizes out-of-copyright periodicals relating to the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound, and makes them widely available for public use. In this essay, the creators of the MHDL website and its new search tool, Lantern, reflect on the development process. Three goals-access, usability, and impact-drive their work, and they discuss each goal in depth. They find that a synthesis of different communities, collections, skill sets, and open source software frameworks is key to achieving these goals.

About This Issue

Issue Introduction: Reconsidering Gender, Genre, and Race in Broadcast Radio and Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.467

This special issue of Journal of e-Media Studies is focused on historical trends, shifts, and transformations in past and present broadcast television and radio, as understood through the categories of genre, gender, and race. At a time when both scholarly and industry-related discourses increasingly focus on the significance of “television after TV,” convergence and multi-media, multi-platform technologies, and “narrowcasting,” it is still important to examine American broadcast television and radio, which still reaches the largest audience and has contributed to and reflected social understandings of gender and race in America for almost a century.


Primetime Goes Hammerstein: The Musicalization of Primetime Fictional Television in the Post-Network Era

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.452

The musical did not suddenly burst on the small screen in the nineties, but generic, industrial, and aesthetic shifts in television, film, and theatre led to the cultivation of an environment that invited a renewed musicalization across television forms, one that transcended underscoring or musical montages and allowed a space for otherwise nonmusical characters (in established nonmusical worlds) to burst into diegetic song, and for the narrative worlds to momentarily become ones akin to the movie or stage musical where life is communicated through song. The last decade of the 20th century simply shined a light on the long union enjoyed between television and the musical. This article explores the perfect storm that encouraged a spate of one-off musical episodes of otherwise nonmusical fictional television shows at the turn of the 21st century.

Recipe For Laughs: Comedy While Cleaning in The Wife Saver

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.454

This essay examines how a network radio program, The Wife Saver, distinguished itself by its comic spin on the sober homemaking programs so popular in early radio. The program’s hybridity - a common daytime genre mixed with comedy and a male host presiding over a feminized genre – provides a lens for scholars to view radio’s early relationship to comedy, to women’s work, and to female listeners. Balancing irreverence with the utmost reverence for women’s work in the home, this article interrogates how The Wife Saver created a “recipe for laughs” that preserved beliefs about the rhythms of a woman’s day, the commercial function of daytime, the logics of gendered relations of labor and power, and still brought women to their radio sets. Through an analysis of the transgressive potential in The Wife Saver’s humor and the gendered persona created by Prescott, this paper illuminates how the program’s distinctive blend of generic rigidity, dark domestic humor, and a male host able to move fluidly between different gendered positions successfully negotiated the industrial and ideological tensions caused by comic work in the daytime. Examining the dexterity of its male host and the show’s reception in the popular and trade press, this case study exposes the narrow parameters on the mirth manufactured during the radio day and explains daytime radio’s limited use of comedy for female audiences.

Dreams and Disruption in the Fifties Sitcom

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.453

“Dreams and Disruption in the Fifties Sitcom” considers the cultural work of dreams in fifties sitcoms. It explores the ways in which the visual excess of dreams in the realistic domestic sitcom destabilizes narrative form and content. Dreams and fantasies speak the unspoken and undermine the harmonious image of the family presented by the narrative.

Queen for a Day: Representation, Materiality, and Gender in Elizabeth II’s Televised Coronation

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.449

This essay considers the relationship between the materiality of the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and fantasies of televisual transport involved in the transatlantic broadcast. The archival materials discussed in this essay help tell a complex history of the labors involved in the televised coronation ceremony, concerns about the Queen’s embodiment in front of television cameras, and the management of both through publicity and the aesthetics of ceremonial television coverage. The essay traces the foundations and evolution of the vexed relationship between materiality and representation to its more-contemporary manifestation of the Queen as a laboring and gendered body in the 2012 Jubilee celebrations.



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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.450

Flashback/Flashblack unpacks the interplay between contemporary industrial, social, and political forces and the place of Blackness that continues to construct and reconstruct the televisual landscape. We focus on how the medium, the industry, and the manner in which television reflects and refracts American popular consciousness, are inextricably tied to notions of acceptability, objectionability, respectability, and constructions of Blackness.

Working Theory

Haphazard Archive: The Epistemological, Aesthetic, and Political Contradictions of Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.451

Using her archive of videotapes created and collected over the past few decades, the author reflects on issues facing television and television studies, commenting on questions of canon formation and the production of knowledge, trends in media studies (such as the turns to convergent technology and aesthetic studies), and the politics of cultural consumption and cultural theory.

About This Issue

Introduction: Early Television Historiographies

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.473

Issue introduction by the special issue editor Doron Galili


Radio/Television/Sound: Radio Aesthetics and Perceptual Technics in Early American Television

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.458

Media theorists and historians have long posited a genealogical connection between radio and television, with the idea of television as “radio with images” a common trope in scholarly understandings of the relationship between the two. Although recent scholarship has produced a more sufficiently historical understanding of the industrial, cultural, and technological connections between radio and television in the American context, the way radio influenced the development of sound norms for television remains largely unclear. Rather than assuming that television simply illustrated the silent genres of radio, adding image to an otherwise blind medium, this article uses the model of perceptual technics to analyze the development of aesthetic standards for American television, offering a historicized view of the way television could be said to have inherited the aesthetic mantle of radio. Specifically, this article challenges the way “flow,” Raymond Williams’s influential postulation of the experience of American television, has underpinned models of experience attributed to television sound. In place of flow, this article posits noise as the most significant influence of radio on early television. Concern over noise, a defining aesthetic trait of AM radio, marked historical discussions over the standardization of aesthetic parameters for American television, a fact that can be seen clearly in the proceedings of the National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) hearings of 1940 and 1941. In setting maximal allowances for the presence of noise in both image and sound transmission channels, the NTSC provided a technological basis for the way television would come to be understood during the network era as a “cool” medium, a medium marked by partial fidelity and significant levels of noise.

The Rise and Fall of the Television Broadcasters Association, 1943–1951

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.459

Although television manufacturing in the United States stalled during World War II, the television industry did not simply disappear from 1941 to 1945. Its interrelated components continued to plan, debate, and formulate. That planning drove demand for a trade association to steer and represent industry participants, from the most powerful players to the basic units of broadcasting. The result was the Television Broadcasters Association (TBA). Using archival documents from the Library of Congress’s National Broadcasting Company history files and the Wisconsin Historical Society’s National Association of Broadcasters Records, this article centers the trade association within the development and launch of mainstream commercial television, countering the tendency of media scholars to sideline trade associations or to treat the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) as the inevitable home of the US television industry. Put very simply, the TBA wanted television, and the NAB did not—at least in the 1940s. As an association organized to facilitate the success of radio, the NAB boasted a mature infrastructure and a sizeable AM membership. The TBA was an upstart, a small group of industry elites aspiring to treat television as inherently special and superior to radio. The story of dueling trade associations highlights the social and institutional entanglements within the web of industry relations and emphasizes the power of local broadcasters. The NAB had integrated the personnel and agendas of radio stations into its structure and governance. And though stations’ participation could be volatile, the TBA eventually discovered that their absence would ensure failure.

Modern Art as Media Event: Early Swedish Television and the Communication of Art Appreciation, the Case of "Multikonst" (1967)

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.457

This essay investigates how broadcast television was utilized and conceptualized as a means of communicating the importance and meaning of modern art appreciation to the Swedish viewing public in the 1960s. More specifically, the essay focuses on how the problem of encouraging individual art appreciation on a national scale was managed. Empirically the essay examines Multikonst (Multi Art), a large-scale art exhibition project that took place in 1967. The project was a collaboration between the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, the nongovernmental organization Konstfrämjandet, and the governmental project Riksutställningar, and it brought together a variety of media. Key to the project’s overall planning was, however, television. Drawing inspiration from a predominant conception of television as a real-time “live” medium, the project consisted of 100 identical exhibitions that were opened and shown simultaneously at different locations across Sweden. The opening accordingly took place “on the air,” with a speech by minister of education and culture Ragnar Edenman broadcasted to TV sets placed in the various exhibition locations. Besides broadcasting the opening speech, the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation produced and aired five programs during the weeks of the exhibition, perhaps most notably a variety show, recorded at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, celebrating the exhibition opening. The main focal point of this article is an in-depth analysis of the programs produced and aired as part of the project, focusing on the forms and modes of address used to engage the audience in the importance of modern art. The article places this detailed study of the particular programming into a larger historical context of cultural politics and conceptions of communication and information, elaborating on how and why educating the audience in the appreciation of modern art was considered a problem during the time, and why it was of crucial importance.


Public Television: Beginnings and Endings. Elihu Katz in conversation with Doron Galili

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.460

A conversation with Elihu Katz about the beginnings of public television in Israel and his current work.

Collecting Television’s Technological History: Steve McVoy in Conversation with Mark Williams

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.472

A conversation with Steve McVoy about the technological history of television.


Television in the Cinema Before 1939: An International Annotated Database, with an Introduction by Richard Koszarski

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doi: 10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.471

An international annotated database that attempts to list all pre- World War II theatrical narrative films in which some aspect of television plays at least a minor role.