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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 Studiesdefines, 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.
"[Mitchell] undertakes to explore the nature of images by comparing them with words, or, more precisely, by looking at them from the viewpoint of verbal language. . . . The most lucid exposition of the subject I have ever read. "--Rudolf Arnheim, Times Literary Supplement
Mic check! Mic check! Lacking amplification in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protestors addressed one another by repeating and echoing speeches throughout the crowd. In Occupy, W. J. T. Mitchell, Bernard E. Harcourt, and Michael Taussig take the protestors' lead and perform their own resonant call-and-response, playing off of each other in three essays that engage the extraordinary Occupy movement that has swept across the world, examining everything from self-immolations in the Middle East to the G8 crackdown in Chicago to the many protest signs still visible worldwide. "You break through the screen like Alice in Wonderland," Taussig writes in the opening essay, "and now you can't leave or do without it. " Following Taussig's artful blend of participatory ethnography and poetic meditation on Zuccotti Park, political and legal scholar Harcourt examines the crucial difference between civil and political disobedience. He shows how by effecting the latter--by rejecting the very discourse and strategy of politics--Occupy Wall Street protestors enacted a radical new form of protest. Finally, media critic and theorist Mitchell surveys the global circulation of Occupy images across mass and social media and looks at contemporary works by artists such as Antony Gormley and how they engage the body politic, ultimately examining the use of empty space itself as a revolutionary monument. Occupy stands not as a primer on or an authoritative account of 2011's revolutions, but as a snapshot, a second draft of history, beyond journalism and the polemics of the moment--an occupation itself.
This unique collection of essays at last brings a dazzling view of the literary, social, and performative aspects of American Sign Language to a wide audience. The book presents the work of a renowned and diverse group of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing scholars who examine original ASL poetry, narrative, and drama. The book showcases the poems and narratives under discussion in their original form, providing access to them for hearing non-signers for the first time. The book provides new insight into the history, culture, and creative achievements of the deaf community while expanding the scope of the visual and performing arts, literary criticism, and comparative literature.
According to W. J. T. Mitchell, we need to reckon with images not just as inert objects that convey meaning but as animated beings with desires, needs, appetites, demands, and drives of their own.