Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television

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Duke University Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Social Science - 257 pages
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In Haunted Media Jeffrey Sconce examines American culture’s persistent association of new electronic media—from the invention of the telegraph to the introduction of television and computers—with paranormal or spiritual phenomena. By offering a historical analysis of the relation between communication technologies, discourses of modernity, and metaphysical preoccupations, Sconce demonstrates how accounts of “electronic presence” have gradually changed over the decades from a fascination with the boundaries of space and time to a more generalized anxiety over the seeming sovereignty of technology.
Sconce focuses on five important cultural moments in the history of telecommunication from the mid-nineteenth century to the present: the advent of telegraphy; the arrival of wireless communication; radio’s transformation into network broadcasting; the introduction of television; and contemporary debates over computers, cyberspace, and virtual reality. In the process of examining the trajectory of these technological innovations, he discusses topics such as the rise of spiritualism as a utopian response to the electronic powers presented by telegraphy and how radio, in the twentieth century, came to be regarded as a way of connecting to a more atomized vision of the afterlife. Sconce also considers how an early preoccupation with extraterrestrial radio communications tranformed during the network era into more unsettling fantasies of mediated annihilation, culminating with Orson Welles’s legendary broadcast of War of the Worlds. Likewise, in his exploration of the early years of television, Sconce describes how programs such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits continued to feed the fantastical and increasingly paranoid public imagination of electronic media. Finally, Sconce discusses the rise of postmodern media criticism as yet another occult fiction of electronic presence, a mythology that continues to dominate contemporary debates over television, cyberspace, virtual reality, and the Internet.
As an engaging cultural history of telecommunications, Haunted Media will interest a wide range of readers including students and scholars of media, history, American studies, cultural studies, and literary and social theory.


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Review: Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television

User Review  - Leif - Goodreads

Informative, generous, and informed by critical theory – without coming under its controlling dominance – Haunted Media is a nice introductory tour around the technological developments, media ... Read full review

Review: Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television

User Review  - Chris Schaeffer - Goodreads

An excellent, illuminating book on media studies and American social history. So good. Read full review

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JSTOR: Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to ...
Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television. Richard Butsch. The Journal of American History, Vol. 88, No. 3, 1145. Dec., 2001. ...
links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0021-8723(200112)88%3A3%3C1145%3AHMEPFT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-2

Andrew Murphie | The Electronic Presence of Absence: Renediating ...
Jeffrey Sconce, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television (Durham and London: Duke University press, 2000), 257 pages. ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ theory_and_event/ v007/ 7.1murphie.html

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Analysphere Blog: Haunted Media and Digital Economics
Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television by Jeffrey Sconce and Internet Publishing & Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information ...
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Site Gallery | Exhibition Archive | Haunted Media
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blog of the damned: Haunted Media Archive
The site gallery organised a Symposium and group exhibition around Jeffery Sconce's Haunted Media in 2004; Haunted Media Exhibition Archive ...
the-blog-of-the-damned.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 06/ haunted-media-archive.html

Mediums and Media
Mediums and Media. Ghostwriting Modernism. Sword, Helen. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001. 224 p., $18.95, softcover. ISBN: 0801487757. Haunted Media. ...
reconstruction.eserver.org/ BReviews/ revMediums.htm

ebscohost Connection: Playback: From the Victrola to MP3, 100 ...
HAUNTED Media: Electronic Presence From Telegraphy to Television (Book) SIGNOR Marconi's Magic Box (Book). People: COLEMAN, Mark SCONCE, Jeffrey ...
connection.ebscohost.com/ content/ article/ 1041460502.html;jsessionid=1ABFA859B352715534659C91FD9DE749.ehctc1

They're Here, They're Everywhere Andreas Kitzmann University of ...
Review of: Jeffrey Sconce, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2000. 1. Jeffrey Sconce's Haunted Media ...
jefferson.village.virginia.edu/ pmc/ text-only/ issue.102/ 12.2.r_kitzmann.txt

RELS 4000/5000 AMST 4050
... and Culture, Jeffrey Sconce’s Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television) and from a coursepack (identified in reading schedule as ...
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About the author (2000)


Jeffrey Sconce is Associate Professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Film at Northwestern University.

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