Radio: Essays in Bad Reception

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University of California Press, Dec 7, 2011 - Performing Arts - 248 pages
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In a wide-ranging, cross-cultural, and transhistorical assessment, John Mowitt examines radio’s central place in the history of twentieth-century critical theory. A communication apparatus that was a founding technology of twentieth-century mass culture, radio drew the attention of theoretical and philosophical writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, and Frantz Fanon, who used it as a means to disseminate their ideas. For others, such as Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and Raymond Williams, radio served as an object of urgent reflection. Mowitt considers how the radio came to matter, especially politically, to phenomenology, existentialism, Hegelian Marxism, anticolonialism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. The first systematic examination of the relationship between philosophy and radio, this provocative work also offers a fresh perspective on the role this technology plays today.
 

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Contents

The Object of Radio Studies
1
1 Facing the Radio
22
2 On the Air
48
3 Stations of Exception
77
4 Phoning In Analysis
104
5 Birmingham Calling
144
6 We Are the Word?
178
Notes
203
Works Cited
217
Index
227
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About the author (2011)

John Mowitt is Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. His previous books include Re-takes: Postcoloniality and Foreign Film Language and Percussion: Drumming, Beating, and Striking.

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