CMS.801 | Fall 2012 | Graduate
Media in Transition


Seminar participants must do all required readings each week. You may wish to purchase the six books listed below; we will be reading most or all of these works.

[B&B] Briggs, Asa, and Peter Burke. A Social History of the Media from Gutenberg to the Internet. 3rd ed. Polity, 2010. ISBN: 9780745644950. [Preview with Google Books]

[Ginzburg] Ginzburg, Carlo. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780801843877. [Preview with Google Books]

[Peters] Peters, Julie Stone. Theatre of the Book, 1480-1880: Print, Text, and Performance in Europe. Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780199262168. [Preview with Google Books]

[B&M] Bender, John, and Michael Marrinan. The Culture of the Diagram. Stanford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780804745055. [Preview with Google Books]

[R&G] Rosenberg, Daniel, and Anthony Grafton. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline. Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. ISBN: 9781568987637.

[Poe] Poe, Marshall T. A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet. Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780521179447.

Part I: Book History
1 Introduction–Posing Questions

[B&B] pp. 1–12.

Ong, Walter J. “The Orality of Language.” In Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Routledge, 1982, pp. 5–15. ISBN: 9780415027960.

Buy at MIT Press McLuhan, Marshall. “The Medium is the Message.” In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. MIT Press, 1994, pp. 7–21. ISBN: 9780262631594.

Buy at MIT Press Heilbroner, Robert L. “Do Machines Make History?,” and “Technological Determinism Revisited.” In Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Edited by Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx. MIT Press, 1994, pp. 53–78. ISBN: 9780262691673. [Preview with Google Books]

Eisenstein, Elizabeth. “Defining the Initial Shift,” and “Some Features of Print Culture.” In The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp. 12–62.

Browse “Book History Timeline Outline” on From Cave Paintings to the Internet.

2 Rethinking the “Gutenberg Revolution” I: The European Context

Duffy, Eamon. “Early Christian Impresarios.” New York Review of Books, March 2007.

Saenger, Paul. “Silent Reading: Its Impact on Late Medieval Script and Society.” Viator 13 (1982): 367–414.

Clanchy, Michael T. “Looking Back from the Invention of Printing.” In Literacy in Historical Perspective. Edited by Daniel P. Resnick. For sale by the Supt. of Docs., 1983, pp. 7–22. ISBN: 9780844404103.

Grafton, Anthony, Elizabeth Eisenstein, et al. “Forum: How Revolutionary Was the Print Revolution?The American Historical Review 107, no. 1 (2002): 84–6.

Chartier, Roger. “Urban Reading Practices, 1660-1780.” In The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France. Princeton University Press, 1987, pp. 183–239. ISBN:9780691054995.

[B&B] “Printing in its Contexts,” and “The Media and the Public Sphere in Early Modern Europe,” pp. 13–90.

Browse 1086 Domesday Book. The National Archives.

McKie, Robin and Vanessa Thrope. “Digital Domesday Book Lasts 15 Years Not 1000.” The Observer, March 2, 2002.

Video (in-class): The Making of the Renaissance Book.

3 Rethinking the “Gutenberg Revolution” II: Examples from China and Japan

Browse the overviews of Chinese and Japanese history on the Asia for Educators.

McDermott, Joseph P. “The Making of an Imprint in China, 1000–1800.” In A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China. Hong Kong University Press, 2006, pp. 9–42. (notes 196–211). ISBN: 9789622097827.

Brokaw, Cynthia. Commerce in Culture: The Sibao Book Trade in the Qing and Republican Periods. Harvard University Asia Center, 2007, pp. 1–19, and 535–70. ISBN: 9780674024496.

———. “Book History in Pre-Modern China: The State of the Discipline I.” Book History 10 (2007): 253–90.

Reed, Christopher A. “Gutenberg and Modern Print Culture: The State of the Discipline II.” Book History 10 (2007): 291–315.

Smith, Henry D. “The History of the Book in Edo and Paris.” In Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early Modern Era. Cornell, 1994, pp. 332–52.

Kamei-Dyche, Andrew T. “The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan: The State of the Discipline.” Book History 14 (2011): 270–304.

Chartier, Roger. “Gutenberg Revisited from the East.” Late Imperial China 17, no. 1 (1996): 1–9.

Wing-Chow, Kai. “Reinventing Gutenberg: Woodblock and Movable-Type Printing in Europe and China.” In Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies After Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. Edited by Sabrina Alcorn Baron, Eric N. Lindquist, and Eleanor F. Shevlin. University of Massachusetts Press, 2007, pp. 169–92. ISBN: 9781558495937. [Preview with Google Books]

4 Menocchio and Qian Jinren Compared

[Ginzburg] All.

McDermott, Joseph P. “Literati Writings and the Case of Qian Jinren.” In A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China. Hong Kong University Press, 2006, pp. 1–7 (notes: 195) and pp. 171–94 (notes 253–61). ISBN: 978-9622097827. [Preview with Google Books]

Part II: Visuality and Media
5 A Visit to the MFA Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs

[B&B] pp. 91–178.

Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010. ISBN: 9781453722480.

6 Page and Stage to the Late Nineteenth Century Peters, Julie Stone. The Theater of the Book 1480-1880: Print, Text, and Performance in Europe. Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 1–90, 147–200 and 257–312. ISBN: 9780198187141.
7 Conceptualizing Change in Visual Media

[B&M] All.

Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie. Browse web site, including videos by Smentek and Ravel.

8 Early Film

Schwartz, Vanessa. “Cinematic Spectatorship Before the Apparatus: The Public Taste for Reality in Fin-de-siècle Paris.” In Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life. Edited by Leo Charney, and Vanessa Schwartz. University of California Press, 1996, pp. 297–319. ISBN: 9780520201125.

The Silent Cinema Reader. Edited by Lee Grieveson, and Peter Krämer. Routledge, 2003. ISBN: 9780415252843.

Musser, Charles. “At the Beginning: Motion Picture Production, Representation and Ideology at the Edison and Lumière Companies.” pp. 15-30.

Gunning, Tom. “Now You See it, Now You Don’t: The Temporality of the Cinema of Attractions.” pp. 41–50.

Abel, Richard. “The Cinema of Attractions in France.” pp. 63–75.

Musser, Charles. “Moving Towards Fictional Narratives: Story Films Become the Dominant Product, 1903–1904.” pp. 87–102.

Singer, Ben. “Manhattan Nickleodeons: New Data on Audiences.” pp. 119–34.

Pearson, Roberta E., and William Uricchio. “How Many Times Shall Caesar Bleed in Sport: Shakespeare and the Cultural Debate About Moving Pictures.” pp. 155–68.

[B&B] pp. 179–236.

Part III: The “Digital Revolution” in Historical Perspective
9 Histories of Information Management

Browse “Destruction of Information,” “Indexing and Searching Information,” and “Survival of Information” on From French Cave Paintings to the Internet.

Blair, Ann, and Peter Stallybrass. “Mediating Information, 1450–1800.” In This is Enlightenment. Edited by Clifford Siskin, and William Warner. University Of Chicago Press, 2010, pp. 139–63. ISBN: 9780226761480.

Buy at MIT Press Krajewski, Markus. “Part II: Around 1900.” In Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogues, 1548-1929. MIT Press, 2011, pp. 87–142. (notes on 165-78). ISBN: 9780262015899. [Preview with Google Books]

[R&G] pp. 96–247. Browse earlier chapters.

[B&B] pp. 237–74.

10 Historicizing the Internet

[B&B] pp. 275–302.

[Poe] All.

In-class video: A Bridge of Books: The Story of the National Yiddish Book Center

Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2012
Learning Resource Types
assignment Written Assignments