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Electronic Elsewheres

Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space

Chris Berry
Soyoung Kim
Lynn Spigel
Series: Public Worlds
Volume: 17
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Electronic Elsewheres
    Book Description:

    Media do not simply portray places that already exist; they actually produce them. In exploring how world populations experience “place” through media technologies, the essays included here examine how media construct the meanings of home, community, work, nation, and citizenship. Contributors: Asu Aksoy, Istanbul Bilgi U; Charlotte Brunsdon, U of Warwick; Ratiba Hadj-Moussa, York U (Toronto); Tamar Liebes-Plesnar, Hebrew U; David Morley, Goldsmiths, U of London; Lisa Nakamura, U of Illinois; Arvind Rajgopal, New York U; Kevin Robins, Goldsmiths, U of London; Jeffrey Sconce, Northwestern U; Marita Sturken, New York U; and Shunya Yoshimi, U of Tokyo._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7046-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction: Here, There, and Elsewhere
    (pp. vii-xxviii)
    Chris Berry, Soyoung Kim and Lynn Spigel

    What is an “electronic elsewhere”? With this term we emphasize the idea that the media do not just represent—accurately or inaccurately—a place that is already there. Rather, as numerous essays in this book suggest, places are conjured up, experienced, and in that sense produced through media. This anthology explores how different world populations experience place through media technologies. Drawing on a long tradition of scholarship in media studies, we ask how media technologies (from the analog to the digital) have contributed to the spatial relations of modern/postmodern life, in its various global contexts.Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and...

  4. Part I. The Reconfigured Home

    • 1 Domesticating Dislocation in a World of “New” Technology
      (pp. 3-16)
      David Morley

      It is now a commonplace that the networks of electronic communication in which we live are transforming our senses of locality and community—and in this context it has been argued that we need to develop a “politics of dislocation” that is concerned with the new modalities of belonging that are emerging around us.¹ The issue I focus on, in this connection, is what all this does to the relation between the media and the domestic sphere—conventionally the place of belonging, par excellence.

      Now the home is less and less a self-enclosed space, and more and more, as Zygmunt...

    • 2 Avatars and the Visual Culture of Reproduction on the Web
      (pp. 17-32)
      Lisa Nakamura

      Visual imaging of the body is a key feature of digital screen culture as well as the culture of pregnancy: many a pregnant woman’s first look at her baby is through a portable CRT monitor, which is about the same size and color as a small television, the type that many people buy for their kitchens, that archetypal domestic space. Although she is most likely looking at an Accuson rather than a Sony or Toshiba, and the experience of cold ultrasound gel on her belly distinguishes one viewing experience from the other, the mode of delivery is the same, that...

    • 3 The Talking Weasel of Doarlish Cashen
      (pp. 33-54)
      Jeffrey Sconce

      In his 1861 novelThe House by the Churchyard,J. S. LeFanu writes of a home haunted by a disembodied hand. For weeks the floating hand appears at windows and doors, as if seeking entrance into the home. “One evening,” writes LeFanu, “Mrs. Prosser was sitting in the twilight at the back parlour window, which was open, looking out into the orchard, and plainly saw a hand stealthily placed upon the stone window-sill outside, as if by someone beneath the window intending to climb up.”¹ A thorough search reveals no sign of the intruder. Days later, alone in the kitchen,...

    • 4 Designing the Smart House: Posthuman Domesticity and Conspicuous Production
      (pp. 55-92)
      Lynn Spigel

      The 2002 premiere issue ofBroadband Housetitled “America’s High Tech Havens” begins with an editorial about the future of housing after 9/11. Discussing how he and his staff went to photograph a New York City penthouse just days after the World Trade Center fell, editor Scott DeGarmo explains their sense of despair as they looked out the windows at the surrounding city. He writes, “On that evening . . . , we felt the sadness hanging over New York—and the nation.” “And yet,” he goes on, “atop the residential building . . . we also felt another powerful...

  5. Part II. Electronic Publics

    • 5 New Documentary in China: Public Space, Public Television
      (pp. 95-116)
      Chris Berry

      How should we understand the connection between the virtual topographies produced by the media—the electronic elsewheres of this book—and the idea of the public? In his original work on the public sphere, Jürgen Habermas saw the classic public sphere as physical spaces where actual people met and debated, and he was dubious about the impact of mediation on the quality of the public sphere. However, this distinction has been lost in much media studies debate, which discusses the public sphere as a product of mediation. To explore these issues further, this chapter turns to the People’s Republic of...

    • 6 The Undecidable and the Irreversible: Satellite Television in the Algerian Public Arena
      (pp. 117-136)
      Ratiba Hadj-Moussa

      The introduction of new communication technologies in nondemocratic societies poses an interesting problem to those scholars who want to understand their significance for and effect in public life. In practice, not only are the media foundational to the emergence of the nation–state,¹ but they are also the pillars of democratic expression. How are these new public forms situated in nondemocratic or authoritarian societies, such as Maghrebian societies, or where people have lived in the tatters of civil war, as in Algerian society?

      In this chapter, I will limit my focus to satellite television, disregarding other forms of communication, such...

    • 7 The Voice of Jacob: Radio’s Role in Reviving a Nation
      (pp. 137-156)
      Tamar Liebes-Plesner

      The medium typically associated with nation building, in the case of new nations established in the twentieth century, is television.¹ In the founding of the Jewish state, radio was the instrument charged with the project of integrating the immigrants from the various diasporas. Television was introduced only two decades later and even then for the wrong reasons.² Israel’s Radio made its first steps twelve years prior to the establishment of the state as the “Hebrew Hour” of the British Mandatory government channel, titledThe Voice of Jerusalem.³ During Israel’s formative decade, radio turned out to be the central site for...

    • 8 Violence, Publicity, and Secularism: Hindu–Muslim Riots in Gujarat
      (pp. 157-170)
      Arvind Rajagopal

      On 27 February 2002, a railway compartment on a train carrying Hindu militants caught fire in Godhra near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, killing fifty-eight people. Blaming Muslims for the violence, the state and central governments stood by as more than two thousand Muslims were slaughtered or burnt alive and hundreds of women were raped and killed.

      The state government dismissed reports of the massacres as exaggerated, and blamed the English-language media for anti-Hindu and anti-Gujarati bias. Furthermore, as a run-up to the approaching state elections, the government campaigned to rally Gujarati pride and to defend their state against “demons” (Muslims) and their...

    • 9 Turkish Satellite Television: Toward the Demystification of Elsewhere
      (pp. 171-194)
      Asu Aksoy and Kevin Robins

      All across the European space now, Turkish-speaking populations are tuning in to the numerous satellite channels that are broadcasting programs from Ankara and Istanbul. Just like other migrant groups—Maghrebis, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Afro-Caribbeans, and many more—they are now able to make use of transnational communications to gain access to media services from the country of origin. This has been an entirely new phenomenon, a development of the past decade, which has significant implications for how migrants experience their lives and for how they think and feel about their experiences. Indeed, we would regard the ability to routinely watch...

  6. Part III. The Mediated City

    • 10 The Elsewhere of the London Underground
      (pp. 197-224)
      Charlotte Brunsdon

      If you access the Transport for London (TfL) Web site¹ and select “the tube,” you can download the London tube maps in a range of formats including color, black and white, large print, showing disabled access, travelcard zones, and as desktop wallpaper. You can also view it in “translated versions” in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Spanish. (Perhaps the Germans, Italians, Dutch, Japanese, and Scandinavians do not need translation.) If you click on “The Real Underground,” you access the central section of the 2004 Underground Map, with a set of choices underneath, which...

    • 11 The Image at Ground Zero: Mediating the Memory of Terrorism
      (pp. 225-244)
      Marita Sturken

      Ground Zero was created in a moment on September 11, 2001, in New York City. When the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, shockingly, into an enormous pile of rubble, spewing out a cloud of debris, the urban and aerial space that they had occupied became, quite simply, another place, one that seemed to demand a new name.¹ The name “Ground Zero” comes, of course, from history, implying both the central place of impact in nuclear destruction and, strangely, also a place of beginnings. As Amy Kaplan writes, “we often use ‘ground zero’ colloquially to convey the sense of...

    • 12 Tokyo: Between Global Flux and Neonationalism
      (pp. 245-260)
      Shunya Yoshimi

      During the last decade of the twentieth century, the fiercely fluid movements of the new cross-border networks of capital, information, and people have been rapidly transforming the centripetal power of the large Japanese cities from within. After World War II, forms of electronic communication—from television to videos to cell phones to the Internet—have turned our sense of place inside out, extending but also significantly transforming previous modes of mobility, migration, and sociocultural networks made possible by earlier forms of transportation and telecommunications. Paradoxically, this tendency toward global flux is accompanied by the rise of a form of nationalism...

  7. Contributors
    (pp. 261-264)
  8. Index
    (pp. 265-280)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 281-281)