Democracy and New Media and Rethinking Media Change,
the first two books in the Media in Transition Series, were
published by the MIT Press this summer.
June 2003 marked the launch of a new book series from the MIT Press, entitled "Media in Transition." Professor of Literature David Thorburn is editor in chief; Professor Henry JenkinsDirector of the Comparative Media Studies programand Edward Barrett, Senior Lecturer in Writing, are co-editors.
The book series grows out of the "Media in Transition" project, a series of public forums and conferences hosted by MIT between 1998 and 2000 which studied both older media systems and contemporary media, and also examined the political impact of new media technologies. The final event in the project, an international conference held in 2000, inaugurated the Comparative Media Studies program. The first two volumesDemocracy and New Media, and Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transitionpresent some of the strongest and most influential papers delivered during the Media in Transition project.
"New media technologies and new linkages and alliances across older media are generating profound changes in our political, social, and aesthetic experience. But the media systems of our own era are unique neither in their instability nor in their complex, ongoing transformations."
(from the editors' foreword)
The series focuses on media changes: not just today, but throughout history. According to the editors' foreword, the series hopes to "nourish a pragmatic, historically informed discourse that maps a middle ground between the extremes of euphoria and panic that define so much current discussion about emerging mediaa discourse that recognizes the place of economic, political, legal, social, and cultural institutions in mediating and partly shaping technological change."
The series also aims to serve as a public forum for humanists and social scientists "who wish to
speak not only across academic disciplines, but also to policy-makers, to media practitioners, and to
their fellow citizens."