media in transition


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 not unique in their instability nor in their complex, ongoing transformations.

The Media in Transition series will explore older periods of media change as well as our own digital age. 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 media - a discourse that recognizes the place of economic, political, legal, social, and cultural institutions in mediating and partly shaping technological change.

Though it will be open to many theories and methods, three principles will define the series:

  • It will be historical - grounded in an awareness of the past, of continuities and discontinuities among contemporary media and their ancestors.
  • It will be comparative - open especially to studies that juxtapose older and contemporary media, or that examine continuities across different media and historical eras, or that compare the media systems of different societies.
  • It will be accessible - suspicious of specialized terminologies, a forum for humanists and social scientists who wish to speak not only across academic disciplines but also to policymakers, to media and corporate practitioners, and to their fellow citizens