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Technologies of History
Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past
Steve F. Anderson

Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture

2011 • 224 pp. 11 illus. 6 x 9"
Film, TV, Visual Culture / American Studies

$35.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-003-4
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-58465-901-3

$34.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-008-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

Steve F. Anderson’s striking contention is that theorists of history pay too little attention to the way media products like those shape the understanding both of historical events and of... [continued in Reviews below]”—Chronicle of Higher Education

Captain Kirk fought Nazis. JFK’s assassination is a videogame touchstone. And there’s no history like “Drunk History.”

Technologies of History is an engrossing and innovative consideration of how history is constructed today, exploring our most basic relationship to history and the diverse contributions of visual and computational media to conceptions of the past. Embracing the varieties of history offered by experimental film, television, video games, and digital media, Steve F. Anderson mines the creative and discursive potential of this profane and esoteric historiography. He offers a highly readable and consistently fascinating discussion of historiography in visual media, with an emphasis on alternate or fantastic histories, including Star Trek time travel episodes, fake documentaries, films created from home movies and found footage, and video games about cultural traumas such as the siege at Waco and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Examining artifacts from the most commercial Hollywood product to the modernist avant-garde, this bold and ambitious polemic seeks to address historians, media scholars, and general readers alike, encouraging all to recognize, engage with, and perhaps even learn from these heterodox histories and the powerful sway they hold over our historical consciousness.

Visit the author's web site for more info, including his blog and an intriguing promotional video. Click here.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Steve F. Anderson’s striking contention is that theorists of history pay too little attention to the way media products like those shape the understanding both of historical events and of the way history is told. . . . What most interests Anderson about many often-bizarre, history-related media products is that they contribute to the study and understanding of historiography—the way history is told.”Chronicle of Higher Education

“Well written and thought-provoking, this volume serves as an excellent example of how film studies can explore new territory and push through boundaries while still remaining relevant in many fields. Historians, artists, technology buffs, and many others will find interesting perspectives on the impact of film on their areas of expertise. . . . Highly recommended.”Choice

“Underlying Technologies of History is the notion that written history has been long stuck in a mode of presentation that dreadfully limits our relationship to the stuff of the past. Anderson reads in depth some examples of the use of ‘history’ as it is presented in films, on TV programs, in video games, and online, using these formats as both an attack on the limitations of traditional history and as possible models for how history can become more multi-voiced, open-ended, problematic, and truer to the diversity and multiplicities of the past. The result is a fascinating, provocative, and important book that is unlike anything else on the market today.”—Robert A. Rosenstone, California Institute of Technology

“Technologies of History is a real tour de force, always engaging, often enlightening, scanning across a wealth of material, and making unanticipated connections. I very much respect its refusal to be constrained by disciplinary boundaries, the borders between media platforms, or conventional cultural hierarchies.”Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

STEVE F. ANDERSON directs the Ph.D. program in media arts and practice at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and co-edits Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:07:51 -0500