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Other titles in the Special Issue of American Quarterly series:
Rewiring the "Nation": The Place of Technology in American Studiesby Siva Vaidhyanathan
Synopses & Reviews
This special issue of American Quarterly offers a re-reading of the narrative of U.S. technologies as we move beyond celebrations of exceptional tinkerers and a deterministic machine-driven sense of progress to a more complex understanding of the opportunities and responsibilities that befall a nation that interweaves its identities, labors, and creative cultures with its machines.
Book News Annotation:
Special issues of American Quarterly are devoted to examining the intersection of American studies with other fields, in this case (no data cited) with technology studies, communication, and the history of technology. Scholars of American studies and related disciplines consider such topics as African Americans, American artifactual culture, and Black vernacular technological creativity; pulp thrillers, the telephone and action at a distance in the wiring of a nation; and body mechanics and streamlining in the US 1925-50. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This special issue of American Quarterly asks powerful and poignant questions about technology and its effects on our bodies, minds, families, economies, armies, and academies. Technology is an entry point for American studies scholars to find new and creative ways to think through social and cultural problems. The essays in this collection provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the ways scholars of culture use the study of technology to examine the flows, conflicts, tensions, and hazards of American culture.
Re-reading the narrative of U.S. technology, the contributors move beyond celebrations of exceptional tinkerers and a deterministic machine-driven sense of progress and form a more comprehensive understanding of opportunities and responsibilities that befall a nation that interweaves its identities, labors, and creative cultures with its machines. Discussing technologies of transcendence; the cultural work of technological systems; technology and knowledge systems; and technology, mobility, and the body; they consider the place of American technologies in an increasingly globalized, multi-polar, high-tech world and illuminate the relationship between technological positivism and the dynamics of imperialism and war.
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