Synopses & Reviews
Intelligent, poignant, and engaging, Radio
offers readings of a remediated form of radioMowitts subject matter is not really radio as a medium or the history of that medium, but rather the impact the wireless dissemination of voice across radio networks had on modern conceptions of community. This presupposes a view of radio that goes beyond narrow historical facticity and also avoids the sometimes narrowly sociological readings offered by media studies in the US. A welcome addition to the field of radio studies.”
Sven Spieker, author of The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy
John Mowitt's Radio: Essays in Bad Reception is an innovative study of transnational, historical dimensions of broadcast culture. Broad and deep in encompassing a century of cultural theory, the book contributes to a new understanding of radio by treating it in an original and stimulating manner for a wider audience of scholars and students in cultural studies, media studies, communication, and the history of technology. Mowitt tunes into the polyphonous lineage of radio transmissions, and the programs received go far beyond commonplaces of a mass medium of seduction and manipulation.”
Peter Krapp, author of Noise Channels: Glitch and Error in Digital Culture
In a wide-ranging, cross-cultural, and transhistorical assessment, John Mowitt examines radios central place in the history of twentieth-century critical theory. A communication apparatus that was a founding technology of twentieth-century mass culture, radio drew the attention of theoretical and philosophical writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, and Frantz Fanon, who used it as a means to disseminate their ideas. For others, such as Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and Raymond Williams, radio served as an object of urgent reflection. Mowitt considers how the radio came to matter, especially politically, to phenomenology, existentialism, Hegelian Marxism, anticolonialism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. The first systematic examination of the relationship between philosophy and radio, this provocative work also offers a fresh perspective on the role this technology plays today.
About the Author
John Mowitt is Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. His previous books include Re-takes: Postcoloniality and Foreign Film Language and Percussion: Drumming, Beating, and Striking.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Object of Radio Studies
1. Facing the Radio
2. On the Air
3. Stations of Exception
4. Phoning In Analysis
5. Birmingham Calling
6. We Are the Word”?