The term "new media" is a current buzzword among scholars and in the media industry, referring to the ever-multiplying digitized modes of film/image and sound production and distribution. Yet how new, in fact, are these new media, and how does their rise affect the role of older media? What new theories allow us to examine our culture of ubiquitous electronic screens and networked pleasures? Is a completely new set of perspectives, concepts, and paradigms required, or are older modes of discussion about the relationship between technology and art still adequate? This book reconsiders the seminal work of German media theorists such as Adorno, Benjamin, and Kracauer in order to explore today's rapidly changing mediascape, questioning the naive progressivism that informs much of today's discourse about media technologies. The contributions, by internationally-recognized critics from a variety of academic fields, encourage a view of the history of media as structured by difference, complexity, and multiplicity. Together, they offer intriguing ways of understanding the changed position of media in today's Germany and beyond.
Contributors: Nora M. Alter, Michel Chaouli, Diedrich Diederichsen, Sabine Eckmann, Margit Grieb, Boris Groys, Juliet Koss, Richard Langston, Lev Manovich, Todd Presner, Juliane Rebentisch, Carsten Strathausen.
Lutz Koepnick is Professor of German, Film and Media Studies, and Erin McGlothlin is Associate Professor of German and Jewish Studies, both at Washington University in St. Louis.