The Audible Past
Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction
By (author) Jonathan Sterne
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Audible Past by Jonathan Sterne
Book DescriptionThe Audible Past explores the cultural origins of sound reproduction. It describes a distinctive sound culture that gave birth to the sound recording and the transmission devices so ubiquitous in modern life. With an ear for the unexpected, scholar and musician Jonathan Sterne uses the technological and cultural precursors of telephony, phonography, and radio as an entry point into a history of sound in its own right. Sterne studies the constantly shifting boundary between phenomena organized as "sound" and "not sound." In The Audible Past, this history crisscrosses the liminal regions between bodies and machines, originals and copies, nature and culture, and life and death. Blending cultural studies and the history of communication technology, Sterne follows modern sound technologies back through a historical labyrinth. Along the way, he encounters capitalists and inventors, musicians and philosophers, embalmers and grave robbers, doctors and patients, deaf children and their teachers, professionals and hobbyists, folklorists and tribal singers. The Audible Past tracks the connections between the history of sound and the defining features of modernity: from developments in medicine, physics, and philosophy to the tumultuous shifts of industrial capitalism, colonialism, urbanization, modern technology, and the rise of a new middle class. A provocative history of sound, The Audible Past challenges theoretical commonplaces such as the philosophical privilege of the speaking subject, the visual bias in theories of modernity, and static descriptions of nature. It will interest those in cultural studies, media and communication studies, the new musicology, and the history of technology.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780822330134
(5983mm x 3971mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 13-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jonathan Sterne
MP3, Paperback (July 2012)
Jonathan Sterne shows that understanding the historical meaning of the MP3, the world's most common format for recorded audio, involves rethinking the place of digital technologies in the broader universe of twentieth-century communication history.
Essentials of Medical Statistics, Paperback (May 2003)» View all books by Jonathan Sterne
Blackwell Publishing is delighted to announce that this book has been Highly Commended in the 2004 BMA Medical Book Competition. Here is the judges' summary of this book: "This is a technical book on a technical subject but presented in a delightful way.
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Author Biography - Jonathan Sterne
Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Communication and the Program for Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He writes about media, technology, and the politics of culture, and is codirector of the online magazine Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life.
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