By (author) Cynthia Chris
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Watching Wildlife by Cynthia Chris
Book DescriptionThis book offers a vivid examination of nature television - and what it reveals about human society. It has never been easier for Americans to observe wild and exotic animals from the comfort and safety of their couches. Several cable channels - Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel - provide around-the-clock wildlife programming while the traditional networks regularly broadcast animal documentaries, late-night appearances by zoologists and their animal charges, and sensationalistic specials about animals attacking hapless humans. Though the ubiquity of animals on television is new, the genre of the wildlife documentary is as old as cinema itself. In "Watching Wildlife", Cynthia Chris traces the history of the wildlife genre from its origins in precinematic, colonial visual culture to its contemporary status as flagship programming on global television and explores evolving beliefs about, and attitudes toward, animal subjects. Nature programming and films are consistently presented as real and unmediated reflections of nature. But in Chris's analysis of specific shows ("Mutal of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and cable television's "Crocodile Hunter") and film and television history (the colonial cinema, the launch of Animal Planet), she points out how - particularly in the genre's preoccupation with mating and the favoritism bestowed on certain species - documentary images of animals are and always have been about prevailing ideologies about human gender, sexuality, and race. Ultimately, Chris's sweeping and cogent account of the wildlife documentary incorporates this frequently overlooked genre into broader debates about media globalization, human - animal relations, and popular scientific discourse.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816645466
(229mm x 150mm x 21mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 14-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Cynthia Chris
Cable Visions, Paperback (September 2007)
Looks beyond broadcasting's mainstream, toward cable's alternatives, to critically consider the capacity of commercial media to serve the public interest. This work offers an overview of the industry's history and regulatory trends, case studies of cable newcomers aimed at niche markets, and analyses of programming forms introduced by cable TV.
Watching Wildlife, Paperback (March 2006)» View all books by Cynthia Chris
Offers an examination of nature television - and what it reveals about human society. This book traces the history of the wildlife genre from its origins in precinematic, colonial visual culture to its contemporary status as flagship programming on global television and explores evolving beliefs about, and attitudes toward, animal subjects.
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Author Biography - Cynthia Chris
Cynthia Chris is assistant professor of media culture at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island.
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