Monday, January 19, 2009

Now Reading: The Creation of the Media, Paul Starr

I am now reading Creation of the Media by Paul Starr. The first several chapters deal with the political origins of media institutions, and how they are impacted by technology, economics and culture. The focus of this work so far is the American Revolution, writing of the Constitution, U.S Post office Department, common schools, copyrights, and the free press. My professor Richard R. John comes highly recommended, and I have also read several of his writings, namely Spreading the News (book), and Information Infrastructure for the Industrial Age (chapter). The class is called Media and Modernity from Morse to McLuhan, and is co-offered by the History and Communications departments. Speaking of McLuhan I had mentioned in class the excellent McLuhan's Wake, partially narrated by Laurie Anderson, which came out just a few years ago. It is an excellent documentary about his life and work.