This publicity photograph from RCA emphasizes the wealth and prestige of the first television viewers posed in front of the TRK-12 RCA receiver.Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library. BY DANIELLE SHAPIRO Today, we take television for granted. It is everywhere, in different sizes and shapes, in our pockets and our living room walls. It is … More The 1939–40 New York World’s Fair publicly launched the first idea of the television and what it can do.
LAURA MAULDINAssistant professor of human development/family studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut A common argument for using sign language with hearing babies is that it would have benefits that are practical (less fussing), emotional (creates a closer parent bond), and cognitive (boosts brain development). “Fewer tantrums and more fun!” … More Disagreement abounds about the best way to serve deaf children.
Frank Paul, “Flying Man,” on the cover of Amazing Stories 3, no. 5 (August 1928). BY ADNAN MORSHEDAssociate professor of architecture and architectural history at the Catholic University of America A hundred years have passed since the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service. In Florida, on January 1, 1914, a Benoist XIV airboat flew from … More How early aviation inspired American utopianism
When the Edison phonograph was first made in the 1890s, people used it torecord their own voices. It later became one of the first commercially producedmachines when it was used to play music. It worked by vibrating the stylus up and downwhile moving across the wax cylinder (Hill & Dale method).Image credit: Museum of Technology. … More Where do cultures go when they die? The story of Codfish, the Indian, and the phonograph.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, sometime between 1932 and 1934. BY KATHLEEN BATTLESAssistant professor of communication and journalism at Oakland University This weekend, Lifetime Television, A&E, and the History Channel will simultaneously air a two-part television “event” – a miniseries documenting the lives of infamous Depression-era American bandits, Bonnie and Clyde. Publicity for the series … More Bonnie and Clyde: What does our collective fascination with crime say about us?
In the 1930s, the dragnet came to refer to the use of radio as the key technology to combat criminal mobility.This image from 1935 is of a radio program being recorded at KTAR (AM), Phoenix, Arizona. Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. BY KATHLEEN BATTLESAssociate professor of communication and journalism at Oakland University … More The history of government surveillance in the U.S.: From the dragnet to Prism
BY ULISES A. MEJIASAssistant professor of communication studies at the State University of New York, College at Oswego If leaked information about the surveillance program Prism is correct, the U.S. government is treating every citizen of the world as a potential terrorist. If the sign of a true democracy is that even the rights of … More Prism leak reminds us to be critical of the seemingly essential—but risky—tools we use every day.
BY JOANNA ZYLINSKAProfessor of new media and communications at Goldsmiths, University of London How do things emerge in the world? What is the relationship between an organism and its environment? In recent years both the humanities and the sciences have embraced a more process-based, relational way of thinking about these questions, with matter seen as … More Joanna Zylinska: Evolution is not all that.
BY DORION SAGANAward-winning science writer, editor, and theorist “Every scientific idea passes through three stages,” wrote William Whewell in his 1840 Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences: First, it is ridiculed.Second, it is violently opposed or claimed to be of only minor importance.Third, it is accepted as self-evident. Other versions and variations have appeared since, with … More On star stuff, ‘Science’s Unruly Earth Mother,’ and the scientific art of empirical rebellion
One widely circulated infographic impression of how a book is born. By designer Mariah Bear. BY JASON WEIDEMANNSenior acquisitions editor at University of Minnesota Press Last week some good news hit my inbox. A book published by the University of Minnesota Press, begun as the author’s dissertation, had been discussed in the New Yorker. Matthew … More What do university presses do?