Wednesday, August 09, 2006

critical cyberculture studies - the book arrives!

yesterday, an advance copy of critical cyberculture studies arrived! the book, co-edited by myself and adrienne massanari, includes 25 chapters plus a forward by steve jones. a complete listing of the table of contents can be found here.

similar to planned obsolescence, i felt gooooood bringing this project to a close and i felt gooooood holding the book in my hands. i love the web but i love books more - and having one that i worked on for a few years in my own hands felt extremely satisfying. plus, i learned something new: you can judge a book by its cover and the cover for critical cyberculture studies rocks!

thumbing through my introduction, i liked these three paragraphs:
It can be argued that a commonly shared set of theories and methodologies is a sign of an academic field's development and sophistication. It can also be argued that such commonly held approaches signal ossification, stagnation, and lack of imagination. I favor the side of a temporary canonless field of study (Silver 2004). If and when the canon appears, replete with acceptable theories, methods, and methodologies, I surely hopoe its foundations are pliable enough for whatever meets us in the future.

We have a young field of study, one that, depending on with whom one speaks, stretches back only five, ten, or fifteen years. In other words, what we have is a field of study under construction - with boundaries not yet set, with borders not yet fully erected, and with a canon not yet established. As such, we have a field of study ripe for growth and twigging, becoming and re-becoming, imagined and reimagined. Now, before the mold is set, is the time for experimentation.

Critical cyberculture studies is, in its most basic form, a critical approach to new media and the contexts that shape and inform them. Its focus is not merely the Internet and the Web but, rather, all forms of networked media and culture that surround us today, not to mention those that will surround us tomorrow. Like cultural studies, critical cyberculture studies strives to locate its object of study around various overlapping contexts, including capitalism, consumerism and commodification, cultural difference, and the militarization of everyday life. Although the origins of critical cyberculture studies rests firmly in academia, it is most fully realized when it moves beyond campus and is built, challenged, and rebuilt with as many publics as possible. Above all, critical cyberculture studies scholars have high goals: we seek to use our collective understanding of new mew media and their environments to alleviate suffering and oppression and to accelerate freedom and justice. We take our field - and our world - quite seriously. (pp. 5-6)
according to nyu press' web site for the book, critical cyberculture studies ships on september 1, 2006.

4 comments:

George said...

Excellent! Congratulations!

KF said...

Congratulations, David -- I'll be looking forward to reading it!

....J.Michael Robertson said...

*Exponential proliferation rules, ossification drools.*

There's your blurb for the back cover of the trade paperback. And by the way: here at USF we love it when someone arrives bearing gifts, i.e., a lovely book done on someone else's nickel....

ulla said...

Biggie, now that you have a new book, maybe you can cut your hair without fearing the loss of any creativity?