Lisa GitelmanNew York University

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Sign, Storage, Transmission)


Lisa Gitelman: Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents

What is the document as a format and a medium? Even apart from any divide between analog and digital, the document is itself a form that has its own history, one that has long been tied up in ideas about reproduction. In , Lisa Gitelman explores the history of different kinds of documents (from printed bills, notes, receipts and tickets to today’s ) and the technologies used to produce and reproduce them: letterpress, mimeograph, xerography, optical scans.

The question is whether this greater transparency that occurs through social media actually has a positive impact for younger generations. 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook each morning (Albert Costill 2014)when they wake up demonstrating the ramifications of the cyber obsessed generations and their dependency on connectivity. This greatly interconnected world allows far less social seclusion, making ones life blatantly public (Stephanie McDonald 2014). It’s essential that there is change and reform within government legislation to ensure ones privacy rights are maintained in this ever evolving digital age (Lisa Gitelman 2013). Society can only hope that the smart phone generation can take time away from the average 4 years of ones life they spend staring at the phone screen, to tackle the privacy and social media obstacles that are to come.

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    New Media, 1740--1915 /…

    by Lisa Gitelman
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    Contact with the original document enriches the experience of reading -- thickening it with added layers of historicity. That said, it's also convenient to have a digital version of it on hand, to annotate or to share. But by the time I finished reading Lisa Gitelman's new book Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (), even the humble PDFs downloaded on a JSTOR binge began to seem interesting in their own right as a variety of social and cultural artifact.

    ... In her new book, Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents, NYU's Lisa Gitelman (a professor of English and of media, culture, and ...
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