The Age of Television

Experiences and Theories

Milly Buonanno

Milly Buonanno

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Translated by Jennifer Radice
144 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2008
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841501819 Published February 2008
As television threatens to intrude upon our daily lives more than ever before, through cellular phones with broadcasting capabilities and thousands of new and previously unimaginable channels on digital TV, The Age of Television takes a careful look at the impact of this media form on modern life.
Milly Buonanno analyzes the way in which televised entertainment has radically altered human perception of place and time, multiplied opportunities for indirect social experience, and fueled the collective imagination. Drawing on classic media theories but offering a fresh look at television’s dominance of Western culture, this book provides an optimistic perspective on the possibilities of the small screen.
 
“One of the most stimulating endorsements of Coronation Street and The Sopranos that anyone has ever written. And good for Buonanno . . . for eschewing some of the grimmer accounts of the effects of ‘junk’ TV which many other commentators offer. Gleefully and consistently she rebuffs those who see the export of US TV shows as ‘cultural imperialism,’ by which Hollywood pumps out soul-destroying pap to numb the minds of idiot consumers.”—Financial Times
 
“Some say that the age of television is over. If that is so, then the medium has found its ideal historian and critic in Milly Buonanno. I have read her work with pleasure over many years. It culminates with this book—a stunning tour de force. And if TV indeed has a future—as I firmly believe—then this tough-minded but subtly-expressed  volume will be our best guide to what lies ahead, in addition to what went before.”—Toby Miller, Editor of Television & New Media
 
“In this elegantly written and highly original re-examination of television, its narrative forms and its key analytic texts, Milly Buonanno provides an exciting and philosophically sophisticated study of television in all its rich complexity. An astonishing and ground-breaking work.”—Manuel Alvarado, University of Luton
 
 “In this wide-ranging and always insightful book, Milly Buonanno takes us on a journey from the beginnings of television in 1936 to the present day, and indeed beyond to the digital future which awaits us all.  En route she interrogates a number of theories which have traditionally dominated television analysis and offers an exhilarating counter-analysis to theories of cultural imperialism.  A refreshingly open and searching approach to a medium in constant evolution.”—Hugh O'Donnell, Caledonian University
 
 
 
 
 
 
Financial Times

“One of the most stimulating endorsements of Coronation Street and The Sopranos that anyone has ever written. And good for Buonanno . . . for eschewing some of the grimmer accounts of the effects of ‘junk’ TV which many other commentators offer. Gleefully and consistently she rebuffs those who see the export of US TV shows as ‘cultural imperialism,’ by which Hollywood pumps out soul-destroying pap to numb the minds of idiot consumers.”

Toby Miller, Editor of Television & New Media

“Some say that the age of television is over. If that is so, then the medium has found its ideal historian and critic in Milly Buonanno. I have read her work with pleasure over many years. It culminates with  
this book—a stunning tour de force. And if TV indeed has a future—as I firmly believe—then this tough-minded but subtly-expressed  volume will be our best guide to what lies ahead, in addition to what  
went before.”

Manuel Alvarado, University of Luton

“In this elegantly written and highly original re-examination of television, its narrative forms and its key analytic texts, Milly Buonanno provides an exciting and philosophically sophisticated study of television in all its rich complexity. An astonishing and ground-breaking work.”

Hugh O'Donnell, Caledonian University

“In this wide-ranging and always insightful book, Milly Buonanno takes us on a journey from the beginnings of television in 1936 to the present day, and indeed beyond to the digital future which awaits us all.  En route she interrogates a number of theories which have traditionally dominated television analysis and offers an exhilarating counter-analysis to theories of cultural imperialism.  A refreshingly open and searching approach to a medium in constant evolution.”

Janet McCabe | Critical Studies in Television

“Few books have excited my curiosity for thinking differently about television than The Age of Television. . . . It takes us on a daring philosophical journey, from television’s humble beginnings in 1936 to the present day and beyond into the digital age.”

Contents

Preface

Horace Newcomb

Chapter 1        The Age of Television

                        Seeing far, going far

1.      Transitions

2.      A domesticated medium

3.      A dual sense of place

4.      Broadcasting and narrowcasting

Chapter 2        Theories of the Medium

                        Flow, glance, gaze

1.      Multiple conceptions of television

2.      History and critique of the flow

3.      The glance and the gaze

Chapter 3        Televised Ceremonies

                        The double coronation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

1.      The theory of media events

2.      The global celebrity of a ‘living saint’

3.      Two coronations

4.      The Catholic imagination

5.      The televisual biography

6.      A new television event

Chapter 4        The Digital Revolution

                        Other ways of watching television

1.      A medium in the making

2.      Instances of historical amnesia and technological utopia

3.      A televisual landscape without homogeneity

4.      From forum to library

Chapter 5        Storytelling

                        The multiple realities of television fiction

1.      The television ‘super-narrator’

2.      The possible worlds of narrative imagination

3.      Different life-worlds

4.      Widened horizons of mediated experiences

Chapter 6        The Paradigm of Indigenization

                        Beyond media imperialism

1.      Paradigms revealed

2.      Going native

3.      Supply: the media are American

4.      Consumption: the tree hides the forest

5.      Influences: the audience adopts and adapts

Chapter 7        Travelling Narratives

                        International flows of television: from threat to resource

1.      Imagination and otherness

2.      Travelling narratives

3.      The neutralized threat

4.      The case of Europe

Chapter 8        Stopping Time

                        Life strategies in the formulae of television series and serials

1.      The elemental structures of seriality

2.      Going back to the origins of the formulae

3.      The theatre of immortality

4.      The ‘frame story’ of the Arabian Nights

5.      The story is there, just like life

Bibliography

Names Index

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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