Illustrating Media History: Problems and Solutions

Curator's Note

I made this video to talk about illustrating historical media studies, and the challenges of both color reproduction, which is expensive, and copyright law, which is applied unevenly in different kinds publication. Images like magazine covers are not just illustrations of media history to add visual interest. They are sources, and to function as sources historians need to be able to quote from them. But to quote is to reproduce, and traditional publishing throws up roadblocks. One solution -- not the only one, but still a solution -- is to build robust online communities to share images of interest to media historians. (Not sure if I need to include a warning, but might as well: the video contains a Playboy cartoon image of nude women in a sexual situation.)

Links to sources mentioned in the video:

Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium

Columbia University Press’s blog post linking to my Pinterest board for the book

My Pinterest board Video Revolutions

My tumblr

@Bcast_Md, the special collections in mass media and culture, at the University of Maryland tumblr

Cynthia Meyers’ A Word from our Sponsor tumblr

Fair Use resources:

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Fair Use Policies

International Communication Association Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use



Fascinating images! My fantasy is that someday we will publish media scholarship online with full multimedia (audio, video, images)--think how much more interesting media history scholarship would be! But for now, directing readers to our other outlets is a decent if imperfect solution. I also have a blog that includes slides and audio to illustrate my book ( New norms of image use are on the way--the old ones will die off, and maybe we'll live long enough to see it happen! P. S. I am old enough to remember watching the Wizard of Oz on a black & white TV. Was I surprised when I saw it in color! ;-)

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