Cultures of Obsolescence

History, Materiality, and the Digital Age

Editors: Tischleder, B., Wasserman, S. (Eds.)

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About this book

Obsolescence is fundamental to the experience of modernity, not simply one dimension of an economic system. The contributors to this book investigate obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode.

About the authors

Daniel M. Abramson, Tufts University, USA Hanjo Berressem, University of Cologne, Germany Bill Brown, University of Chicago, USA Kathleen Fitzpatrick, New York University, USA John Durham Peters, University of Iowa, USA Jani Scandura, University of Minnesota, USA MaryAnn Snyder-Körber, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany Alexander Starre, Free University of Berlin, Germany Susan Strasser, University of Delaware, Germany William Uricchio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Reviews

"Is planned obsolescence a conceptual paradox? How do we reconcile our era's impatience for the outmoded with our equally strong attachment to fantasies of endurance, be they about things or people? What is the place of the human in an age of obsolescence? This volume addresses these pressing questions and more. Each essay in this collection is a gem, and collectively they do the important work of expanding the conversation about the question of obsolescence beyond the realm of the technological to those of art, culture, environment, and politics" - Anne Anlin Cheng, Professor, English and the Center for African American Studies, Princeton University, USA

"This fascinating collection rethinks the meaning of obsolescence, from its historical relation to consumer capitalism and environmental blight to the ambivalent sentiments toward progress, tradition, fashion, and decay that inform its meanings in contemporary art, media, and material culture. A must-read for anyone interested in the intertwined itineraries of humans and things." - Lynn Spigel, Professor, Screen Cultures, Northwestern University, USA and author of Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America


Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Tischleder, Babette B. (et al.)

    Pages 1-17

  • Prelude

    Brown, Bill

    Pages 19-38

  • Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Obsolescence, Trash, and American Consumer Culture

    Strasser, Susan

    Pages 41-60

  • Architectures of Obsolescence: Lessons for History

    Abramson, Daniel M.

    Pages 61-75

  • Proliferation and Obsolescence of the Historical Record in the Digital Era

    Peters, John Durham

    Pages 79-96

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-46364-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47089-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Cultures of Obsolescence
Book Subtitle
History, Materiality, and the Digital Age
Editors
  • B. Tischleder
  • S. Wasserman
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-46364-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137463647
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-47089-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 238
Number of Illustrations and Tables
11 b/w illustrations
Topics