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About this book
About this book
Mediating Nature provides a history of the present nature of mass mediation. It examines the ways in which a number of discourses, technologies, and institutions have historically shaped the current ways of imagining nature in the mass media. Where much of the existing research treats mass mediation as a matter of media technologies, texts, or institutions, the current book adopts a somewhat different approach: it considers mass mediation as a historical process by means of which the members of audiences and indeed publics more generally came to be incorporated as observers in, and of mass culture. This approach allows the book to investigate the roles that a wide range of genres relating to nature played in constructing senses of nature but also of mass culture itself. The genres include landscape paintings and gardens, modern zoos, photography, early cinema, nature essays, disaster and `animal attack' films, as well as wildlife documentaries on television. The investigation develops what Lindahl Elliot describes as a `social semeiotic' approach that combines the semeiotic theory of Charles Peirce with a historical sociology of cultural formations.
Topical and timely, this fascinating book will be of great interest to students and researchers in the fields of media, sociology, cultural geography and environmental studies.
Acknowledgements Introduction Nature Mass Mediation Modern Environmentalism A History of the Present A 'Propedeutic' Approach Part I Chapter 1: The Nature of Nature Ndoki (I) The Natures of Nature First, Second, and Third Nature Chapter 2: The Nature of Observation Ndoki (II) Preliminary Observations Imaginary Nature The Imaginary Institution of Nature The Space of Observation Heterotopias of Nature Mass Mediation and Mass Communication Part II Chapter 3: The Nature of Mathesis The Book of Nature Linear Perspective The Printed Book Mathesis in Time Mind, Body and Askesis Engendering Nature Chapter 4: The Nature of Commodification Newton's Modernity The Emergence of Mass Mediation The New Natural Histories The Edenic Isles Picturesque Enclosure Rousseau's Technology of the Self Chapter 5: The Nature of Industrialization Urbanity The Coming of Steam Wordsworth's Sublimity Humboldt's Adventures Nature as Secular Abstraction Heterotopias of Nature Chapter 6: The Nature of Sublimation The Nationalization of Parks The Nature Essayists The Great Whites The Pencil of Nature Carleton Watkins' Views Heart of Darkness Panoramic Nature Chapter 7: The Nature of Incorporation Krakatoa (In)Corporation The National Geographic Automobile The Image-Movement The New Risks Chapter 8: The Nature of Environmentalism Rachel Carson Bearing Witness The Nature of Television The Newest Zoos The Animal Attack Film Sustainable Developmentalism Epilogue: Climactic Change Global Warnings Biotechnology Reclaiming the Streets Appendix: The Nature of Peirce Peirce's Pragmatism Peirce's Phenomenology Peirce's Semeiotics Glossary of Peircian Terms Bibliography
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK