This is a busy week for publications from Interactive Cultures.
Dubber has contributed to the timely, if optimistic, ‘After the Crunch’ edited by John Holden, John Kieffer, John Newbigin and Shelagh Wright (free to download). He is also one of the team who contributed to ‘Media Studies: Texts, Contexts and Production’, a textbook which is published this week by Pearson Longman.
Primarily written by Paul Long and Tim Wall it contains chapters by Vian Bakir (University of Glamorgan), and Andrew McStay. There are contributions too from colleagues in the Birmingham School of Media (Oliver Carter and Faye Davies) while Interactive Cultures team members Jez Collins, Jon Hickman and Nick Webber proved invaluable in preparing the final manuscript for publication. You can buy the book and read extracts from the Pearson website.
The book distils the essence of how various media are studied in the Birmingham School of Media, reflecting the ways in which we have worked with the many students who have passed through our classrooms over the years, many of whom are now ‘thinking media workers’ in the various creative industries.
The book aims to set students firmly on course to be critical, informed and canny operators within the field. It is pedagogically rich and covers a wide range of topics from the history of media right through to coverage of new media. The book interweaves theory, practice, and professional issues throughout, and aims to engage readers with principal issues, challenges and paradigms in media studies. It outlines why the field offers such a worthwhile scholarly pursuit and aids in making sense of the huge variety of media forms and meanings that are so integral and significant to our daily lives, showing how these are rarely transparent, natural or obvious, but always fascinating.
Much as we do in our work at Interactive Cultures, we advocate media study as a participatory process – learning is enhanced through ‘active’ engagement, whether applying theory, taking part in debate, or exploring subjects through research and analysis. The key features of the book are as follows:
- Five sections – media texts; media production; media audiences; media and society; media histories – examine approaches to the field including new and web media, traditional print and broadcast media, popular music, computer games, photography, and film.
- Looks in detail at similarities and differences between media texts, industries, and cultural context and examines media audiences as consumers, listeners, readerships and members of communities.
- Provides a set of analytical tools – a language, a range of theories and analytical techniques – to give aid in the navigation of the field and in media research.
- An international perspective frames media in a global context.
- In-text boxes for active learning, including ‘Doing media studies’, and ‘Thinking aloud’, help to develop skills of analysis and theorisation, whilst examining ongoing controversies and significant media practices.
- A range of essential and informative in text-boxes including Case studies, Key terms definitions, Key thinkers, Key texts, colourfully illustrate media practices and ideas, foundational and recent works, theories, and polemics.
This is what some of the preview reviewers said (from the Back Cover)
“… will soon be staking its claim to be one of the best recent introductions to media studies. … It is a textbook that I believe should be on all introduction to media recommended reading lists.”
Paul Rixon, Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, Roehampton University
“… destined to become a key text for students of media, communications and cultural studies … it provides excellent summaries of key debates and encourages students to understand as well as critique contemporary media.”
Tony Purvis, Programme Director: Media and Cultural Studies, Newcastle University.
“… an admirable testimony to the rise of the subject of Media Studies… the authors have achieved a rare product: a media studies textbook that students should want to read from beginning to end.”
Helen Wood, Principal Lecturer, Media Studies, De Montfort University
“This book offers a long awaited answer to our scholarly needs… I can recommend the book unreservedly as an introductory textbook for media departments in different countries.”
Hannu Nieminen, Professor of Media Policy, University of Helsinki
“More than a textbook, this is one of the most accessible and comprehensive guides through the study of media to date. Academics, students and media professionals should all consider adding it as a reference.”
Virginia Madsen, Lecturer in Media, Macquarie University, Australia
An essential companion book is by David Barlow and Brett Mills: ‘Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts’, also available from Pearson.