My favorite part of museums these days are the visible storage units. My favorite part of natural history museums are old-fashioned drawers filled with air-tight cases. I want to know more about the history and practice of storing/preserving art objects, paintings, sculpture, textiles, etc. What books/websites should I be reading to find out more? The more weirdly medium specific and detailed the better. Strange anecdotes very much welcome.
What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
Please recommend some books about the history of Southern California. I'm specifically interested in the evolution of car culture and the L.A. area as a cultural incubator. [more inside]
If an alien located on a planet 100 light years from here was to switch on a big, multi-frequency radio receiver, and record all the noises coming from outer space for the next hundred years, on all frequencies, how many soap operas, advertisements and new broadcasts would they pick up from Earth? Would a mass-market radio, similar to our Earthly equivalents, pick up anything? Over time, as the number of Earth transmissions increases exponentially, would the alien pick up a cacophony or a damp fizzle? [more inside]
Please recommend articles/books/etc. which talk about broadcast media and American suburbia in the 1970s and 1980s. [more inside]
Can you point me to any good writing (research-based, speculative, or heck, even fictional) about the potential historical permanence or impermanence of digital media? I'm interested in both professional (theatrical movies, book publishing, maps...) and personal (digital snapshots, Livejournal, email...) forms of digital information storage. [more inside]
I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
Where can I find lots of historical media? I'm looking for any kind of photos or film, newsreels, anything. [more inside]
Good books on Shaker history? [more inside]
How is the meaning of art and artefacts being altered by the methods we use to: Experience, Define and Preserve them... In other words, in what ways have technologies been used to experience, re-define and/or preserve art and artifacts? [more inside]
I always hear that blogging and YouTube are (and/or will be) revolutionary in American politics. Is this true? How so? Can you recommend recent books, academic articles, extended blog posts and other media that demonstrate (or argue against) the effects of blogging, citizen journalism, social networking web sites and YouTube on American politics? Differing viewpoints would be appreciated!
Help me find illuminating, educating, eye-opening articles on immigration for a class I'm teaching at the Kennedy School of Government. [more inside]
What are important dates and events in the development of international mass media? I have this list so far, but any MeFites that have an interest in this area, please contribute! I have a specific interest in the development of media in the developing world.
A colleague of mine wants to show a film (or clips from various films) to her class of media undergrads to help them better understand the pre-wired world -- before the Internet, ubiquitous PCs, mobile phones, 300 cable channels, etc. -- and specifically the 1960s milieu of IBM mainframes, punch cards, and centralized computing. Are there any films or even scenes from films that come to mind?