Spring 2011 Course: Special Topics in Media History

Dear Peter,

Hope your new year is off to a good start. I work in course development with Heather Herrera at Steinhardt, and we have identified a new spring course that may be of interest to graduate students in GSAS’ Archives and Public History Program. I’m including a blurb (below) as well as a flyer (attached) and ask that you distribute it to students in your program.

Special Topics in Media History:

Documents, Documentary, Data, Database

Course Number: E57.3031

Credits: 4

Eligibility: Open to doctoral and select Master’s students

Lecture, Tuesday 2:00 – 4:10 pm

Professor: Lisa Gitelman, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication

Course Desc-ription:

This is a doctoral-level seminar aimed at exploring the nexus of fact and format. More particularly, the course will consider the ways that the modern category “information” has emerged in relation to different media and different genres. What are the social, material, institutional, and semantic conditions that have worked to align communication with truth? What routes can be discerned between a history of media and a history of objectivity? Significant attention will be paid to the elaboration of key terms and concepts as well as to different disciplinary and interdisciplinary resources that shape such an inquiry. Central to readings and discussions will be the connection of new tools-digital and not-to the pursuits of “men and women of letters.” This “of letters” formulation is meant to signal concern for a broad view of intellectual and cultural history and at the same time to prompt fresh insights about scholarly production in the present moment. Reading include works o
n digital textuality by Hayles, McGann, Liu, and others, as well as works on media and the production of knowledge, by Galison and Daston, Latour and others. One element of the course will be a pedagogical experiment in the form of a set of dialogues with a concurrent course, “From Novels to Databases: Old and New Tools for Women and Men of Letters,” taught by Professor Clifford Siskin.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Stina M Peterson
Program Manager, Academic Initiatives and Global Programs

New York University | Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
82 Washington Square East, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10003-6680
P 212.998.5099 | F 212.995.4923 | stina.peterson@nyu.edu

Peter J. Wosh
Director, Archives/Public History Program
History Department
New York University
53 Washington Square South
Room 503
New York NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8601
Fax: (212) 995-4017



Peter Wosh

About Peter Wosh

Professor Wosh directs the program in Archives and Public History at NYU. Professor Wosh’s research has focused primarily on American religion, American institutional cultures, and archival management issues. His background includes work as an archivist in a variety of academic and nonprofit institutions, including: Director of Archives and Library Services, American Bible Society (1989-1994); Archivist/Records Manager, American Bible Society (1984-1989); University Archivist, Seton Hall University (1978-1984). He is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Perspectives: Archivists and Archival Records, with Menzi Behrnd-Klodt (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005); Covenant House: Journey of a Faith-Based Charity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); Spreading the Word: The Bible Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994); The Diocesan Journal of Michael Augustine Corrigan, Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, 1872-1880 (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1987); as well as articles in various archival, historical, and library journals. Professor Wosh’s current research involves editing the published writings of Waldo Gifford Leland, a pioneering archival theoretician, for the Archival Classics series published by the Society of American Archivists.

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