· You have choices. You should answer three of the four available short answer questions and one of the two essay questions. Please label each response (e.g., Short Answer 3) to indicate what question you are responding to. Please also sort your short answer responses in numerical order (so 1,2,4 if those are the three questions you answer – even if you prepared them in 4,1,2 order).
PART ONE: Answer three of the following four short answer questions. Be sure to label your answers with the question number and arrange them in question order number. A target range for responses to these questions is approximately 250 words.
Short Answer 1
History depends on the choice to narrate certain facts and omit others. All histories are incomplete, which makes the act of writing history both powerful and creative. Why does the distinction between “what happened” and “what is said to have happened” matter?
Short Answer 2
What is the “Great Man Myth” and how does that lens shape what histories get told? What histories get omitted when we focus on the Great Man Myth? Incorporate examples from at least one media technology to help support your answer.
Short Answer 3
In “The Case of the Telegraph,” James Carey argued, “The simplest and most important point about the telegraph is that it marked the decisive separation of ‘transportation’ and ‘communication.’” Describe two ideologies that were ushered in by the telegraph and how they changed society. Your answer should consider both the dominant history and also an alternative or counter history for each development.
Short Answer 4
While mainstream history celebrates photography as the first visual medium for objectivity and evidence, counter histories claim that it actually muddied the distinction between objective and subjective knowledge. Explain how photography blurred the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity and how that transmitted and influenced cultural and social ideologies. Provide specific examples to support your argument.
PART TWO: Answer one of the following two essay questions. Be sure to label your answers with the question number and arrange them in question order number.
Your answers should engage these questions at the conceptual level and use specific examples from the media histories we have covered this semester to support your arguments. A target range for this essay response is probably in the 1,200-2,000 word range.
In the first part of the Media Histories course, we have repeatedly turned to Benedict Anderson’s argument about imagined communities:
I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community – and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.
It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communication…
Communities are to be distinguished not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined…. [the nation] is imagined as a community, because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.
How did the media technologies we have considered thus far contribute to the development of nationalism? To borrow Ernest Renan’s phrase, what are the implications of “getting history wrong” as a part of being national?
In When Old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin argues, “The introduction of new media is a special historical occasion when patterns anchored in older media that have provided the stable currency of social exchange are reexamined, challenged and defended.”
The following image received considerable attention when it circulated through journalism outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times and news agencies such as Reuters on September 20, 2021. How does this photograph demonstrate that we see the same trends we witnessed with the introduction of the printing press, telegraphy, and photography continuing to persist today? How are media cultural practices of representation of communication? Why does this matter?