Television studies’ shifting disciplinary status: Anglo-American developments
The history of the moving image is embedded in a changing fabric of cultural anticipation and reception. Already in the last quarter of the 19th century, competing conceptions of and technological strategies for the moving image struggled for dominance. Behind this process lurked a series of assumptions regarding vision and its extension and/or reproduction that would be given voice in the course of early identity debates over the film medium, or again during the early years of television’s deployment as it sought to distinguish itself from radio and film, or even again in our present as we face the introduction of new representational technologies. In our century, of course, film and television have emerged as the two dominant moving image technologies, and consequently much of the debate has tended to center on their processes of mutual identity construction. Given the film medium’s apparent primacy, at least as institutional and cultural practice, one can read television’s own cultural history as being self-consciously constructed around (and away from) certain perceptions of the cinematic.
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