The Mediated Mind : Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century
How did we arrive at our contemporary consumer media economy? Why are we now fixated on screens, imbibing information that constantly expires, and longing for more direct or authentic kinds of experience? The Mediated Mind answers these questions by revisiting a previous media revolution, the nineteenth-century explosion of mass print. Like our own smartphone screens, printed paper and imprinted objects touched the most intimate regions of nineteenth-century life. The rise of this printed ephemera, and its new information economy, generated modern consumer experiences such as voracious collecting and curating, fantasies of disembodied mental travel, and information addiction. Susan Zieger demonstrates how the nineteenth century established affective, psychological, social, and cultural habits of media consumption that we still experience, even as pixels supersede paper. Revealing the history of our own moment, The Mediated Mind challenges the commonplace assumption that our own new media lack a past, or that our own experiences are unprecedented.