Available book reviews for the upcoming issue (Fall 2023)

We are pleased to announce the following recently published book reviews for the upcoming issue, Volume 58 Number 3

Streaming Culture: Subscription Platforms and the Unending Consumption of Culture by David Arditi

Reviewed by Franklin Bridges

"Streaming Culture is a quick and concise read that reviews the history of four key cultural industries and outlines how they have all used the Internet to create not just a new distribution channel for media through streaming, but how the companies involved have capitalized on the shift to streaming." 


Information: A Historical Companion edited by Ann Blair, Paul Duguid, Anja-Silvia Goeing, and Anthony Grafton

Reviewed by Andrew Dillon

"It is a book that will reward readers over the long haul. The editors deserve credit and, if anything, are paying the price of attempting to cover so much terrain. I know of no other book quite like this and it resonates with my own view of information as meaningful lens on human progress over time." 



Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS  by Marika Cifor 

Reviewed by Camille Coy

"Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS by Marika Cifor is an intensive work of archival studies scholarship that examines and “activates” AIDS archives and the work of artists and activists through original analytics and methodologies, towards a more inclusive and generative present and future amidst HIV/AIDS. Viral Cultures is more than an approach to studying AIDS archives; it also serves as a detailed ethnographic account of the history of three major AIDS archives, the activists and artists who built those archives and passionately debated their futures, and the intimate nature of the archival process itself when it unfolds so close to life, and to death."


Wild Intelligence: Poets’ Libraries and the Politics of Knowledge in Postwar America by M. C. Kinniburgh 

Reviewed by Sam Lohmann

"The whole book demonstrates the possibility of a scholarly practice in which bibliography and poetics are parallel and inseparable, in the same way that, for the four poets studied, practices of research and reading were inseparable from practices of writing—or, for that matter, from lifelong involvement with esoteric magic, queer love, revolutionary politics, and non-institutional teaching." 


Climatic Media: Transpacific Experiments in Atmospheric Control by Yuriko Furuhata 

Reviewed by Weixian Pan

"Ultimately, Climatic Media makes an important contribution to history of science and technology, environmental media, and architecture, and it attunes us to transpacific exchanges and connections that together shape our current media and climate condition."



Digital Black Feminism by Catherine Knight Steele

Reviewed by Rachel Pierce

"Catherine Knight Steele’s Digital Black Feminism has two goals. The first is one of recovery: Digital Black Feminism contributes to a growing area of scholarship that attempts to uncover and, in doing so, center, the role of women and minorities in the development of digital tools and practices. The second goal is the centering of non-academic online critical voices as central to Black feminist thinking. Out of these two goals emerges the argument of the book – that “the use of online technology by Black feminist thinkers has changed the outcome and possibilities of Black feminist thought in the digital age, and Black feminist thought has simultaneously changed the technologies themselves” (4-5)."


A House for the Struggle: The Black Press & the Built Environment in Chicago by E. James West

Reviewed by Janelle Duke

"In A House for the Struggle, E. James West details the birth and progress of Black press in the city of Chicago. He builds an immersive world through the use of archival records, personal accounts, and oral histories of the major personalities and institutions which became the nexus of Black journalism. This world is pitted against the backdrop of the American historical
context of racial exclusion and the one-sided portrayal of diverse voices in a multicultural society. The result is a clean depiction of the birth and continuing development of Black journalistic culture despite the economic hardships and issues of white press ambivalence and Black literary legitimacy that colored the period of the work from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s."


The Evolution of the Chinese Internet: Creative Visibility in the Digital Public by Guo Shaohua

Reviewed by Shu Wan

"In the past two decades, Chinese society has witnessed the proliferation of internet services and integration of an increasing number of people into the cyber world. Internet access has transformed from the privilege of academics and social elites to ordinary people’s basic right. It is reported that “the population of China’s internet users has reached 1 billion, accounting for one in five of the world’s users, while less than 30 percent of them earn 5,000 yuan ($774) and above monthly.”i The popularization of Internet access and multiplication of the netizen population has contributed to a burgeoning digital culture in China. Shaohua Guo’s newest monograph, The Evolution of the Chinese Internet, provides a panoramic narrative of the transformation of internet services and its correlation with the advancement of Chinese digital culture since the mid-1990s."