Communicating Europe: Technologies, Information, Events
by Andreas Fickers and Pascal Griset
“What hath God wrought?” – these words, sent by Samual B. Morse via an eletromagnetic telegraph line from Washington D.C. to Baltimore on the 24th of May 1844, inaugurated the age of modern communication. Since then, modernity at large is asscociated with technologies of electronic communication and information, such as the telephone, radio, television or internet.
Communicating Europe analyzes the role and function of these technologies in shaping European communication spaces, 1850-2000. Paying special attention to the geopolitical importance of communication and information technologies in a transnational perspective, the book details the crucial relationship between technology and culture in the age of electronic mass media. In problematizing the spatial dimension of mediated cultural flows in their material forms (technology, infrastructures), their institutional manifestations (transnational organisations, politics and industries) and their symbolic meanings (compression of time & space; distant participation), we significantly enrich classical perspectives on information and communication technologies as both historical witnesses and actors of change. Combining structural and long term historical analyses with thick descriptions of important events, the book aims to offer a well-informed and entertaining narrative for a broad readership interested in the technology and culture of modern communication.