The Machine in the Garden

Author: Leo Marx
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019513351X
Release Date: 1964
Genre: Literary Criticism

For more than 40 years, Marx's work focused on technology and culture in 19th- and 20th-century America. This edition celebrates the anniversary of Marx's classic text, and features a new Afterword on the process of writing the book. Illustrations.

The pilot and the passenger

Author: Leo Marx
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019504875X
Release Date: 1988
Genre: Literary Criticism

Essays discuss the vernacular tradition, the literary view of technology, socialist criticism, and works by Melville, Frost and Twain

Brooklyn Bridge

Author: Alan Trachtenberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226811158
Release Date: 1979-07-15
Genre: Photography

Investigates the continuing impact of the Brooklyn Bridge upon the American imagination, exploring both its symbolic significance as reflected in the works of Hart Crane and others and its importance as an engineering accomplishment

America as Second Creation

Author: David E. Nye
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262263948
Release Date: 2004-09-17
Genre: History

After 1776, the former American colonies began to reimagine themselves as a unified, self-created community. Technologies had an important role in the resulting national narratives, and a few technologies assumed particular prominence. Among these were the axe, the mill, the canal, the railroad, and the irrigation dam. In this book David Nye explores the stories that clustered around these technologies. In doing so, he rediscovers an American story of origins, with America conceived as a second creation built in harmony with God's first creation.While mainstream Americans constructed technological foundation stories to explain their place in the New World, however, marginalized groups told other stories of destruction and loss. Native Americans protested the loss of their forests, fishermen resisted the construction of dams, and early environmentalists feared the exhaustionof resources. A water mill could be viewed as the kernel of a new community or as a new way to exploit labor. If passengers comprehended railways as part of a larger narrative about American expansion and progress, many farmers attacked railroad land grants. To explore these contradictions, Nye devotes alternating chapters to narratives of second creation and to narratives of those who rejected it.Nye draws on popular literature, speeches, advertisements, paintings, and many other media to create a history of American foundation stories. He shows how these stories were revised periodically, as social and economic conditions changed, without ever erasing the earlier stories entirely. The image of the isolated frontier family carving a homestead out of the wilderness with an axe persists to this day, alongside later images and narratives. In the book's conclusion, Nye considers the relation between these earlier stories and such later American developments as the conservation movement, narratives of environmental recovery, and the idealization of wilderness.

The Garden in the Machine

Author: Scott MacDonald
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520227387
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Performing Arts

"This book is MacDonald's magnum opus: it represents a deep immersion in and advocacy for independent, experimental cinema."--Patricia R. Zimmerman, author of States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies "This is a brilliant study--learned, authoritative, and often eloquent. One reads this book with astonishment at the wealth of thoughtful and playful and provocative work that has occurred in this medium--and astonishment too that most scholars of environmental literature and nature in the visual arts have had minimal contact with independent film and video. MacDonald provides an immensely valuable, readable overview of this field, profoundly relevant to my own work and that of many other contemporary ecocritics."--Scott Slovic, editor of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment "The Garden in the Machine is clearly MacDonald's major work. It is very original and wide reaching especially in its analysis of the relationship of American avant-garde films to the poetry and painting of the native landscape. MacDonald's authority is evident everywhere: he probably knows more about most of the films he discusses than anyone alive."--P. Adams Sitney, author of Modernist Montage : The Obscurity of Vision in Cinema and Literature "The Garden in the Machine reflects Scott MacDonald's career-long lived engagement with avant-garde film and filmmakers. With deep respect for the artists and a rich, wide-ranging curiosity about the cultural histories that inform these films, MacDonald makes a powerful argument for why they should be screened, taught, and discussed within the wider context of American Studies. Throughout, MacDonald analyzes themes of race, history, personal and public memory, and the central role of avant-garde films in shaping our possible futures."--Angela Miller, author of Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875

The Buddha in the Machine

Author: R. John Williams
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300194470
Release Date: 2014-06-24
Genre: Art

The famous 1893 Chicago World’s Fair celebrated the dawn of corporate capitalism and a new Machine Age with an exhibit of the world’s largest engine. Yet the noise was so great, visitors ran out of the Machinery Hall to retreat to the peace and quiet of the Japanese pavilion’s Buddhist temples and lotus ponds. Thus began over a century of the West’s turn toward an Asian aesthetic as an antidote to modern technology. From the turn-of-the-century Columbian Exhibition to the latest Zen-inspired designs of Apple, Inc., R. John Williams charts the history of our embrace of Eastern ideals of beauty to counter our fear of the rise of modern technological systems. In a dazzling work of synthesis, Williams examines Asian influences on book design and department store marketing, the commercial fiction of Jack London, the poetic technique of Ezra Pound, the popularity of Charlie Chan movies, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the design of the latest high-tech gadgets. Williams demonstrates how, rather than retreating from modernity, writers, artists, and inventors turned to traditional Eastern technê as a therapeutic means of living with—but never abandoning—Western technology.

Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory

Author: Marjorie Hope Nicolson
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295975776
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Literary Criticism

To English poets and writers of the seventeenth century, as to their predecessors, mountains were ugly protuberances which disfigured nature and threatened the symmetry of earth; they were symbols God’s wrath. Yet, less than two centuries later the romantic poets sang in praise of mountain splendor, of glorious heights that stirred their souls to divine ecstasy. In this very readable and fascinating study, Marjorie Hope Nicolson considers the intellectual renaissance at the close of the seventeenth century that caused the shift from mountain gloom to mountain glory. She examines various writers from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries and traces both the causes and the process of this drastic change in perception.

Making the Modern

Author: Terry Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226763477
Release Date: 1994-01-01
Genre: Art

Smith reveals how this visual revolution played an instrumental role in the complex psychological, social, economic, and technological changes that came to be known as the second industrial revolution. From the role of visualization in the invention of the assembly line, to office and building design, to the corporate and lifestyle images that filled new magazines such as Life and Fortune, he traces the extent to which the second wave of industrialization engaged the visual arts to project a new iconology of progress.

American Technological Sublime

Author: David E. Nye
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262640341
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Philosophy

Technology has long played a central role in the formation of Americans' sense ofselfhood. From the first canal systems through the moon landing, Americans have, for better orworse, derived unity from the common feeling of awe inspired by large-scale applications oftechnological prowess. American Technological Sublime continues the exploration of the socialconstruction of technology that David Nye began in his award-winning book Electrifying America. HereNye examines the continuing appeal of the "technological sublime" (a term coined by Perry Miller) asa key to the nation's history, using as examples the natural sites, architectural forms, andtechnological achievements that ordinary people have valued intensely.American Technological Sublimeis a study of the politics of perception in industrial society. Arranged chronologically, itsuggests that the sublime itself has a history - that sublime experiences are emotionalconfigurations that emerge from new social and technological conditions, and that each newconfiguration to some extent undermines and displaces the older versions. After giving a shorthistory of the sublime as an aesthetic category, Nye describes the reemergence and democratizationof the concept in the early nineteenth century as an expression of the American sense ofspecialness.What has filled the American public with wonder, awe, even terror? David Nye selects theGrand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, the Erie Canal, the firsttranscontinental railroad, Eads Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, the major international expositions, theHudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, the Empire State Building, and Boulder Dam. He then looks at theatom bomb tests and the Apollo mission as examples of the increasing ambivalence of thetechnological sublime in the postwar world. The festivities surrounding the rededication of theStatue of Liberty in 1986 become a touchstone reflecting the transformation of the Americanexperience of the sublime over two centuries. Nye concludes with a vision of the modern-day"consumer sublime" as manifested in the fantasy world of Las Vegas.

Rereading the Machine in the Garden

Author: Eric Erbacher
Publisher: Campus Verlag
ISBN: 9783593501918
Release Date: 2014-11-06
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

The volume reexamines the trope of the intrusive machine and the regenerative pastoral garden, laid out fifty years ago by Leo Marx inThe Machine in the Garden, one of the founding texts of American Studies. Contributions explore the lasting influence of the trope in American culture and the arts, rereading it as a dialectics where nature is as much technologized as technology is naturalized. They trace this dialectic trope in filmic and literary representations of industrial, bureaucratic, and digital gardens; they explore its function in the aftermath of the civil war, the rural electrification during the New Deal, in landscape art, and in ethnic literatures; and they discuss the historical premises and lasting influence of Leo Marx's seminal study.

Retooling

Author: Rosalind Williams
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262265060
Release Date: 2003-08-11
Genre: Technology & Engineering

When Warren Kendall Lewis left Spring Garden Farm in Delaware in 1901 to enter MIT, he had no idea that he was becoming part of a profession that would bring untold good to his country but would also contribute to the death of his family's farm. In this book written a century later, Professor Lewis's granddaughter, a cultural historian who has served in the administration of MIT, uses her grandfather's and her own experience to make sense of the rapidly changing role of technology in contemporary life.Rosalind Williams served as Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education at MIT from 1995 through 2000. From this vantage point, she watched a wave of changes, some planned and some unexpected, transform many aspects of social and working life--from how students are taught to how research and accounting are done -- at this major site of technological innovation. In Retooling, she uses this local knowledge to draw more general insights into contemporary society's obsession with technology.Today technology-driven change defines human desires, anxieties, memories, imagination, and experiences of time and space in unprecedented ways. But technology, and specifically information technology, does not simply influence culture and society; it is itself inherently cultural and social. If there is to be any reconciliation between technological change and community, Williams argues, it will come from connecting technological and social innovation -- a connection demonstrated in the history that unfolds in this absorbing book.

American Studies

Author: Philip J. Deloria
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520296794
Release Date: 2017
Genre: History

-American Studies has long been a welcoming home for adventurous intellectuals. Whether blurring disciplines or fighting for social justice, students of the field have generated new ways of understanding the culture and politics of the United States in a global context. But what happens when these innovations become widely adopted? Can a shared set of -rules- become a springboard to creativity? Ideal for classroom use, American Studies: A User's Guide offers readers: a critical introduction to the history and methods of the field useful strategies for textual interpretation, archive building, contextualization, comparative analysis, and theory interwoven toolkits that provide the basic framework necessary to understanding the field---Provided by publisher.

Human Built World

Author: Thomas P. Hughes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226120669
Release Date: 2005-05-13
Genre: Technology & Engineering

To most people, technology has been reduced to computers, consumer goods, and military weapons; we speak of "technological progress" in terms of RAM and CD-ROMs and the flatness of our television screens. In Human-Built World, thankfully, Thomas Hughes restores to technology the conceptual richness and depth it deserves by chronicling the ideas about technology expressed by influential Western thinkers who not only understood its multifaceted character but who also explored its creative potential. Hughes draws on an enormous range of literature, art, and architecture to explore what technology has brought to society and culture, and to explain how we might begin to develop an "ecotechnology" that works with, not against, ecological systems. From the "Creator" model of development of the sixteenth century to the "big science" of the 1940s and 1950s to the architecture of Frank Gehry, Hughes nimbly charts the myriad ways that technology has been woven into the social and cultural fabric of different eras and the promises and problems it has offered. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, optimistically hoped that technology could be combined with nature to create an Edenic environment; Lewis Mumford, two centuries later, warned of the increasing mechanization of American life. Such divergent views, Hughes shows, have existed side by side, demonstrating the fundamental idea that "in its variety, technology is full of contradictions, laden with human folly, saved by occasional benign deeds, and rich with unintended consequences." In Human-Built World, he offers the highly engaging history of these contradictions, follies, and consequences, a history that resurrects technology, rightfully, as more than gadgetry; it is in fact no less than an embodiment of human values.

Nature Next Door

Author: Ellen Stroud
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 9780295804453
Release Date: 2012-12-15
Genre: Nature

The once denuded northeastern United States is now a region of trees. Nature Next Door argues that the growth of cities, the construction of parks, the transformation of farming, the boom in tourism, and changes in the timber industry have together brought about a return of northeastern forests. Although historians and historical actors alike have seen urban and rural areas as distinct, they are in fact intertwined, and the dichotomies of farm and forest, agriculture and industry, and nature and culture break down when the focus is on the history of Northeastern woods. Cities, trees, mills, rivers, houses, and farms are all part of a single transformed regional landscape. In an examination of the cities and forests of the northeastern United States-with particular attention to the woods of Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont-Ellen Stroud shows how urbanization processes there fostered a period of recovery for forests, with cities not merely consumers of nature but creators as well. Interactions between city and hinterland in the twentieth century Northeast created a new wildness of metropolitan nature: a reforested landscape intricately entangled with the region's cities and towns.