Wild Blue Media

9781478006121: Hardback
Release Date: 28th February 2020

9781478006978: Paperback
Release Date: 28th February 2020

29 illustrations, incl. 8 in color

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 240

Series Elements

Duke University Press Books

Wild Blue Media

Thinking through Seawater

Melody Jue destabilizes terrestrial-based media theory frameworks and reorients the perception of the world by considering the ocean itself as a media environment—a place where the weight and opacity of seawater transforms how information is created, stored, transmitted, and perceived.
Hardback / £88.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.
Paperback / £22.99
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

In Wild Blue Media Melody Jue destabilizes terrestrial-based ways of knowing and reorients our perception of the world by considering the ocean itself as a media environment—a place where the weight and opacity of seawater transforms how information is created, stored, transmitted, and perceived. By recentering media theory on and under the sea, Jue calls attention to the differences between perceptual environments and how we think within and through them as embodied observers. In doing so, she provides media studies with alternatives to familiar theoretical frameworks, thereby challenging scholars to navigate unfamiliar oceanic conditions of orientation, materiality, and saturation. Jue not only examines media about the ocean—science fiction narratives, documentary films, ocean data visualizations, animal communication methods, and underwater art—but reexamines media through the ocean, submerging media theory underwater in order to estrange it from terrestrial habits of perception while simultaneously reframing our understanding of mediation, objectivity, and metaphor.

Preface: Into the Blue  vii
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction / Thinking through Seawater  1
1. Interface / Breathing Underwater
2. Inscription / Vampire Squid Media
3. Database / Proteus and the Digital
4. Underwater Museums / Diving as Method
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Melody Jue is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“‘Blood is seawater,’ said the French biologist René Quinton a century ago. Melody Jue shows that seawater can be the lifeblood of a new ‘milieu-specific’ analysis that discards terrestrial biases in understanding media. Navigating across topics such as iron lungs, squid skin, and Google maps of the ocean floor, this book invites us to let our thinking go productively wild by transcending our lazily land-based concepts via a deep dive into the wet blue yonder.”

John Durham Peters, Yale University

“Melody Jue's bracing and brilliant Wild Blue Media invites readers to reorient their terrestrially tuned assumptions about media by dunking such notions as inscription, storage, and transmission underwater, into the multiplicitous materialities of the oceanic. Jue teaches us the vital lesson that by rethinking the medium of the ocean through media theory—and vice versa—we may better apprehend the sea changes of our fraught, climate-changing time.”

Stefan Helmreich, author of
Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond