Media Theory Reading List — Joanna Slotkin

Bazin, André. “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.” In What is Cinema? Volume 1. Ed. and Trans. Hugh Gray. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.

Eisenstein, Sergei. Film Form: Essays in Film Theory. Ed. and Trans. Jay Leyda. NewYork: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1949.

Fried, Michael. “Art and Objecthood.” In Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. New York: Avon, 1980.

Greenberg, Clement. “Avant-Garde and Kitsch.” In Art and Culture. Boston: Beacon
Press, 1971.

Gunning, Thomas. “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant Garde.” In Early Cinema: Space—Frame—Narrative. Ed. Thomas Elsaesser and Adam Barker. London: British Film Institute, 1990.

Kittler, Friedrich A. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. Trans. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Krauss, Rosalind E. The Optical Unconscious. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1993.

_____. “Grids.” In The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1985.

_____. “The Originality of the Avant-Garde.” In The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1985.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. New York: Washington Square Press, 1993.

Vertov, Dziga. “Kino-Eye.” In Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. Ed. Annette Michelson. Trans. Kevin O’Brien. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1995.

Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958.

Zizek, Slavoj. The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime: On David Lynch’s Lost Highway. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000.

Most of the authors on my reading list discuss the aesthetic implications and social ramifications of modern media, particularly that of cinema. While the works greatly vary, I tend toward those that attempt to locate and reveal the unconscious origins of avant-gardism; these authors suggest anything from early cinematic constructions to communist or capitalistic economies to the very functions of the human mind. Ideally, I desire to understand the need for avant-gardism, and how this need could exist and develop in capitalist America.

Joanna Slotkin
Cinema and Media Studies
Department of English
University of Chicago