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World Projects: Global Information before World War I (Electronic Mediations)

Krajewski, Markus

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ISBN 10: 0816683514 / ISBN 13: 9780816683512
Published by Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2014
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: World Projects: Global Information before ...

Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Markus Krajewski is emerging as a leading scholar in the field of media archaeology, which seeks to trace cultural history through the media networks that enable and structure it. In World Projects he opens a new portal into the history of globalization by examining several large-scale projects that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, shared a grand yet unachievable goal: bringing order to the world.

Drawing from a broad array of archival materials, Krajewski reveals how expanding commercial relations, growing international scientific agreements, and an imperial monopolization of the political realm spawned ambitious global projects. World Projects contends that the late nineteenth-century networks of cables, routes, and shipping lines—of junctions, crossovers, and transfers—merged into a “multimedia system” that was a prerequisite for conceiving a world project. As examples, he presents the work of three big-thinking “plansmiths,” each of whose work mediates between two discursive fields: the chemist and natural philosopher Wilhelm Ostwald, who spent years promoting a “world auxiliary language” and a world currency; the self-taught “engineer” and self-anointed authority on science and technology Franz Maria Feldhaus, who labored to produce an all-encompassing “world history of technology”; and Walther Rathenau, who put economics to the service of politics and quickly transformed the German economy.

With a keen eye for the outlandish as well as the outsized, Krajewski shows how media, technological structures, and naked human ambition paved the way for global-scale ventures that together created the first “world wide web.”

About the Author:

Markus Krajewski is professor of media history and theory at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is the author of Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogs, 1548 –1929.

Charles Marcrum II is a translator of nonfiction and literary works. He earned an AM degree in Germanic languages and literatures from Harvard University.

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