What People Are Saying
Ravi Srinivas Krishna
South Centre, Geneva
"This Reader is a volume that has set new standards for similar Readers to emulate. It is a remarkable achievement and will be useful to the expert and the curious reader alike; it offers much food not just for thought but for the senses also. I hope it will get even better in the editions to come."
—From a review in Information, Communication & Society 8.2 (June 2005) 269-271.
author of Socrates in the Labyrinth and Sprawling Places
"Imagine a book which illuminates creative practice, and enlarges the study of that practice by making space for it to include more history, more ideas, more vision than are current in today's productions and research programs. The New Media Reader from MIT Press is such a book. This is a source book in every sense of the word. It provides material that will be a source of ideas and inspiration for practitioners and students alike, and it chronicles the sources and development of new media practice and thinking over the last 50 years."
—From a review in Computers and the Humanities 38.3 (August 2004) 339-341.
University of Waterloo
"The new media reader succeeds on several fronts: it offers the most comprehensive selection of texts from the history of new media; it frames these texts with introductions from two of the best contemporary new media theorists, Janet H. Murray and Lev Manovich; it provides commentary that suggests fruitful connections between seemingly disparate texts; and it offers a CD-ROM with some rare new media artifacts. ... MIT's The new media reader has set the standard for new media anthologies."
—From a review in Technical Communication 51.2 (May 2004).
University of Western Ontario
"Generally, the anthology is a valuable source for anybody who studies new media. The book appears to be the best source to date for writings on the digital medium and, undoubtedly, the volume will be of great use for professors and students involved in teaching or studying the range of new media and, to an extent, cybercultures."
—From a review in Comparative Literature Studies 41.3 (2004) 446-449.
Brian Kim Stefans
poet and author of Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics
"The delight of brainy duo Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort — their other collaborations liberally speckle net.art space — comes through not just in the longish preambles to each of the book's fifty-four chapters and the reams of text on the CD itself, but in every additional 8-bit Atari game, forgotten manifesto, 'Aristotelian' comic strip, and chunky piece of Deleuze and Guattari they found a way to cram into the collection. ... The New Media Reader is so generous in its witty, jargonless editorial commentary, rich bibliographies, informative sidebars, as well as in the content itself ... that it almost seems as if the editors, hip to the new politics of information and intellectual property rights, struggled to make it seem free by going several extra yards, down to having it printed in small but very legible typeface (Michael Crumton's elegant, interactive design made this possible)."
—From a review in Free Space Comix: The
Blog, 12 January 2004, a longer version of a
review in the newsletter of the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of
"This book is a magnificent
achievement; possibly the first of its kind, it sets a benchmark that will
be difficult to surpass. The New Media Reader is a
physically as well as intellectually impressive anthology of foundational
texts in the field of what we now refer to as new media and new media arts
. . . The New Media Reader makes evident that the field is
built on the shoulders of giants, and it remains for their present-day
successors to honour and extend those visions."
Shoulders of Giants: The New Media Reader" in Fine Art Forum, Vol.
17, No. 11, November 2003.
Digital Media Studies graduate director and
professor, University of Denver
"I can't envision a better resource
than Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort's The New Media Reader. It
should hold out indefinitely as the compendium of digital media's history
up until the advent of HTML and the World Wide Web. . . . Most
importantly, the NMR continually points to the possibilities
of what else needs to be done, and the collection suggests so many
compelling areas of study and production. The book is very much about the
processes, styles, and strategies of what is clearly a massive, ongoing
research project jumping across disciplinary and institutional boundaries
at a rapid pace.
—From An Article on the DMS
site, University of Denver.
co-author of Fire in the Valley
"This is a really fantastic assemblage of
seminal papers by big thinkers such as Vannevar Bush, Doug Engelbart, Ted
Nelson, J.C.R. Licklider, Alan Kay, Seymour Papert, and Tim Berners-Lee.
On top of that, there's a CD with historic video including Engelbart's
famous 1968 Mouther of All Demos. Plus some executable programs. Although
[other] books are worth having if you are interested in the history of
this field, The New Media Reader, with its many
highly readable and genuinely historic essays, is my
if-you-can-only-take-one pick for a computer history vacation
—From "Summer Reading" in Dr. Dobb's Journal, September
University of Maastricht, University of Leuven
"First of all, this book dramatically redefines
the very notion of new media . . . Secondly, The New Media
Reader has succeeded in bringing together an impressive set of
articles . . . Thirdly, the book has been carefully edited and no less
carefully published. On the one hand, the editors have written very useful
and well-informed presentations of all the essays included in the book
(the further-reading tips for instance are most appropriately chosen)
while at the same time taking well care of their material presentation
(the original illustrations of the texts are maintained which should serve
as an example to all future anthologists!). On the other hand, The New
Media Reader is both a book and a CD-ROM, which complete each other in a
model way. ... In short, The New Media Reader is
really the book a lot of people (teachers, students, new media
professionals, but also the interested "honnêtes hommes et femmes")
have been waiting for since the boom of the field almost a decade
review in Image and
Centre for Digital Discourse and Culture, Virginia Tech
"The New Media Reader is
an excellent book for a broad audience. It would be great
as a course text but is also of great service as a reader . . . that can
provide a reference text for a broad array of interests and projects."
review in Managing
Jonas Heide Smith
"The New Media Reader is the impressively
obvious choice for any university course on new media with or without
a gaming perspective. It will not function as a computer game studies reader
in any way, but will work to put that field into much-needed perspective.
Any student of digital aesthetics and the-computer-as-medium will enjoy
this collection of truly important and well-edited founding texts."
of Context - The New Media Reader," a review in
Neue Zuercher Zeitung
"Die über 800 Seiten starke Textsammlung
erschliesst sich auch dem interessierten Laien dank der sorgfältigen
Textauswahl und den erhellenden Einleitungen." [This more than 800-page thick
collection of texts opens itself to the interested newcomer thanks to careful text
selection and enlightening introductions.]
—From "Die lange Geschichte der neuen Medien," 27 June 2003, in the Swiss
newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung
"Mapping the history of new media is an
essential task made very difficult by the sheer size of the work involved
and the difficult choices which have to be made. The New Media Reader is
trying to trace a possible time sequence . . . ideas and projects that
have caught the means of communication by storm, completely revolutioning
them, and that are now a solid base for contemporary aesthetics. . . . All
in all, an essential book for those who want to understand the evolution
of the contemporary and its deep and many roots."
—From the Italian magazine Neural: Hacktivism, E-Music,
New Media Art
Nielsen Norman Group
"The most important part of this book may be
the enclosed CD with Windows-compatible versions of early multimedia
designs (many ported from pre-PC machines and running in emulator mode,
but you can still try them out) as well as video clips of famous early
demos (e.g., Doug Engelbart's public presentation of mouse-operated
—From "Recommended Books About
Hypertext" at useit.com
research fellow, University of Sussex
"a new classic. The New
Media Reader, edited by Noah
Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, is winning fans from those who glance at
its contents list. If you don't know who Theodor H. Nelson is and the
significance of 'A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the
Indeterminate'; if you are not familiar with the contributions to
computing of Bush, Turing, Wiener and Licklider, then this book is even
more essential to you . . . Delightfully, it also deals with the other
disciplines that have fed the development of new media:
Laurel, and Boal on theatre; Borges and 'The
Garden of Forking Paths'; Haraway, McLuhan, Turkle, and Winograd and
Flores theorising about how people use media; Suchman on situated action;
Bolter on writing; etc, etc. . . . It's like a party full of your best old
—From "Two Books for Summer Shelves" in Usability News, June 2003
new media artist
"If there is a bound codex that writers of hypertext and new media artists have been waiting for, The New Media Reader is it.
In its 823 pages the editors sample the work of a stunning array of writers, designers, programmers, scientists, and artists. Italo Calvino and Robert Coover stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jan L. Bordewjik and Ben van Kaam, authors of 'Towards a New Classification of Tele-Information Services' and, for less surprising but no less interesting company, video artists Bill Viola and Scott McCloud, whose comic essays on comics have made him the Aristotelian dramatist of the form."
—From Parker's review in Electronic Book Review, January 2003
"[U]ndoubtedly the most important
publication in New Media Studies released this year . . . it
offers this interdisciplinary field a core reading list, a set of common referents
that might serve as a kind of Rosetta Stone."
—From Rettberg's introduction to the new media special section
of American Book Review, March 2003
"[B]oth the most comprehensive volume produced
in the field to date, and also intelligently edited and designed
(as a 'print hypertext' with glosses and highlights in the margins and
intertextual 'links' within the text). It should benefit the curricula
of many programs in electronic literature and new media studies worldwide."
—From Rettberg's weblog
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
assistant professor of English and Digital Studies, University of Maryland
"In 1993 Simon During edited the Cultural Studies Reader for Routledge, a volume that helped consolidate the then-emerging field (and Routledge's place in it). The New Media Reader, majestically edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort for the MIT Press, will represent an achievement of equal or greater import for the rapidly accreting field of new media and digital studies. . . I have no doubt that this collection will quickly become the default text in a variety of curricular settings."
—From Kirschenbaum's review in American Book Review, March 2003
Janet H. Murray
author of Hamlet on the Holodeck
"Here for the first time within a single volume we can trace the cultural helix, the echoing and opposing strands that form the DNA for cyberspace itself."
—From Murray's introduction to The New Media Reader
author of The Language of New Media
"[I]n my view this book is not just an anthology of new media but also the first example of a radically new history of modern culture—a view from the future when more people will recognize that the true cultural innovators of the last decades of the twentieth century were interface designers, computer game designers, and DJs."
—From Manovich's introduction to The New Media Reader
[Emphasis was added. All quotations from reviews can be read in context if the review is online; all such reviews are linked above. The translation of the German review extract is by Gunther Schmidl.]
Interview, June 2003
Noah was interviewed by The Guardian regarding The New Media Reader and related topics.
Article, Spring 2003
Nick was the subject of an article
in Boston University Arts & Sciences that dealt with
new media and The New Media Reader.
Events, March-April 2003
The editors spoke at the following events:
New Media: The Birth of the Reader
Thursday, March 6, 5:00 pm
Rosenwald Gallery, 6th Floor, Van Pelt Library
Sponsored by Penn Special Collections
Reading New Media
with Robert Coover, David Durand, and Bill Seaman
Tuesday, March 11, 6-7:30pm
Graduate Center, Tower E, Ground Floor
92 Thayer Street between Charlesfield and Power
New Media: Can the Past Talk to the Future?
with Glorianna Davenport
Thursday, March 13, 5:00 pm
A Comparative Media Studies Colloquium
New Media: Foundations and Futures
with Ken Perlin and Christiane Paul
Wednesday, March 19, 7:00 pm
at the NYU Center for Advanced Technology
719 Broadway, 12th floor
The New Media Reader: Overview of Migration Strategies
Thursday, April 3, 4:30 pm
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, 620 HSSB
Part of the e(X)literature Conference
Published, January 2003
The New Media Reader has been published.