The essays take on a range of topics, including questions of authenticity, the tension between high-art influences and mass-cultural appeal, the prehistory of music video, and the production and dissemination of music videos outside the United States. Among the thirteen essays are a consideration of how the rapper Jay-Z uses music video as the primary site for performing, solidifying, and discarding his various personas; an examination of the recent emergence of indigenous music video production in Papua New Guinea; and an analysis of the cultural issues being negotiated within Finland’s developing music video industry. Contributors explore precursors to contemporary music videos, including 1950s music television programs such as American Bandstand, Elvis’s internationally broadcast 1973 Aloha from Hawaii concert, and different types of short musical films that could be viewed in “musical jukeboxes” of the 1940s and 1960s. Whether theorizing music video in connection to postmodernism or rethinking the relation between sound and the visual image, the essays in Medium Cool reveal music video as rich terrain for further scholarly investigation.
Contributors. Roger Beebe, Norma Coates, Kay Dickinson, Cynthia Fuchs, Philip Hayward, Amy Herzog, Antti-Ville Kärjä, Melissa McCartney, Jason Middleton, Lisa Parks, Kip Pegley, Maureen Turim, Carol Vernallis, Warren Zanes
Roger Beebe is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Florida. He is a coeditor of Rock Over the Edge: Transformations in Popular Music Culture, also published by Duke University Press.
Jason Middleton is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Rochester.