ERIC Number: ED284310
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-4
Reference Count: 0
Historical Development of Television Aesthetics/Television Theory.
Even though television scholar Herbert Zettl singlehandedly created the term "television aesthetics" by proclaiming that TV is an art, television studies are still excluded from the respectable divisions and disciplines of knowledge. Television is considered the epitome of mass culture/kitsch, and the very idea of a TV "masterpiece," for example, is improbable. "Television theory" would be a preferable label for a field of study that has been developing in isolated strands since the 1930s, and which can be divided into roughly four stages: (1) through the early 1950s--the main theoretical question was whether TV is itself an art or merely a "transmission device" for the other arts; (2) early 1950s to early 1960s--the Golden Age of TV proved that its dramatic form can be artistically powerful; (3) early 1960s to early 1970s--TV penetration into American homes reached 99% by the 1970s; and (4) early 1970s to the present--video art and low-cost technology proliferated. Marshall McLuhan noted that most thinking about a new medium is done in terms of old media. As television theory develops, new concepts of what TV is, how it got to be that way, why it remains that way, and how and why to change it, will be formulated. (Footnotes, a very extensive chronological bibliography of works related to television theory, and a comprehensive list of production books and dissertations are appended.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aesthetic Response; Television History; Television Role; Television Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Popular Culture Association (Louisville, KY, April 1985).