The Shape of Spectatorship

The Shape of Spectatorship 

Scott Curtis

Columbia University Press 2015ISBN: 9780231134033

Scott Curtis draws our eye to the role of scientific, medical, educational, and aesthetic observation in shaping modern spectatorship. Focusing on the nontheatrical use of motion picture technology in Germany between the 1890s and World War I, he follows researchers, teachers, and intellectuals as they negotiated the fascinating, at times fraught relationship between technology, discipline, and expert vision. As these specialists struggled to come to terms with motion pictures, they advanced new ideas of mass spectatorship that continue to affect the way we make and experience film. Staging a brilliant collision between the moving image and scientific or medical observation, visual instruction, and aesthetic contemplation, The Shape of Spectatorship showcases early cinema’s revolutionary impact on society and culture and the challenges the new medium placed on ways of seeing and learning.

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