Sunday, February 25, 2018

Martin Shuster's "New Television"

Martin Shuster is assistant professor and chair of Judaic Studies in the Center for Geographies of Justice at Goucher College.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre, and reported the following:
From page 99:
D’Angelo is not squeezed between two institutions, as if the bonds of each are equally compelling (as in Hegel’s famous reading of Antigone), but rather D’Angelo dies because he disavows allegiance to any institution.
Page 99 doesn’t quite capture the whole of New Television, but it does offer an important entryway into my reading of The Wire. The Wire, however, forms only one aspect of the book, indeed, really, only serves as the entryway into the theme of new television, which is an aesthetic and political category. With respect to the former, new television signifies that, roughly with Twin Peaks in the early 1990s, there emerge truly new aesthetic objects on the small screen. With respect to the latter, these objects locate their significance around a particular political conception—of screening a world entirely devoid of normative authority in all of its institutions, except one: the family. The Wire participates in this thematic mode, but we might say only unintentionally or unreflectively, and thereby does not reach the sort of political signification that later shows achieve … a point that New Television attempts to map.
Learn more about New Television at the University of Chicago Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue