It seems like media industries are being redefined on a fairly frequent basis these days. So when I found out about the new textbook, Media Industries: History, Theory and Method, I was curious to see what ground the textbook covered. Fortunately, the editors of the textbook, Jennifer Holt (Assistant Professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara) and Alisa Perren (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University) were quite willing to answer my questions. In the spirit of the collaborative way that they edited the textbook, Holt and Perren collaborated on the answers. Once you’ve read the interview, be sure to also visit Professor Perren’s media industries blog. My thanks to both Holt and Perren for the interview. And if that’s not enough for you, be sure to visit Wiley’s (the publisher’s) site to download a PDF excerpt of the textbook.
Tim O’Shea: How did the idea for the textbook first come about?
Jennifer Holt/Alisa Perren: We both teach classes about the media industries and were frustrated with the lack of course materials devoted to this subject – especially materials approaching the topic from a humanistic perspective. We also saw that the study of media industries had been growing and expanding but it had not yet been mapped as a field in an academic text. So we enlisted some of the people who have done formative work in this area as well as those doing new scholarship to help us put what we saw as the emerging field of media industries into context for our readers. (To view the book’s table of contents, click here.)
O’Shea: How did you divvy up the editorial duties on the textbook?
Holt/Perren: This was truly a collaborative effort. We worked together in recruiting contributors, editing all of the essays, and writing the introduction. And amazingly, we remained friends through it all.