Letter from the Editor, Volume 3 (2013)

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Welcome to the Retro Issue, in which our authors explore old, dying, or dead technologies!


Throughout much of my scholarly career, I have been interested in technologies that have fallen by the wayside, for one reason or another. Sometimes those reasons are obvious: 8-track tapes, for instance, wore out really quickly (I had to replace my copy of various 8-tracks several times as a boy) and there were those awful 30-second gaps between the four tracks, often right in the middle of the music. Other technologies one could wish had worked out but never did—as in the war between Betamax and VHS technologies.

All of that has led to this issue. Back when Kevin Moberly and I were first talking about scholarly work on technology, we felt that such work seemed entirely too focused on the immediate, the new, the bleeding edge. At the time Kevin Moberly and I did our special issue on Technoculture for Interdisciplinary Humanities (2007), there seemed very few places to publish the kinds of articles you can read here (with the obvious and notable exception of Technology and Culture, the house publication of the Society for the History of Technology, a specialist journal for historians). This was (again, at that time) particularly true if you weren't interested in pedagogy, then and now an important part of the field and already the purview of journals like Computers and Composition and Kairos. Articles that looked at older technologies seemed a bit harder to publish.

Thus, here we are at this point in time with this issue on Retro Technologies

As the field of science and technology studies continues to grow with more undergraduate majors and more graduate degree programs coming online every day, the need for scholarly journals in the field continues to grow as well and so we are already working on our next issue, 2014's Volume 4 on Oppression and Liberation.

I welcome you to the exploration— we invite your comments via our Letters to the Editor section in which you may offer brief (or even more extended) to the works published here and to Technoculture itself.

Finally, we call your attention to our Call for Papers and Projects for Volume 5, which is an open topic issue. If you have questions, please send a brief inquiry to me at inquiries at tcjournal dot org and I'll be glad to discuss your proposal with you.As for this issue, enjoy!

Respectfully yours,

Keith Dorwick (signed)

Editor, Technoculture

Last Modified: 27 September 2014


Technoculture Volume 3 (2013)