Katie King’s latest book, Networked Reenactments: Stories Transdisciplinary Knowledges Tell, Duke 2011, is a product of more than

a decade of primary research in media ecologies and writing technologies and of the gathering together and theorizing across many sorts of interdisciplinary materials. Starting my investigation with the nineteennineties, I explore how television had to learn then not only to “show” but also to “tell.” For commercial and technical reasons, for widely diverging audiences, and in not altogether voluntary partnership with the web, television started to experiment with how to distribute stories and information engaging all the senses across platforms and infrastructures. Media scholars today call this phenomenon transmedia storytelling. Stories in Networked Reenactments suggest how thoroughly entangled this transmedia practice’s coming into being was with a set of transnational cultural projects of the nineties and after. The book begins with the then new European Union’s altering cultural, racial and sexual economies creating such multiple market action-adventure TV shows as Highlander and Xena. It continues with analyzes of the polarizing US museum politics of the culture, history, science, and image “wars” of the nineties at the Smithsonian’s controversial exhibit Science in American Life, in order to describe communication strategies honed to address publics inflamed by these so-called wars. Finally, it shows how making, sharing and demonstrating knowledges from the humanities to various publics, all of whom have their very own ideas about how to understand the past, interconnects transnational melodramas of science-styled TV reenactments, such as Secrets of Lost Empires and African-American Lives, with Australian, British and US scholarly experiments in reenactment. Pressured to justify themselves to and as various publics promoting heritage and enterprise, television, the web, assertive fans, un-black-boxing educators and intellectual entrepreneurs took jobs of “reception” seriously and practiced them in transdisciplinary detail. Reenactments became a particular way to show and tell simultaneously, reenactors a kind of communication technology themselves, scaled both as persons, and also as elements in immersive environments now eddying among knowledge worlds. All this took place as entertainment media, knowledge work and global academies mutually restructured. In the introduction and conclusion I consider how these stories about reenactment melodramas demonstrate the affects and ethics of sifting through and managing authoritative and alternative knowledges within what may be an emergent, maybe even feminist, posthumanities.

Katie King Professor Women's Studies Department and Program http://www.womensstudies.umd.edu/ University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 office tel. 301.405.7294; fax 301.314.9190 email: katking@umd.edu website: http://www.katiekin.weebly.com talksites: http://pinterest.com/katkingumd/talksites/

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