Via the American Antiquarian Society Summer Institute Home Page
The News Media and the Making of America: 1730-1865 is a two week summer institute that will take the form of a colloquium and hands-on workshop whose main theme is the function of news and public information in the community life of America, from the colonial period through the Civil War. Topics include a variety of community types —towns and cities, revolutionary coalitions, political parties, voluntary associations, geographic “sections,” and even “the nation” as a whole. Readings, discussions, and workshops will explore the diverse and changing milieu of communication forms and technologies: sermons and lectures, books and pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, photographs and illustrations, letters and word-of-mouth. In general, the aim is to understand the role of communication, especially print media, in the political, social, and cultural life of the American people in an era of rapid change in politics, business, and technology. We particularly want to explore how news and public information—in all its various forms—is connected to civic engagement and how media fit into the public and private lives of the American people.