Susan Murray Awarded ACLS Fellowship

Associate Professor Susan Murray has received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for the 2013/14 academic year. The award supports research in the humanities the Council considers to be particularly promising. Professor Murray will spend the year completing a book project, currently under contract with Duke University Press, entitled Brought to You in Living Color: A Cultural History of Color Television.
When color television first debuted Time Magazine referred to it as “the most resounding industrial flop,” but Murray sees the introduction of the medium as a critical lens for exploring ideas about electronic and video aesthetics, spectatorship, vision and technology—public discourses which evolved alongside color television’s unsteady rise to dominance in the post war era.
“This was a period when industry insiders, audiences, engineers, regulators, critics, color specialists, consumer analysts, design experts, and psychologists all weighed in on the use and meaning of color and its effects on emotions, vision, and desire. But, these discourses did not occur in isolation as they borrowed from and intersected with larger historical notions and beliefs about color... I will investigate the commercial, scientific, and cultural discourses through which the technology and perception of electronic color took shape, and in doing so, position color television as central to the broader history of twentieth century visual culture,” explains Susan Murray.