How the Sony Walkman changed the world: A conversation about music, technology and public space
Featuring Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, UCI writer-in-residence, with Lucas Hilderbrand, UCI Film and Media Studies
Thursday, May 12, 2016
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Social Ecology I, Room 112
(building 210 on the campus map)
In 1979, Sony introduced the Walkman, a small cassette player with lightweight headphones—the precursor to the iPod. The Walkman now seems as quaint and clunky as the VCR and the fax machine, but back in the early 1980s, it was a momentous innovation. In addition to disrupting the music industry, it changed the ways that people inhabited public space, blurring the distinction between public and private, in ways that have since grown only more salient. The Walkman was arguably the first mass personal device.
In this talk based on her forthcoming book, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, writer in residence at UCI’s Newkirk Center for Science and Society, will summon a time when the Walkman was both a marvel and a danger. She will discuss the ways it changed forever public space and the nature of boredom, and how its reception can help us put our hopes and fears about today’s technologies into perspective. Lucas Hilderbrand, UCI Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies will join the conversation.
Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow is writing a cultural history the the Walkman.
Lucas Hilderbrand is the author of “Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright”
No rsvp required.
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