Monthly Archives: September 2014

Attack of the City Snatchers: Table Six’s Apocalyptic Radio Broadcast


Table six decided to create a satire of apocalyptic culture for our radio broadcast project. Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds” inspired us to explore fictional radio broadcasts in American history.  We borrowed some of the character-defining strategies used in “War of the  Worlds” such as the incorporation of music and sound effects in the creation of our broadcast. Similarly, our broadcast also used call-ins for a feel of authenticity. However, that is where the similarities between our broadcast and “War of the Worlds” ends. Because apocalyptic culture so often focuses on aliens or zombies, we instead chose to have American cities simply disappear in our catastrophic event. We also peppered the dialogues between the two radio hosts with references to contemporary social and cultural tensions to undermine the urgency of the broadcast. Furthermore, the unbelievable call-ins parodied conspiracy theories and paranoia. We chose the twist in the ending to reflect the ways in which apocalyptic culture has conditioned us to jump to wild conclusions, especially when the information is presented in an official manner.

We used Audacity to create this recording. Gwen and Jess played the radio hosts Karen and Jay, while Mary voiced the call-ins.



Audio Productions. “White Noise Sound Effect.” YouTube. (accessed September 26, 2014).

Blue Swede. “Hooked on a  Feeling.” YouTube. 1974. (accessed September 26, 2014).

Cavendish, Richard. “Oct 30, 1938: Martians Invade New Jersey.” History Today, 58 (October 2008): 13. (accessed September 29, 2014).

Chiaroscuro, Aural. “The Emergency Radio Broadcast in Orson Welles’s ‘The War of the Worlds.’” English Language Notes, 46 (2008): 193-197. (accessed September 29, 2014).

Hayes, Joy Elizabeth and Kathleen Battles. “Exchange and Interconnection in US Network Radio: A Reinterpretation of the 1938 War of the Worlds Broadcast.” Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, 9 (2011): 51-62. (accessed September 29, 2014).

“O Canada.”YouTube. (accessed September 26, 2014).

“The Purge Emergency Broadcasting System.” YouTube. (accessed September 26, 2014).

R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine).” YouTube. 1987. (accessed September 26, 2014).

Representations of Information/Communication Technology for Group 6

Our group came up with fifteen ideas for representations of information/communication technology. We have yet to determine which group member will cover each topic.

  1. Telephone ads -Image
  2. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  3. 1984 -Image or Infographic
  4. Iron Man -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  5. Spider-Man -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  6. The Avengers -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  7. C.S.I  -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  8. An early fax or telephone ad from a Fredericksburg newspaper -Image
  9. The Crying of Lot 49 -Image or infographic
  10. Game of Thrones -Infographic, video clips screenshot, or GIF
  11. One of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories -Image or infographic
  12. Seinfeld -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  13. Balto -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  14. “If Google was a Guy” -video clips screenshot, or GIF
  15. “The Phone Song (Vibrating)” -Infographic or audio clip


Cave Paintings Class Activity

Little Red RWhile I enjoyed Tuesday’s class activity, I also found it slightly problematic because the class shared a common cultural knowledge on fairy tales. I think the exercise would have been more effective if each group had been required to draw a more obscure scenario that the class would have had to interpret. Cave paintings were often abstract and early people likely only shared a common knowledge of the animal figures, not the geometric designs.

Technology and Communication in American History Chapter 1

Paper, Printing, and Publishing

  • 1600s -Printing dominated by governments, merchants, and churches
  • Early 1800s -Most books still imported from England
  • 1830s -Domestic publishing industry emerges. Production technology and railroad reduced prices and spread books across the nation


  • Rise of newspapers between 1820-1850. This gave way to more objective newspapers. This process was helped along by better technology (penny press). People were able to develop their own identity through newspaper.


  • By the mid 1850s, photography began to rise with the daguerreotype photographic process. Photography became more common and required less skill. Because of this, photographs became more prominent in newspapers.

Moving Print

  • Post offices facilitated the spread of newspapers and pamphlets.



Three Projects

1. Creating a sample of an ancient form of communication (cave paintings, hieroglyphics, cuneiform, etc) and compiling a class collection on the Knight Lab mapper. We could take high quality pictures or scan our work using the equipment at the ITCC. I like the cave finger painting idea, but I feel like it has too narrow a focus given the number of other forms of early communication and the size of the class.

2. A project featuring a traditional form of story/history/creation myth-telling that could be filmed, recorded, or acted out at the ITCC and then posted to the UMW media hub and Known.

3. Making an infographic or video about ethics in the Digital Age using the equipment and design programs at the ITCC. The finished product could be displayed on the screens at the ITCC and posted through the UMW media hub and Known.

Why I Am Taking the History of the Information Age

I’m taking this class because I don’t know very much about about the spread of information and people’s perceptions of information. I also hope to learn how to use more forms of technology in the creation of class projects since I do not consider myself very tech-savvy. Additionally, I think this class will help me develop my skills as a class discussion leader and encourage me to find creative and innovative ways to represent my academic research.

Some of the topics that I would like to cover this semester include:

  • Wartime photography (Especially the American Civil War)
  • Various forms of art
  • The postal service
  • Propaganda
  • Film
  • Identity in the Digital Age
  • Ethics
  • The Digital Divide

Since this is an honors class, I would like to do interdisciplinary projects where I can bring in my additional skills and knowledge from historic preservation, English, and music and combine them with resources available at the ITCC. Some of these projects include:

  • A project featuring a traditional form of story/history/creation myth-telling
  • Conveying a message through an early form of communication such as cave paintings, cuneiform, hieroglyphics, old Norse runes, smoke signals, Chinese calligraphy, etc.
  • Making an infographic or video to display in the ITCC on ethics in the Digital Age