Seeing by Electricity

My book, Seeing by Electricity: The Emergence of Television, 1878-1939, is available from Duke University press, as part of the Sign, Storage, Transmission book series.

You can read the table of contents and the introduction here

The book traces the early history of television, from fantastical image transmission devices initially imagined in the 1870s such as the Telectroscope, the Phantoscope, and the Distant Seer to the emergence of broadcast television in the 1930s. It highlights points of overlap and divergence in the histories of television and cinema, and demonstrates that the intermedial relationship between the two media did not start with their economic and institutional rivalry of the late 1940s, but rather goes back to their very origins.  

“Digging into television’s origins and discovering secret lineages and unexpected ancestors, Doron Galili unearths the true reasons that fiercely opposed—and indissolubly linked—television and cinema. A masterful contribution to media archeology.” — Francesco Casetti, author of The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come

“Assembling wonderful material and offering nuanced readings of both filmic and theoretical texts, Doron Galili makes important interventions in the ongoing debates over media specificity and television’s historiography. He is part of a new generation of scholars who are helping to put television’s complicated and often occluded genealogy into conversation with the latest media studies debates. A page-turner, Seeing by Electricity will resonate with a broad spectrum of readers.” — William Uricchio,

More information on Duke University Press’s website, here.

Read reviews of the book from Critical Inquiry here; Early Popular Visual Culture here; Critical Studies in Television here; Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film here; and from Media Industries here.

For the book page on Amazon, see here.

Listen to my New Books Network interview about Seeing by Electricity here.

Read my interview about the book in Henry Jenkins’s blog: part one, two, and three.