The Joy of the Modern Home. New Media and the Entertainment Market in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay (1890s-1920s), Historamericana 50 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2022)
Long before Netflix and Spotify, the film and music industries had developed forms of offering something for every taste. Early motion pictures and recorded sound have much more in common with current times than we might think: they were also on demand and favored niche culture. And all of this on a global scale. Flourishing cities in Latin America were among the first to receive imports of gramophones and film projectors in the 1890s, and host recording engineers and cameramen that traveled the world looking for images and sounds to fill the catalogs of the transnational studios and labels. By reconstructing the lives and careers of a group of immigrants who first introduced the new technologies in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, Cecilia Maas observes the transformations that they triggered in communication and cultural consumption. The author traces how these changes intertwined with urban change, the emergence of the middle class, and the conformation of national identities.