Reach Out and Watch Someone: Televisuality, Gender, and the Short Life of the Picturephone

Spaulding, Hannah (2021) Reach Out and Watch Someone: Televisuality, Gender, and the Short Life of the Picturephone. Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, 60 (5). pp. 150-173. ISSN 0009-7101

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Abstract

This article examines the history of AT&T’s 1964 Picturephone. Analyzing advertisements, corporate documents, and news reports, it explores how the discourses that surrounded the Picturephone united fantasies of telephony and televisuality to imagine the device at the center of America’s domestic future. AT&T described the Picturephone as enhancing familial intimacy and domestic efficiency, while journalists often saw its presence in the home as a threat, capable of shattering illusions of domestic perfection. This article contends that the discourses that surrounded the Picturephone ultimately represented an acknowledgment that domestic idealism was merely an illusion exposed by the Picturephone’s gaze.

Keywords:Television, Gender, Technology, History, United States (General)
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
ID Code:45765
Deposited On:19 Jul 2021 09:57

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