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Knopf/Doubleday (Green) Announced Drop-Ins February 2019

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The Social Photo
On Photography and Social Media
By (author): Nathan Jurgenson
9781788730914 Hardcover English General Trade PHOTOGRAPHY / History Apr 30, 2019
$25.95 CAD
Active 5.8 x 8.54 x 0.62 in 144 pages Verso Books Verso
“Mr. Jurgenson makes a first sortie toward a new understanding of the photograph, wherein artistry or documentary intent have given way to communication and circulation. Like Susan Sontag’s On Photography, to which it self-consciously responds, The Social Photo is slim, hard-bitten and picture-free.” – New York Times 

A set of bold theoretical reflections on how the social photo has remade our world.


With the rise of the smart phone and social media, cameras have become ubiquitous, infiltrating nearly every aspect of social life. The glowing camera screen is the lens through which many of us seek to communicate our experience. But our thinking about photography has been slow to catch-up; this major fixture of everyday life is still often treated in the terms of art or journalism. 

In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding photography in the age of social media and the new kinds of images that have emerged: the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have remade the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.

Jurgenson’s groundbreaking essays on social media and photography—published in outletsincluding The Atlantic, The New Inquiry, Wired, and Salon—have been attracted a broad readership online

Jurgenson is the resident Researcher at Snapchat

Jurgenson is a co-founder of the influential Theorizing the Web conference, and founder of Real Life magazine

Expecting widespread national review coverage

Jurgenson has huge social media following and many high profile media contacts

Nathan Jurgenson is a social media theorist. He is co-founder and co-chair of the annual Theorizing the Web conference, founder and editor in chief of Real Lifemagazine, editor emeritus at The New Inquiry, and a sociologist at Snap Inc. His work, which appears in academic journals and popular outlets, centers on a critique of “digital dualism,” a phrase he coined to describe the false belief that the internet is a separate virtual sphere or cyber space. Instead, Nathan approaches digitality as embodied, material, and real.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: New York, NY

Marketing: Academic marketing campaign

Library marketing campaign

Cross-promotion with Real Life magazine and The New Inquiry

Creative social media campaign

Bookmarks and swag giveaways

E-galley available

Coop available



Publicity: Major New York launch event with prominent participants

Major Los Angeles launch event

East Coast events

Reviews in newspapers

First serial in national publication

Reviews and excerpts in nation media and culture outlets like Wired, Fast Company, The New Inquiry

Reviews in online lefty outlets

Reviews in academic journals



Feature Website: www.reallifemag.com

Author Website: www.nathanjurgenson.com

Author Social Media: @nathanjurgenson

“A textual portrait of a visual medium, The Social Photo entices the reader to view social media through the lens of cultural critique. Ethereal and provocative, as rich as it is succulent.”
—danah boyd, author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

“Social photos are not primarily about making media but about sharing eyes,’ Nathan Jurgenson writes in this important and timely book. Grappling with the significance of the billions of largely ephemeral images that inhabit social media, he persuasively delineates many of the key boundaries between what was previously understood to be photography and the contemporary image environment.”
—Fred Ritchin, author of Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen

“A refreshing respite from most of the commentary streaming from our devices today.”
—Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

“Nathan Jurgenson is the Susan Sontag of the selfie generation—a bold, lucid, and important new voice in cultural criticism. In The Social Photo, he offers a truly groundbreaking analysis of how photography has changed in the age of social media, and how it is changing us. Every page crackles with insight and intelligence.”
—Mia Fineman, Curator of Photographs, Metropolitan Museum of Art and author of Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

“The world is glutted with pictures … In The Social Photo, sociologist, media theorist, and Snapchat guru Nathan Jurgenson argues that this surfeit of images has ushered in a new way of seeing and existing in the world through our camera phones—one which no longer values the documentary function of photographs, but instead prizes their ability to expressively communicate with others.”
Frieze

“[Jurgenson] has, for years, offered a valuable commentary on the cultural implications of social media.”
Tank (“Summer Reads”)

“Like Susan Sontag’s On Photography, to which it self-consciously responds, The Social Photo is slim, hard-bitten and picture-free. For if the average photo is ever dumber, photography matters even more; the social photo, in Mr. Jurgenson’s phrase, has effected a ‘fusion of media and bodies’ that has made every gallerygoer a cyborg.”
—Jason Farago, New York Times (“Top Art Books of 2019”)

“Jurgenson is a good guide to our times.”
Times Literary Supplement

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