An exploration of trends and cultures connected to electrical telegraphy and recent digital communications, this collection emerges from the research project Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1866–1900, which investigated cultural phenomena relating to the 1866 transatlantic telegraph. It interrogates the ways in which society, politics, literature and art are imbricated with changing communications technologies, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Contributors consider control, imperialism and capital, as well as utopianism and hope, grappling with the ways in which human connections (and their messages) continue to be shaped by communications infrastructures.

chapter |6 pages


ByAnne Chapman, Natalie Hume

chapter 1|41 pages

To Be Connected

Perspectives on Autonomy and Risk from the Electric Age
ByManu Luksch, Mukul Patel

chapter 2|23 pages

Cyborg Imperium, c. 1900

ByDuncan Bell

chapter 3|25 pages

Universal Visual Languages in the Age of Telegraphy

ByGrace Brockington

chapter 4|18 pages

Plotting Passengers at a Metropolitan Station

Paddington in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
ByNicola Kirkby

chapter 5|23 pages

‘Some Sentient Creature’. The Cable Body and the Body of Labour

Robert Dudley, William Howard Russell and the 1865 Voyage of the Great Eastern
ByKate Flint

chapter 6|24 pages

Signal Markings in Victorian Miscellanies

Noise and Signal from the Idyll to Aestheticism
ByCaroline Arscott, Clare Pettitt

chapter 7|28 pages

‘Recoding the Sea’

Uneven and Combined Capitalism in the Work of Allan Sekula (Telegraph Version) 1
ByGail Day, Steve Edwards

chapter 8|12 pages

Random International

ByAnne Chapman, Natalie Hume