First New Book of 2014 is a Doosie!

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Today we received our copy of ICP Alum Rita Leistner‘s new remarkable book, Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan: Text and i-Phone Hipstamatic Photography with a foreward by Julian Stallabrass.

Rita was one of the handful of ICP alumni who documented the U.S. wars after she graduated in 2001. These friends have served to educate me about conflict photography, about foreign policy, about culture in ways I never would have imagined. This is one of many ways that being a librarian at ICP is better than a graduate program in any of a number of disciplines.

As you may know, close to 3,000 books enter our doors each year, and so it really takes something exceptional to get me excited.

This book is astonishing!

Rita has an MA in Comp Lit, and she has written essays for other people’s books on conflict photography, but here she gets philosophical and whimsical in ways that will surprise everyone. She really takes the idea of photography as a communication technology and runs with it.

Here is what the back of the book says better than I can paraphrase:

“In 2011, Rita Leistner embedded with U.S. Marines in Afghanistan as a team member of the experimental social media initiative Basetrack. What resulted is Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan. In this insightful and provocative, playful and original merging of theory and practice, Leistner applies the pioneering Canadian media theorist’s ideas on language and technology to contemporary warfare and increasingly ubiquitous smartphones.”

That should be enough to tantalize you to come to ICP Library and check it out, or get a copy for your own edification and entertainment.

We look forward to celebrating Rita in 2014, and hosting a screening of a film by her, so send me a line at if you want to notified when we have those dates.

Happy New Year!




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