Barlow, Aaron 1951-

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Barlow, Aaron 1951-


Born December 19, 1951. Education: Beloit College, B.A.; University of Iowa, M.A., Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Films, books, travel, politics, old houses.


Home—Brooklyn, NY; Belleville, PA. Office—English Department, New York City College of Technology, 300 Jay St., Brooklyn, NY. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]


New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY, assistant professor of English; Skakespeare's Sister (a bookstore), Brooklyn, owner and manager.


The DVD Revolution: Movies, Culture, and Technology, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2005.

Blogging America: The New Public Sphere, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2007.

The Rise of the Blogosphere, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2007.

Also author of the blog One Flew East. Contributor of book reviews and essays to ePluribus Media Journal; contributor to the blog Talking Points Memo.


The nexus of technology and the written word has long interested English professor Aaron Barlow, who has published studies on both the pros and cons of DVDs as a film storage medium and the advent and evolution of political Weblogs. In The DVD Revolution: Movies, Culture, and Technology, he analyses the impact of the creation of the DVD on many aspects of film appreciation in America. Among the topics covered by this DVD enthusiast are home viewing, film preservation, DVD technology as complemented by the Internet, bonus features, the use of DVDs for classroom film study, and intellectual property rights. The lengthiest and most in-depth section of the book deals with the marketing of special edition DVDs, which, because they include craft and technical information for students and scholars, have educated viewers to appreciate films on many levels. According to Anne Cremieux, a contributor to the online review site Cercles, this "concise and well paced book is a thorough presentation and analysis of the questions at stake." She concluded, "The DVD Revolution gives a thorough analysis of the impact of the DVD on American film. It will be useful especially to film students and scholars interested in keeping up with new technology when it comes to theory."

Barlow has also made the blogosphere (a collective noun referring to online political Weblogs) one of his specialties. He has participated in its evolution by writing his own blog, writing comments on others' blogs, moderating a blog, and writing about blogs in such books as Blogging America: The New Public Sphere and The Rise of the Blogosphere. In the latter work, he surveys the history of blogs as part of the evolution of journalism in America that began with Benjamin Franklin, who was not only a reporter of events but also a participant in them. Barlow urges professional journalists to participate in this form of public debate rather than pretending to be objective in their coverage of political issues and events. As he told Jennifer Howard in an interview for the Chronicle of Higher Education, "I don't think that most people who claim objectivity really are objective. It's a false front most of the time." Although Barlow criticizes citizen journalism for its tendency to go commercial, he still sees it as important because these avid readers point out errors, provide story leads, and serve as a general stimulant for professional journalism. "Responding to the citizen journalists is going to make professional journalism stronger," he told Howard.



American Libraries, September, 2007, "Librarian's Library: Citizen Journalism," p. 81.

Choice, June, 2005, G.R. Butters, review of The DVD Revolution: Movies, Culture, and Technology, p. 1827.

Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2007, Jennifer Howard, "The Colonial Roots of Political Blogging."

Internet Bookwatch, October, 2007, review of The Rise of the Blogosphere.

Media, Culture & Society, January, 2007, Tom Brown, review of The DVD Revolution, p. 167.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2005, review of The DVD Revolution; May, 2007, review of The Rise of the Blogosphere; January, 2008, review of The Rise of the Blogosphere.


Cercles, (February 12, 2008), Anne Cremieux, review of The Rise of the Blogosphere.

New York City College of Technology Web site, (February 12, 2008), profile of author.