Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World

Chapter 6, Note 48

For a discussion of the adoption of the stereoscope in American classrooms, see Meredith Bak, Playful Visions: Optical Toys and the Emergence of Children’s Media Culture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020), Ch. 6. The whole book provides an interesting perspective on many of the topics touched in Shadow Plays. Bak adopts what could be considered a Foucauldian perspective, focused on the bodily and cognitive discipline, and attention work, required from the children by using this sedentary tool: “The mental mobility that the stereoscope encouraged could ultimately be learned and internalized as an instinctive way to interpret the world. Educators’ responses to the stereoscope reveal a second goal of such instructional methods: classroom management” (Bak, 320).

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