"List Cultures is an important book, both form a scientific and a societal point of view, which brilliantly illustrates the role humanities can and must play in debates that may seem unhospitable to them, but that are are cruelly in need of the broader civilizational approach updated by Young. His book is the perfect example of how to continue, instead of debunking or deconstructing, the quasi-mythical study of lists by Jack Goody (The Domestication of the Savage Mind), which it is now possible to reread afresh." - Jan Baetens, Leonardo Reviews, May 2018. Read online here.
"Young places our current obsession with the list in historical context, tracing their emergence, myriad uses and changing significance ... List Cultures is a fascinating overview. Young deftly links different theoretical approaches and leans on various disciplines to support his reasoning." - Marion Koob, LSE Review of Books, December 2017. Read online here.
'Lists stretch across cultures and epochs, doing work both administrative and poetic, absorbing every conceivable thing - from virtues to vegetables, ingredients to illnesses - into their capacious form. In richly indexing the list's operation across time and space and media, Young demonstrates how this humble discursive structure has profoundly shaped our sense of what composes and orders our world, of what matters.' - Shannon Mattern, Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School, New York
'Young argues eloquently for the need to pay close attention to the role that cultural techniques like list-making play in making sense of the material circumstances of everyday life. List Cultures is a significant contribution to the growing body of research on the structure and function of information genres, and will find eager readers in too many fields to enumerate.' - Darren Wershler, Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature
'Like the list itself, List Cultures travels around the world and across history, bringing together techniques from ancient writing to algorithmic operations. It bridges disciplines and infiltrates the world of art, literature, and administration. By following the humble list form, Liam Cole Young exposes the massive logistical underpinnings of culture, and in doing so, transforms our understanding of classification, data, and knowledge. List Cultures is an expansive, imaginative book that rethinks the organization of both media and media studies.' - Nicole Starosielski, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University Steinhardt
We live in an age of lists, from magazine features to online clickbait. This book situates the list in a long tradition, asking key questions about the list as a cultural and communicative form. What, Liam Cole Young asks, can this seemingly innocuous form tell us about historical and contemporary media environments and logistical networks? Connecting German theories of cultural techniques to Anglo-American approaches that address similar issues, List Cultures makes a major contribution to debates about New Materialism and the post-human turn.