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126 pages


In this pdf you find all the original documents that Kenneth Cmiel left behind for his project on promiscuous knowledge, completed posthumously by John Durham Peters and published by the University of Chicago Press (2020). The only missing piece is not included here for copyright reasons. It was published as Kenneth Cmiel, “Drowning in Pictures,” in The Columbia History of Post-World War II America, ed. Mark C. Carnes (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 36-56. This essay was incorporated into chapters 4 and 5 of Promiscuous Knowledge.

Some of the material included in this pdf is very raw and unpolished, of course, and surely nothing Cmiel would have wanted to show anybody but himself, but we provide it here to show the unique work-process of a unique mind and to present the originals from which the book Promiscuous Knowledge was forged.


  • p. 2 – Brief Description of the Book, prepared 2002 for a publisher, and incorporated partially into the Introduction
  • p. 9 – Notes incorporated into the Introduction. Last edited 8 Nov 2002.
  • p. 12 – Rough draft of chapter 1. Last edited 29 June 2002
  • p. 19 – Very rough draft of an incomplete review essay of three books; provides context for the argument of chapter 1.
  • p. 23 – Talk that became the basis of chapter 2, including sidebar on Frederick Douglass. Last edited 8 Jan 2002.
  • p. 42 – “From Facts to Aesthetic Exemplum: Changing Modes of Popularization in the 1920s and 1930s,” talk that provided material for chapters 2, 3, and 5. Last edited 16 Dec 2001.
  • p. 56 – Published review "Seeing and Believing" (culturefront, summer 1999, pp.88-90), with language incorporated into the Introduction and chapter 2.
  • p. 60 – Rough outline of chapter 3.
  • p. 63 – Unpublished paper comparing knowledge and information management in the 1940s, 1970s, and 1990s. 1940s material incorporated into chapter 3. 1970s material incorporated into chapter 6, especially the sidebar on Bell and Lyotard.
  • p.95 – Draft of a sidebar found on diskette in the Special Collections of the University of Iowa Libraries. Used in chapter 3.
  • p. 97 – Supplementary materials on image culture used in chapters 4 and 5. Last edited 5 May 2003.
  • p. 112 – Backbone of chapter 6. Last edited 9 Dec 2001.
  • p. 125 – Reflections on memory, used briefly in chapter 6. Last edited 16 Feb 2001.


Copyright © 1999-2006 Kenneth Cmiel

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