IJoC Publishes Special Section on “Media Genealogy”
Media and communications technologies have increasingly been recognized as central sites and components of contemporary political struggles. Understanding this centrality requires engaging with history to contextualize their emergence and ground the problematics that drove their development and use. The most recent trend in media history — often termed “media archaeology” is too often cut off from contemporary political relevance in a quest to offer rigorous and materialist technical analyses. We ask, “How can media archaeology be politicized?”
Just as Michel Foucault adapted his method of historical investigation from archaeology to genealogy to directly engage the political struggles of the 1970s — specifically the prisoners’ rights and LGBT movements — we suggest that a methodological reorientation in media history needs to take place. Media Genealogy and the Politics of Archaeology, a Special Section of theInternational Journal of Communication, maintains that the field of media archaeology, and media history more generally, needs methodological redirection in order to adequately address issues of power and politics. Media Genealogy investigates how media are imagined as solutions to political, economic, and social problems. And in a related way, it asks how individuals turn to media technologies as a means for personal transformation.
This Special Section, guest-edited by Jeremy Packer and Alex Monea, offers interviews with six contemporary thinkers working at the intersection of media, epistemology, and power who utilize different frameworks and platforms for engaging contemporary politics. Interviews were chosen to directly engage the concerns of media genealogy, namely, what is the relationship between doing media history and engaging with contemporary political struggles.
This Special Section features six interviews and an introductory essay.
Media Genealogy: Technological and Historical Engagements of Power — Introduction
Alexander Monea, Jeremy Packer