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Media Archaeology

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Jessica Whitehead

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Media Archaeology

Media Archaeology 700 CE 2012 1500 Urwah ibn Zubayr ?-713 Early Islamic historians like Urwah ibn Zubayr are representative of today's media archaeology as they provided commentary on cultural artifacts like the Qur'an
He contributed to the Hadith, which provided insights into the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad as well as worked on an early biography of Muhammad Ibn Wahshiyya ?-931 Ibn Wahshiyya translated and organized various texts including biblical texts and egyptian hieroglyphics and provided analysis
The texts translated included cultural products, which created a basis for later scholars to analyze Ouyang Xiu b.1007-1072 Wrote various histories during the Song dynasty
He is considered one of the founders of the study of archaeology in China
Was particularly concerned with aesthetic artifacts and provided commentary in his works The Historical Roots of Media Archaeology Human culture has oriented to enjoyment of aesthetic objects since the cave paintings found in Chauvet. Social groups transform symbolic objects into collective, yet personalized enthusiasm: fandom. The historical development of fan cultures demonstrates that a continual aestheticization of material, latching onto objects like totems. The historical process of fandom can be studied through the lens of media archaeology, which is the study of cultural products and how humans interact with them.
The genealogy of media archeology can be traced back to pre-modern scholars who focused on the collection of knowledge regarding artifacts, which were often aesthetic objects. These early scholars were found in the Islamic world and in China Flavio Biondo 1392-1463 An Italian Renaissance humanist who wrote three encyclopedias on ancient Rome utilizing primary documents
He specifically focused on the topography of ancient Rome focusing on various aesthetic objects
His method of historical organization is similar to earlier Islamic scholars
Flavio's method of organizing history into a cartography has heavily influenced the field of archaeology European Thought The early age of scholarship in Europe was heavily influenced by the historical collection techniques of eastern scholars. Archaeology became a method of cartography documenting objects from the past. Sociology also developed during this period as a means to investigate cultural practices. Early sociologists became interested in the organization of society and how culture was created. William Stukeley 1687-1765 Bernard de Montfaucon 1655-1741 Claude Henri de Rouvroy 1760-1825 Augustus Pitt Rivers 1827-1900 Max Weber 1864-1920 Auguste Comte 1798-1857 Raymond Williams 1921-1988 Stuart Hall 1932 Cultural Studies Henry Jenkins 1958 John Fiske 1939 Shelley Stamp David Bordwell Charlie Keil Historical Film Studies A french monk who put into practice Flavio's method of palaeography and wrote in "Palaeographia Graeca" the entire history of Greek writing
He published a 15 volume book translated in English called Antiquity Explained and Represented in Diagrams, which contained engravings of classical antiquities
His English translations influenced the development of archaeology in the West Karl Marx 1818-1883 Antonio Gramsci 1891-1937 Ibn Khaldun 1332-1406 Early british historian Stukeley pioneered modern archaeology with his investigations of the ancient monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury
He not only focused on the aesthetic importance of these monuments but also wrote on their cultural significance including their connection to religion His work is considered one of the early incarnations of sociology and inspired an entire generation of French scholars including Auguste Comte who worked as his secretary
His work focused on the social organization of society and how technology would influence this organization
He also focused on how art influenced society Wrote a history of the world entitled "Muqaddimah"
This work not only detailed the history but also documents the social relations of humanity
Ibn Khaldun is recognized as a early sociologist as he wrote on social conflict, the dichotomy of nomadic and sedentary life, and how civilizations are always followed by a period of decay British archaeologist who is considered one of the first modern archaeologists to utilize an organized scientific method
He utilized a chronological method of organizing artifacts Karl Marx's writings on history and society provide the basis for social sciences as he utilizes a scientific method for testing social theories
His work resembles a cartography of human society Comte was a french social thinker who studied under Claude Henri de Rouvroy
He has made numerous contributions to the field of sociology and is considered the founder
His theory of social evolution is based on the notion that society evolves in three stages and is in line with both Marx and other early sociologists like Ibn Khaldun German scholar who along with Comte and Marx is considered an early founder of the field of sociology
Unlike Comte and Marx he focused specific case studies in his theories rather than grand narratives
He wrote on how individual agency is present in societies and collectives Richard Hoggart 1918 Was the founding member of Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University which studied the relationship between media and society
Unlike critical theorists Hoggart believed popular culture was not binary and that agency was present in the relationship and in some ways was influenced by Weber Grmasci was a prominent communist organizer and writer who was imprisoned by the Fascist state in Italy
While in prison he developed a case study of how fascism was able to permeate Italian society and specifically explored how mass culture accepts certain ideologies
Gramsci coined the term hegemony which explains that the ruling classes maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the values of all. Another important British scholar in the field of cultural studies
Largely influenced by Gramsci's notion of hegemony
Developed the study of cultural materialism which utilizes analysis of specific historical documents
In his later years he worked on a historical novel, "People of the Black Mountains" regarding the lives of ordinary people living in Wales from the Stone Age. In this work he analyzed various archaeological digs from the area. Along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams was the founder of British Cultural Studies and heavily influenced by Gramsci
For Hall, culture is not something to simply appreciate or study, but a "critical site of social action and intervention, where power relations are both established and potentially unsettled."
A early proponent of reception theory and his theory of how audiences decode encoded cultural material is one of his lasting legacies A second generation scholar of British Cultural Studies who was particularly interested in how popular culture is created
As defined by John Fiske, popular culture is based on its connection to subordinate groups. Popular culture, while originally outside the dominant culture, is appropriated – thus, making popular culture inherently contradictory. Fiske also defined the term excorporation as “the process by which the subordinate make their own culture out of the resources and commodities provided by the dominant system” Studied under John Fiske in the United Sates
Henry Jenkins is considered by many to be one of the founders of the field of fan studies and he has grappled with the theory of a passive audience.
Jenkins’ work focused on the use of texts in creating communities. In Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Jenkins argued that it is through texts that fans are able to participate in the creation of culture, and that repeated consumption actually is a method of creating participatory communities. Tom Gunning Gunning is part of the historical turn in media studies and focuses on case studies regarding the introduction of early cinema
He is a proponent of media archeology, which he uses in film studies as a means to understand the historical processes of media consumption
He has dealt with how modernity changed society through the sensation or attraction of cinema Has criticized both critical theory and cultural studies and has advocated for empirical research in film studies - mid level research
Bordwell sets himself apart from many film historians with his refusal to use theory
He has attacked other film historians such as Tom Gunning and Ben Singer for relying theories from Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin A feminist film historian who has utilized a historical perspective
Shelly Stamp traced the development of the “movie struck girl” through the use of the serial film and other forms of early cinema. Professor at University of Toronto
Studied under David Bordwell and is influenced by his empirical model
In his work he utilizes archival material in order to explore the transitional period of cinema and how the penetration of central ideas about movies came with new technologies and systems of transportation. Cultural Studies is a form of inquiry that was heavily influenced by early sociology
Cultural Studies utilizes many sociological principles in order to understand how society relates to media and is particularly influenced by how fans relate to the cultural artifacts they adore The historical turn in film studies combines the social analysis of cultural studies with the historical organization of early archaeologists
This new breed of film historian uses archival research to explore the every day lives of early media consumers Michel Foucault 1926-1984 Friedrich Kittler 1943-2011 Digital Media Archaeology Foucault in the French sociological tradition developed a methodology to study knowledge in "The Archaeology of Knowledge"
Foucault developed a theory of studying history through analyzing discourses in order to understand historical power relations
In the "The Archaeology of Knowledge" Foucault states it is through the archive that the system governs discourse Marshall McLuhan 1911-1980 Walter Benjamin 1892-1940 German sociologist and philosopher associated with the Frankfort School
His work, "The Aracdes Project" was an in depth study on how aesthetic objects can influence everyday life. He used various sources including texts, illustrations and architecture to recreate 19th century life in Paris, which closely resembles the forms of inquiry used by media archaeologists today.
Specifically important to the field of media archaeology is his focus on how modern life is influenced by aesthetic objects Siegfried Zielinski Chair for Media Theory: Archaeology and Variantology of the Media at Berlin University of the Arts, and is the Michel Foucault Professor for Techno-Culture and Media Archaeology at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee
He states that media archaeology is an on-going struggle to keep alive “variantology” – the discovery of “individual variations” in the use of media, especially those variations that defy the ever-increasing trend toward “standardization and uniformity among the competing electronic and digital technologies.” Canadian media theorist who explored in depth how new media effect society
In "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man" (1964), he pioneered media theory and how to study new mediums such as television
In the The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) he utilized a historical approach in studying media German media theorist
Kittler builds on Foucault's work but argues that scholars move past simply an exploration into discourse and instead must move towards media specific ways of understanding culture
If a scholar is studying cinema they must not only explore discourses but also study the technological apparatuses surrounding cinema Lev Manovich Building on Kittler 's understanding of media archaeology Manovich focuses on how the digital effects society
His 2001 book "The Language of New Media" is a comprehensive archaeology on digital technology A new avenue of inquiry for media archaeologists is digital media. This new breed of media scholars are interested in medium specific studies on how digital media effects society. This aspect of media archaeology is heavily influenced by Fredrich Kittler and Marshall McLuhan. Ben Singer Miriam Hansen 1949-2011 Jürgen Habermas 1929 Habermas is a German sociologist in the tradition of critical theory
He studied under Adorno and Horkheimer
He theorized that the capitalist stage of development marked the appearance of Öffentlichkeit (the public sphere).
The public sphere created a public space outside of the control by the state, where individuals exchanged views and knowledge in gathering places such as coffee shops and in cultural artifacts such as newspapers A very important figure in the turn to historical research in film studies.
In her book Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film she theorized that early film created an alternative public sphere
This public sphere was short lived as regulatory mechanisms came into place. In 1915 there was a shift in cinema in America when the Supreme Court handed down the Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio decision which denied motion pictures the constitutional protection of freedom of speech by refusing them a “public status”
The decision was the culmination of efforts on the local and state levels, to establish control of motion pictures- and Hanson suggests this was because the dominant forces discerned in film the formation of an alternative public sphere”. A professor at the communications department at University of Wisconsin–Madison
His work focuses on how early film was transformed and influenced by modernity
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