Media (Book)

A Transdisciplinary Inquiry

Media: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry explores evolving definitions of media and how media technologies are transforming media theory and practice. The collection addresses the emerging role of media across a wide range of disciplines, featuring contributions from an array of internationally known scholars and practitioners. 


Featuring a collection of internationally known scholars, Media: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry explores evolving definitions of media and how media technologies are transforming theory and practice. As the current media includes a wider and wider range of concepts, products, services and institutions, the definition of media continues to be in a state of flux. What are media today? How is media studies evolving? How have technologies transformed communication and media theory, and informed praxis? What are some of the futures of media?

The first in the Media-Life-Universe trilogy, this volume explores a transdisciplinary notion of media and technology, exploring media as technology, with special attention to its material, historical and ecological ramifications. The authors reconceptualize media from environmental, ecological and systems approaches, drawing not only on media and communication studies, but also philosophy, sociology, political science, biology, art, computer science, information studies and other disciplines. The collection challenges traditional notions of media, as well as concepts such as freedom of expression, audience empowerment and participatory media, and explores emergent media including transmedia, virtual reality, online games, metatechnology, remediation and makerspaces.  





Jeremy Swartz is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. 

Janet Wasko is a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She is the author or editor of twenty books and is currently president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).


Preface to a Trilogy



1. ‘When Multimedia Meant Democracy’, Fred Turner, Stanford University (USA)

2. ‘Four Reporting Cultures: Designing Humans In and Out of the Future of Journalism’, John Markoff, New York Times (USA)

3. ‘Understanding “Medium” in the Context of the Media Ecology Tradition’,  Lance Strate, Fordham University (USA)

4. ‘Dark Materials: Markets, Machines, Media’, Graham Murdock, Loughborough University (UK) 

Meanings of Media

5. ‘A Community of Media’, Sean Cubitt, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)

6. ‘Media as Cultural Techniques: From Inscribed Surfaces to Digitalized Interfaces’, Sybille Kramer, Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)

7. ‘Biological Dimensions of Media Ecology and its Relationship to Biosemiotics’, Robert K. Logan, University of Toronto (Canada)

Organs and Organization

8. ‘Between Media Studies and Organizational Communication: Organizing as the Creation of Organs’, François Cooren and Frédérik Matte, Université de Montréal (Canada)

9. ‘Current Paradigms for Creative Industry Research’, Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)

10. ‘The Politics of Mediation: Colonization to Co-Generative Democracy’, Stanley Deetz, University of Colorado Boulder (USA)

Engagement and Extensions

11. ‘Phantasmal Selves: Computational Approaches to Understanding Virtual Identities’, D. Fox Harrell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)

12. ‘Calm Media and the Limit of Attention’, Amber Case, Lewis & Clark College (USA)

13.  ‘The Next Internet’, Vincent Mosco, Queen’s University (Canada)

14. ‘No Issues Without Media: The Changing Politics of Public Controversy in Digital Societies’, Noortje Marres, University of Warwick (UK)

15. ‘The Poetics and Political Economy of Repair’, Steven J. Jackson and Lara Houston, Cornell University (USA)

Biomediation and Metamedia

16. Biomediations: From “Life in Media” to “Living Media”’, Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)

17. ‘Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Infinity Engine’, Ingeborg Reichle, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien (Austria)

18. ‘Defining Metamedia’, Jeremy Swartz, University of Oregon


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