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Monika Dommann, Lisa Gitelman: From Documentary Practices to WikiLeaks
From Documentary Practices to WikiLeaks
(p. 83 – 90)

Monika Dommann, Lisa Gitelman

From Documentary Practices to WikiLeaks
Interview with Lisa Gitelman, by Monika Dommann

PDF, 8 pages

  • materiality
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • media technique
  • history of technology
  • thing/thingness
  • mediality
  • intermediality

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English

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Monika Dommann

Monika Dommann

is a Professor in the Department of History at  the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Previously she has taught at the University of Basel and has held research positions at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophthe (IKKM) in Weimar, the German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington, D.C., the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the McGill University in Montreal and the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK) in Vienna. Her main areas of research include the relations between the old and the new world, the history of material cultures, the history of intellectual properties, the history of logistics, the history of the market and its margins, the history of images and sound as well as methodology and theory of history.

Other texts by Monika Dommann for DIAPHANES
Ulrike Bergermann (ed.), Monika Dommann (ed.), ...: Connect and Divide

Media divide and connect simultaneously: they act as intermediaries between otherwise disconnected entities, and as a “middle” that mediates, but also shields different entities from each other. This ambiguity gives rise to conflicting interpretations, and it evokes all those figures that give a first clue about this janus-faced relationship of “connect and divide”: gate-keeper, parasite, amongst others. If we give accounts of media before and after their mediated action, we refer to persons and organizations, automatisms and artifacts, signals and inscriptions, and we seem to find it easy to refer to their distinct potentials and dis/abilities. But within the interaction – the “middle” of media itself seems to be distributed right across the mix of material, semiotic and personal entities involved, and the location of agency is hard to pin down. In case of breakdown we have to disentangle the mix; in case of smooth operations action becomes all the more distributed and potentially untraceable – which makes its attribution a matter of the simultaneously occuring distribution of (official and unofficial) knowledge, labour and power. The empirical and historical investigation of this two-faced relationship of “connect and divide” has thus resulted in a veritable “practice turn in media studies.”

 

The publication studies four aspects of the practice turn in media studies: Media history from a praxeological perspective, the practice turn in religion and media studies, the connecting and dividing lines of media theories concerning gender and post_colonial agencies, and a historical and theoretical examination of the current relationship of media theory and practice theory.

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