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History of Media

Periodization, Technology And The "general Accident", Historical And Technological Media, Ubiquitous Media, Current Studies In Media History

The term media history is almost a tautology when the historic is distinguished from the prehistoric by the presence of recording media. History is always already mediated. A distinct domain of historiography whose object is human communication technologies will to this extent always be tempted to assimilate all human history to itself. Among late-twentieth-and early-twenty-first-century media historians, this principle has advanced to the stage at which alternative programs for understanding human activity—terms such as society, culture, economy, and power—appear as either abstractions lacking the empirical bases of media and mediation, or as derivatives of them. Media history, it can be argued, explains society, culture, and politics better than those concepts explain media.

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