Media as Infrastructures and Cultural Practices


Traffic: Media as Infrastructures and Cultural Practices presents a collection of texts by distinguished international media and cultural scholars that addresses fundamental relationships between the logistic, symbolic, and infrastructural dimensions of media. The volume discusses the role of traffic and infrastructures within the history of media theory as well as in a broader cultural context: Traffic is shown to constitute an important epistemological and technical principle, a paradigm for exchanges and circulations between discoursive and non-discoursive cultural practices. This opens an encompassing perspective of media ecology, and at the same time illuminates the formative power of traffic as structuring time and space: material and informational traffic creates, maintains, and undermines power, configures meaning, and facilitates appropriation and resistance.
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Biographical Note

Marion Näser-Lather, Dr. phil., is postdoc researcher at the Institute of European Ethnology/ Cultural Science at Philipps University Marburg, Germany, and board member of the “Society for Social Responsibility in Science” (GVW e.V.). Her research interests include activist movement studies, Mediterranean studies, net cultures, and infrastructure. Christoph Neubert, Dr. phil., is lecturer for media history at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Paderborn, Germany, and senior member of the research training group “Automatisms.” His research interests include media theory and history, traffic and logistics, and the history of ecology.

Table of contents

Marion Näser-Lather and Christoph Neubert: Traffic – Media as Infrastructures and Cultural Practices: Introduction Section 1: Theorizing Traffic John Durham Peters: Infrastructuralism: Media as Traffic Between Nature and Culture Gabriele Schabacher: Traffic as ‘Dirt Experience’: Harold Innis’s Tracing of Media Jana Mangold: Traffic of Metaphor: Transport and Media at the Beginning of Media Theory Hartmut Winkler: Traces: Does Traffic Retroact on the Media Infrastructure? Section 2: Traffic of Concepts Grant David Bollmer: Technobiological Traffic: Networks, Bodies, and the Management of Vitality Norm Friesen: Dewey’s Cosmic Traffic: Politics and Pedagogy as Communication Richard Cavell: McLuhan, Turing, and the Question of Determinism Martina Leeker and Michael Steppat: Data Traffic in Theater and Engineering: Between Technical Conditions and Illusions Section 3: Time, Space, and Power Menahem Blondheim and Elihu Katz: Communications in an Ancient Empire: An Innisian Reading of the Book of Esther Peter Krapp: Nomads of the Technical Sublime Wolfgang Suetzl: Street Protests, Electronic Disturbance, Smart Mobs: Dislocations of Resistance Wolf-Dieter Ernst: Performing Traffic: On Mobile Aesthetics in Contemporary Theater and Travel


All interested in Media Theory and History, Cultural Studies, Infrastructure Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Mobilities Studies, Social Movement Studies. Relevant for academic libraries, undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars.