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Media, technology and knowledge cultures

May 16, 2008


10th EASA Biennial Conference 2008: Experiencing diversity and mutuality
Ljubljana, Slovenia
26 to 30 August, 2008

Cora Bender (University of Bremen)
Corabender(at) (please replace the (at) with @)
Ian Dent (University of Cambridge)
Ian.Dent(at) (please replace the (at) with @)
Dorle Dracklé (University of Bremen) dorle.drackle(at)
(please replace the (at) with @)



In the recent years, many scholars in the field of media anthropology have pointed out the necessity to study media as technology, in order to further decenter the textual content of media in favor of their social context. However, what do we mean by technology? This workshop intends to inspire the reception of recent debates in anthropology and related neighboring disciplines which have expanded the perspectives on technology vastly. Science and technology studies, material culture studies, ecology and environmentalism, medical anthropology, and anthropological studies of cyberspace and technoscience, contribute to a much betterunderstanding of technologies not only as sets of material devices, but as complex, negotiated arrangements of agents, social practices, cultural imaginations, and circulating things. Abandoning older ‘ballistic’ concepts of technologies as physical tools having an ‘impact’ on cultures, research into the dynamics of technoscience suggests that much of what constitutes technology in a given situation is the outcome of politically interested media discourse producing models of diversity, mutuality and exclusion. Nevertheless, every technological orthodoxy produces its heterodoxy, as well. Unpacking the ‘black box’ of technologies, therefore, means to look at different opposing ways of how technology is culturally constituted by and in the media, how media-related practices configure and re-configure technology, and how technology and cultural imagination interplay.

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