Aspects of the media are highly relevant in research within the Humanities as well as the Social Sciences. Historical perspectives are, however, heavily neglected. Contemporary society, with its revolutionary media development, also opens for novel perspectives on the past, and the history of the media helps make our current situation more comprehensible.
In Media History, historical perspectives are applied to media phenomena, and medial perspectives are, in turn, applied to history. The field is best viewed in light of the ”cultural turn” within the historical sciences, but it also originates in the issues generated by the new media of our time, and the discussions surrounding these. The research within the subject aims to problematise, nuance and historicise these discussions as well.
Convergence, intermediality, re-mediating, media participation and systematic aspects do not belong solely to our time. And by using a broad definition of media, other forms of media can be added to the list, such as archives, banners, CD:s, daguerreotypes, e-mails, flags...
To the media forms that have traditionally been studied, new questions are posed, concerning technology and audiences, participation and power, culture and politics, boundaries and materiality, gender and ethnicity, time and space.
Topics of ongoing research projects and theses include the Swedish boulevard press in the late 19th century, methodological aspects of digital newspapers, standardisation and the establishing of the A4 format during the 1930s and 40s, pro-German media networks during the Second World War, the exchange of television programmes between Sweden and the GDR in the Cold War era, the fostering of citizens in 1950s consumer journalism, men’s magazines and Cold War politics, the television documentary ”The World at War”, public funerals as media events, and the introduction of mail order as communication system around 1900.