Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology


In their work, researchers in the field of Historical and Cultural Anthropology use a very wide definition of media: This includes not only images and visual culture, popular reading material (pulp magazines, comics, etc.), television series, advertising, films, websites, social media and video games, but also exhibitions, spaces, objects, sounds, and much more. That is to say, approaches from Material Culture Studies and practice theory are linked within the context of a historically oriented media anthropology. This approach takes account of both discourses in the media and practices adopted by media users: Who uses which media, and in what ways? What new action areas are opened up by new media? What battles concerning legitimacy and the authority of the media are fought among which social stakeholders, and why? An anthropology of media also puts the media themselves into perspective as social stakeholders, and asks questions about their interactions and networks.