Jakob Hörtnagl: “Why? Because It’s Classic!“ Negotiated knowledge and group identity in the retrogaming-community “Project 1999”

This paper explores the preservation of the social architecture as a constitutive element of the retrogaming-community Project 1999, a group of players who are enthusiastic about a specific classic phase of the old MMORPG Everquest. In an attempt to recreate an authentic gaming experience, certain technical and cultural characteristics of this era are invoked as a symbolic resource in a retrospective discourse. The players negotiate nostalgic sentiments in the contradictory conditions of the contemporary converging media environment to recreate what they consider the “essence” of Everquest. The paper follows this issue by investigating the ways in which knowledge is collected and applied. Using a dedicated wiki, information about the original game is collected and made visible within the community in a collaborative effort. This provides opportunities to reflect and discuss shared memories and recreate authenticity not only on the technical, but also on the cultural level. The stated ideal, although impossible to achieve, serves as an important point of reference in ongoing negotiations on the condition of the game. A collective memory grounded in nostalgic longing directed at the past thus becomes a source for shared identity and communitization in the present.

Ezequiel Korin: Nowstalgia Articulating future pasts through selfies and GoPro-ing

This article discusses the emergence and prevalence of a prospective nostalgic narrative of present events articulated through the practices of selfies and GoPro-ing as instances of anticipatory future yearning, colloquially identified as nowstalgia. The compound term collapses past, present, and future into a deeply complex temporal construct, as the object of such a yearning is but a possibility that is waiting to happen or, at best, one that is taking place in the present.
Using a critical cultural approach, the article proposes nowstalgia as an analytical tool for the exploration of selfies and GoPro-ing as moments of active construction of a presumably valorized past-in-the-making. The conditions of production of nowstalgic narratives hinge, the author argues, on the abstraction or removal of the subject from the present actions and situations in which they are immersed, in favor of documenting them, which becomes justified by their possible yearning in the future.

Mario Keller: Experienced Mood and Commodified Mode Forms of nostalgia in the television commercials of Manner

The article raises the question how nostalgia is utilized as an advertising strategy in the television commercials of the Austrian sweets producer Manner. The first section of the paper elaborates how different variations of this emotion developed and how the meaning of it changed throughout history. Among others nostalgia became an important aspect of consumer culture and was therefore increasingly popular as a tool for advertising and marketing. In the second part of the paper, by analysing and comparing a Manner commercial from 1998 to two from 2015, it is shown in what different ways nostalgia can be visualized and communicated in television advertising. Whereas the 1998 campaign tried to evoke a “real” nostalgic mood in viewers by referring to national collective as well as to individual consumers’ nostalgia, the 2015 commercials playfully engaged with various superficial nostalgic references and omitted negative facets of nostalgia.

Talitha Ferraz: Activating Nostalgia Cinemagoers’ performances in Brazilian movie theatres reopening and protection cases

Based on two recent Brazilian efforts to protect historical street-level cinemas in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil, I aim to analyse the role of audience’s activism in promoting engagements for the reopening and maintenance of picture houses, taking into account the handling of cinema-going memories by certain practices, actions, and discourses that I denominate as “activated nostalgia”. I discuss the campaign against the closure of the Grupo Estação cinema circuit, located in Rio de Janeiro, and the recovering process of the Cine Belas Artes, an art and essay cinema situated in São Paulo. These movements operate their network across online social media and public events, hence accomplishing significant gains in terms of the maintenance of the places. I investigate the limits and intersections between enthusiastic collective performances and the uses of the cinema-goers’ nostalgia expressions by institutional actors and managers involved in the final steps of the restoration projects. I suggest that the activation of nostalgia through cinema-goers mobilizations becomes a crucial axis for the formation of belonging and identity ties among cinephiles. Adding to that, it functions as a component of the uses of memory regarding street-level cinemas and its criteria for preservation, reopening or patrimonialization, often meeting the interests of forces of power engendered within governmental and private spheres.

Gabriele de Seta & Francesca Olivotti: Postcolonial Posts on Colonial Pasts Constructing Hong Kong nostalgia on social media

Hong Kong nostalgia has become a trademark aesthetic in representations of the city from literature and cinema to branding and advertising. This article traces the social construction of Hong Kong nostalgia back to digital media platforms and the everyday activities of users sharing and commenting historical images and textual memories related to the city’s colonial past. In dialogue with recent scholarship on time, media and memory, the authors identify a large Facebook group dedicated to the city’s colonial times and follow the activities of its members through qualitative methodologies guided by a network sensibility. By engaging with the circulation of historical photographs, personal narratives and material culture; and by examining the media practices involved in sharing and reconstructing local memories, the authors provide an ethnographically grounded portrayal of how everyday social media interactions contribute to a larger process of nostalgizing the city.

Marek Jeziński & Łukasz Wojtkowski: Nostalgia Commodified Towards the marketization of the post-communist past through the new media

In this paper post-communist nostalgia in contemporary Poland as a specific form of cultural practice is examined. The phenomenon is characterized by the references to space, time, people and human activities evoking nostalgic feelings and emotions rooted in past of a particular human group and it is defined through the media practices as a certain kind of product functioning in and by the media.
The post-communist nostalgia is presented as a kind of folklore that functions mainly in the new media as a sphere of cultural commodity of emotions and is manifested by the internet blogs, shops (one can obtain the communist era products), ‘memory’ sites profiled to bring the recollections from the communist past (virtual museums, fora discussing TV shows, TV series, toys, books, products, etc. coming from the 1970. decade), websites chatting about people (politicians, artists, sportsmen), places or events coming from the socialist era.

Rezensionen 4/2016

Michael Meyen & Anke Fiedler: Wer jung ist, liest die Junge Welt. Die Geschichte der auflagenstärksten DDR-Zeitung. Berlin: Links, 2013, 279 Seiten.
– rezensiert von Christoph Lorke, Münster

Reynolds, Glenn: Colonial Cinema in Africa. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2015, 236 Seiten.
– rezensiert von Ulrich van der Heyden, Berlin

Matthias Karmasin & Christian Oggolder (Hg.): Österreichische Mediengeschichte. Von den frühen Drucken bis zur Ausdifferenzierung des Mediensystems (1500 bis 1918). Bd. 1. Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2016, 253 Seiten.
– rezensiert von Christian Schwarzenegger, Augsburg

Call for Papers: Kommunikationsgeschichte der Vernetzung Netzwerke als Perspektive und Methode historischer Kommunikationsforschung

Themenheft 1/2018

Gastherausgeber: Erik Koenen (Bremen), Niklas Venema (Berlin), Matthias Bixler (Zürich)

Download: CfP Kommunikationsgeschichte der Vernetzung.pdf
Netzwerke haben sich in den letzten Jahren in der Geschichtswissenschaft als populäres Forschungsfeld entwickelt und werden intensiv diskutiert (Düring, Eumann, Stark, & Keyserlingk 2016). Zum einen werden Netzwerke stärker als historiographische Kategorie reflektiert, zum anderen findet eine an sozialwissenschaftlichen Netzwerkanalysen orientierte Historische Netzwerkforschung immer öfter als Methode Verwendung, um die Verflechtung gesellschaftlicher Strukturen durch soziale Beziehungen historisch-empirisch zu untersuchen. Obwohl als besonderer Erkenntnisgewinn der historischen Netzwerkperspektive die „strukturelle Dimension menschlicher Interaktion“ (Düring & Eumann 2013, S. 369) hervorgehoben wird, bleibt Kommunikation dabei allerdings eine prominente Leerstelle. Theoretische Diskussionen in der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft über die Verflechtung sozialer Strukturen durch interpersonale und medienvermittelte Kommunikation (u.a.: Hepp, Krotz, Moores & Winter 2006; Fuhse & Stegbauer 2011) haben hier noch keine Resonanz gefunden wie umgekehrt wiederum die kommunikations- und mediensoziologische Sicht auf Kommunikation, Medien und Vernetzung weitgehend geschichtslos bleibt (Ein Beispiel ist: Fuhse 2011). Weiterlesen

Editorial 3/2016 Kommunikation in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft

30 Jahre medien & zeit! Der Geburtstag bietet nicht nur Anlass um zu Feiern und gemeinsam mit langjährigen WegbegleiterInnen und MitstreiterInnen im Hier und Jetzt über Vergangenes wie Zukünftiges zu reflektieren. Die Publikationsgeschichte dieser, seit 1986 bestehenden Wiener Fachzeitschrift, erlaubt es ein Profil dieser Zeitschrift und des dahinterstehenden HerausgeberInnenkreises zu zeichnen. Weiterlesen

Thomas Birkner & Christian Schwarzenegger: Konjunkturen, Kontexte, Kontinuitäten Eine Programmatik für die Kommunikationsgeschichte im digitalen Zeitalter

Der Beitrag skizziert zunächst einen kursorischen Rückblick auf die letzten drei Jahrzehnte kommunikationshistorischer Forschung. Kommunikationsgeschichte wird dazu als ein Denkstil und eine intellektuelle Perspektive innerhalb der Kommunikationswissenschaft verstanden. Der Aufsatz bietet Überblick zur Institutionalisierung dieses Denkstils im deutschsprachigen Fach sowie über jüngere und jüngste thematische Schwerpunktsetzungen innerhalb der Kommunikationsgeschichte, speziell in Gestalt der Aktivitäten der DGPuK-Fachgruppe. In einem zweiten argumentativen Schritt werden dann programmatisch drei Bereiche erörtert, die auf der Agenda der kommunikationshistorischen Forschung in den nächsten Jahren eine Rolle spielen werden und eine Rolle spielen müssen, um die Relevanz der Kommunikationsgeschichte für das Fach zu erhalten, zu stärken und gegenüber der Kollegenschaft zu vermitteln.