Andreas Fickers: Seeing the familiar strange Some reflections about actants, actors and arenas of transnational media history

Abstract:
The essay pleas for a critical reassessment of the nation as long lasting paradigm of historical research on mass media. By presenting the transnational perspective as a useful framework for seeing the familiar strange, the author introduces the three interrelated concepts of actants, actors and arenas as critical tools for the study of transnational media flows. Based on three historical short stories dealing with the emergence of a telegraph infrastructure for news reporting in Sweden, the establishment of a transnational „pirate“ radio and television station in the Saar region, and subversive viewing practices of the Romanian television audience in the 1980s, the authors aims at problematizing the complex spatial and topological nature of transnational mediascape by using an integral media historical approach.

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