History of Participatory Media. Politics and Publics, 1750-2000

Edited by Anders Ekström, Solveig Jülich, Frans Lundgren, Per Wisselgren
Routledge, 2010

This book argues for a historical perspective on issues relating to the notion of participatory media. Working from a broad concept of media – including essays on the 19th century press, early sound media, photography, exhibitions, television and the internet – the book offers a broad empirical approach to different modes of audience participation from the mid 19th century to the present. Using the insights from the historical case studies, the book also explores some of the key concepts in discussions on the politics of participation, arguing for a theoretical perspective sensitive to the asymmetries that characterize the distribution of agency in the relationship between media and users.

Scholarly discussions on participatory media now occur in several fields. This book argues that all of these discussions are all too often obscured by a rhetoric of newness, assuming that participatory media is something unique in history, radical and revolutionary. By challenging the historiography implicit in this rhetoric, the book also engages in a discussion of issues of more general relevance to the multidisciplinary field of media history.

Table of Contents
Participatory Media in Historical Perspective Eckström, Jülich, Lundgren, and Wisselgren
1. From Enlightened Participation to Liberal Professionalism: On the Historiography of the Press as a Resourse for Legitimacy Lundell
2. The Politics of Participation: Francis Galton’s Anthropometric Laboratory and the Formation of Civic Selves Lundgren
3. Creating Audiences, Making Participants: The Cylinder Phonograph in Ethnographic Fieldwork Boström
4. Knowing Media, Knowing Audiences: Performing Publics at the Early 20th Century Fun-Fair Ekström
5. The Interactivity of the Model Home Sandberg
6. Touring the Congo: The Roles of Mobility and Materiality in Missionary Media Gustafsson Reinius
7. Say Milk, Say Cheese! Inscribing Participation in the Milk Propaganda’s Photography Habel
8. Daniel Ellsberg and the Lost Idea of the Photocopy Gitelman
9. Remixing the Public Fetus: Lennart Nilsson’s Medical Imagery and Participatory Culture Jülich
10. Expedition Robinson, Participatory Media, and the History of the Social Experiment Wisselgren
11. Two Museum Websites: Socio-Technical Arrangements for Engagement with the Past Axelsson