Coming up next: University of Chicago Press publication on MEDIA: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry

The book MEDIA: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry ed. by Janet Wasko and Jeremy Swartz with the University of Chicago Press: Chicago 2021, explores evolving definitions of media and interrogates how media technologies are transforming media theory and practice. The collection addresses the emerging roles of media across a wide range of disciplines, featuring contributions from an array of internationally known scholars and practitioners. The definition of media itself is in a constant state of flux, expanding to include an ever-widening range of concepts, products, services, and institutions. Here, the authors reconceptualize media, drawing not only on media and communication studies, but also philosophy, sociology, political science, biology, art, computer science, and information studies, among other disciplines. The collection challenges traditional notions of media, explores emerging media, and reexamines concepts including technology, environment, and ecology; multimedia, mediation, and labor; and participation, repair, and curation.

The first in the Media-Life-Universe trilogy, this volume explores a transdisciplinary notion of media and technology, exploring media as technology, with special attention to its material, historical and ecological ramifications. Featuring a group of internationally known scholars, this collection explores evolving definitions of media and how media technologies are transforming theory and practice. As the current media includes a wider and wider range of concepts, products, services and institutions, the definition of media continues to be in a state of flux. What are media today? How is media studies evolving? How have technologies transformed communication and media theory, and informed praxis? What are some of the futures of media?

The collection challenges traditional notions of media, as well as concepts such as freedom of expression, audience empowerment and participatory media, and explores emergent media including transmedia, virtual reality, online games, metatechnology, remediation and makerspaces.

The book’s primary readership will be academics, scholars and students in media and communication studies, including a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in media studies, communication studies and new media. Suitable for classroom use in the areas of philosophy of communication and media, media theory, media ecology, cultural studies, media archaeology, feminist studies and political economy of communications and media.


Preface to a Trilogy


  1. ‘When Multimedia Meant Democracy’, Fred Turner, Stanford University (USA)
  2. ‘Four Reporting Cultures: Designing Humans In and Out of the Future of Journalism’, John Markoff, New York Times (USA)
  3. ‘Dark Materials: Markets, Machines, Media’, Graham Murdock, Loughborough University (UK)

Meanings of Media

  1. ‘A Community of Media: There Is a There There’, Sean Cubitt, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)
  2. ‘Media as Cultural Techniques: From Inscribed Surfaces to Digitalized Interfaces’, Sybille Kramer, Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)
  3. ‘Understanding “Medium” in the Context of the Media Ecology Tradition’, Lance Strate, Fordham University (USA)

Organs and Organization

  1. ‘Between Media Studies and Organizational Communication: Organizing as the Creation of Organs’, François Cooren and Frédérik Matte, Université de Montréal (Canada)
  2. ‘Current Paradigms for Creative Industry Research’, Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)
  3. ‘The Politics of Mediation: Colonization to Co-Generative Democracy’, Stanley Deetz, University of Colorado Boulder (USA)

Engagement and Extensions

  1. ‘Phantasmal Selves: Computational Approaches to Understanding Virtual Identities’, D. Fox Harrell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
  2. ‘Calm Media and the Limit of Attention’, Amber Case, Lewis & Clark College (USA)
  3. ‘The Next Internet’, Vincent Mosco, Queen’s University (Canada)


  1. ‘Biological Dimensions of Media Ecology and Its Relationship to Biosemiotics’, Robert K. Logan, University of Toronto (Canada)
  2. ‘Biomediations: From “Life in Media” to “Living Media”’, Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)
  3. ‘Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Infinity Engine’, Ingeborg Reichle, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien (Austria)

Repair and Metamedia

  1. ‘No Issues Without Media: The Changing Politics of Public Controversy in Digital Societies’, Noortje Marres, University of Warwick (UK)
  2. ‘The Poetics and Political Economy of Repair’, Steven J. Jackson and Lara Houston, Cornell University (USA)
  3. ‘Metamedia’, Jeremy Swartz, University of Oregon (USA)


Janet Wasko is a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She is the author or editor of twenty books and is currently president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Jeremy Swartz is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.

Paper $40.00

ISBN: 9781789382655

For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Cloth $106.50

ISBN: 9781789383263

For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only