Our approach

Scholars in Media and Communication Studies have been interested in visual cultures and material practices particularly in three specific and usually interrelated strands:

1) Work done in conversation with Visual Culture and Bildwissenschaft (e.g. Mirzoeff 1998; Müller 2003; Seppänen 2006), developing approaches that take especially social scientific methods and questions into account.

2) Practice-based approaches for understanding how global media and mediations could be affected by digitization (e.g. Couldry 2004; Brauchler & Postill 2010).

3) A further fruitful area in this regard combines media scholarship and anthropological approaches (e.g. Rothenbuhler & Coman 2005; Ginsburg 2006; Gómez-Cruz 2012), focusing at times particularly on questions of material mediation (Lehmuskallio 2012; Were & Favero 2013; Grace 2014).

These questions regarding visual cultures and material practices are inherently interdisciplinary, while disciplinary work is also necessary to transfer findings and conceptual understandings to those disciplines involved. Therefore, it is important that Media and Communication Studies present a platform to engage in these conversations. The proposed Section provides a platform for doing so.


Bräuchler, B., & Postill, J. (Eds.). (2010). Theorising media and practice. Berghahn Books.
Couldry, Nick. 2004. “Theorizing Media as Practice.” Social Semiotics 14 (2): 115–1132.
Ginsburg, F. D. (ed.) (2006). Media worlds. Anthropology on new terrain. Berkeley et al.: Univ. of California Press.
Gómez-Cruz, E. (2012) De la cultura Kodak a la imagen en red. Una etnografía sobre fotografía digital. Barcelona: UOC Press.
Grace, H. (2013). Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media: The Prosaic Image. Routledge.
Lehmuskallio, A. (2012). Pictorial Practices in a “Cam Era.” Studying non-professional camera use. Tampere: Tampere University Press.
Mirzoeff, N. (ed.) (1998). The Visual Culture Reader, London et al.: Routledge.
Müller, M. (2003). Grundlagen der visuellen Kommunikation. Theorieansätze und Analysemethoden. Konstanz: UVK Medien/UTB.
Rothenbuhler, E. W. & Coman, M. (eds.) (2005). Media Anthropology. Thousand Oaks/London/New Delhi: Sage.
Seppänen, J. (2006). The Power of the Gaze: An Introduction to Visual Literacy. New York et al.: Peter Lang.
Were, G. & Favero, P. (eds) (2013). Special Issue on Imaging Digital Lives. Journal of Material Culture, 18 (3).