History of Media Studies

This working group will cultivate a community around a growing (and notably interdisciplinary) field of research. While a large literature of published work on the history of the cognate areas of film, media, and communication has accumulated over the last 40 years or so, there is nothing like a community or subfield in the manner of the history of psychology, economics, or sociology. Indeed, historical work on the media fields is notably cut off from better established fields in the history of social science, with which it often intersects. Connections with the far less developed history of the humanities are also awaiting development, since major strands of media, communication, and especially film studies have their origins in, and are oriented toward, the humanities.
Meetings are usually held on third Wednesdays.

Please set your timezone at https://www.chstm.org/user

Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023 10:00 am to 11:30 am EDT


  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023 10:00 am to 11:30 am EST


  • Wednesday, December 20, 2023 10:00 am to 11:30 am EST


  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 10:00 am to 11:30 pm EST


  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024 10:00 am to 11:30 am EST


  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 10:00 am to 11:30 am EDT


  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 10:00 am to 11:30 am EDT


  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 10:00 am to 11:30 am EDT


Past Meetings

  • September 20, 2023

    In this session, we will read Valeska Huber & Jürgen Osterhammel's “Introduction: Global Publics” (2020) (up to page 38), and Ali Karimi's "Ephemeral Publics: An Experiment in Influencing Muslim Public Opinion in WWI."

  • May 17, 2023

    In this session, we will read Pierre Bourdieu & Loïc Wacquant's “On the Cunning of Imperialist Reason” (1999) and Bernard Geoghegan's “Learning to Code: Cybernetics and French Theory” (2023).

  • April 19, 2023

    In this session, we will read Hadley Cantril & Gordon Allport's “Education,” from The Psychology of Radio (1935) and Brian C. Gregory's draft chapter “Developing Critical Listening: Educational Radio, Civic Participation, and Early Media Literacy”.

  • March 15, 2023

    In this session, we will read Stuart Hall's “Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy and the Cultural Turn” (2007) and Steven Gotzler's “Virtue Signals: Richard Hoggart and British Cultural Studies, a Case-Study in the History of Theory.”

  • February 15, 2023

    In this session, we will read Kit Coppard, Paddy Whannel, Raymond Williams, and Tony Higgins's “Television Supplement” (New Left Review, 1961) and Susan Douglas's draft chapters “Introduction” and “What Is Culture?”

  • January 18, 2023

    In this session, we will read Terry Cook's “Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms” (2013) and Robert Riter's “Paper Archives: Stevenson’s Conceptualizations of Paper as Evidence & Information”.

  • December 21, 2022

    In this session, we will read Michael J. Apter's “Cybernetics: A Case Study of a Scientific Subject-Complex” (1970) and Alexander Soytek's “Foucault’s Reception of the Information Discourse, 1948-1971.”

  • November 16, 2022

    In this session, we will read Clara Ruvitoso's “Southern Theories in Northern Circulation: Analyzing the Translation of Latin American Dependency Theories into German” (2020) and Mariano Zarowsky's “Entre la renovación de las ciencias sociales y la intervención intelectual: Eliseo Verón editor en Tiempo Contemporáneo (1969–1974)” (2017). Both works are translated, using DeepL, following their original language.

  • October 19, 2022

    In this session, we will read Jeff Pooley's “Edward Shils’ Turn Against Karl Mannheim: The Central European Connection” (2007) and Terhi Rantanen's “Introduction” to Dead Men's Tales: Failed Ideologies and Utopias in Transnational Comparative Communications Research.

  • September 21, 2022

    In this session, we will read Silvio Waisbord's an excerpt from Communication: A Post-Discipline [introduction and chapter five] (2019) as well as Christian Pentzold, Anna Seikel, Erik Koenen, & Jakob Jünger's “Talking the Talk but Not Walking the Walk: A Study of ICA Presidential Addresses.”

Group Conveners

  • dpark's picture

    Dave Park

    David Park (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is professor of communication at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL. His scholarship addresses historical topics in communication and media studies, with an emphasis on the history of communication associations, media history, and scholarly communication. He is the reviews editor for New Media & Society, the founder of the Communication History Division of the International Communication Association, and the series editor for the Critical Introduction to Media and Communication Theory series at Peter Lang publishers. He is the author of Pierre Bourdieu: A Critical Introduction to Media and Communication Theory (Peter Lang, 2014). He has also co-edited The History of Media and Communication Research (Peter Lang, 2008), The Long History of New Media (Peter Lang, 2011), The International History of Communication Study (Routledge, 2015), Communicating Memory and History (Peter Lang, 2018), and The Inclusive Vision: Essays in Honor of Larry Gross (Peter Lang, 2018).


  • jpooley's picture

    Jeff Pooley

    Jeff Pooley (PhD, Columbia University) is professor of media & communication at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. His research interests center on the history of media research within the context of the social sciences, with special focus on the early Cold War behavioral sciences. He is author of James W. Carey and Communication Research: Reputation at the University’s Margins (Peter Lang, 2016), and co-editor of The History of Media and Communication Research (Peter Lang, 2008), Media and Social Justice (Palgrave, 2011), and Redrawing the Boundaries of the Social Sciences: How Social Problems Become Economic Problems in the Postwar U.S. (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is co-founder of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science, and has published articles and book chapters on a range of related topics.


  • PeteSimonson's picture

    Pete Simonson

    Pete Simonson (PhD, University of Iowa) is professor of communication and, by courtesy, media studies in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research centers on the international history of communication and media studies, intellectual history, feminist historiography, and the interdisciplinary connections of rhetoric with philosophy, political theory, sociology, and anthropology. He is the author of Refiguring Mass Communication: A History, and editor or co-editor of The International History of Communication Study, The Handbook of Communication History, and Politics, Social Networks, and the History of Mass Communications Research: Re-Reading Personal Influence.


210 Members