Media and Nostalgia

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table of contents:


Canadian Journal of Communication / Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television / Questions de communication, / Communication / Le Temps des médias / MEDIENwissenschaft

Media and Nostalgia takes a closer look at the recent nostalgia boom and the relationship between media and nostalgia more generally; for example, digital photography that adopts a vintage style, the success of television series such as Mad Men, revivals of past music, fashion, and video games. However, this boom is not simply a fascination with the past; rather, it also concerns the present and the future and hints at something more profound. Expressions of nostalgia indicate a double helix type phenomenon with slower reactions to ever-faster technologies, and the possibility of an escape from the current crisis into a middle status of wanderlust (Fernweh) and a specific form of nostalgia such as homesickness. This collection explores, with a critical lens, the ways in which various media produce narratives of nostalgia, how they trigger nostalgic emotions and how they can in fact be a creative projection space in themselves.

“Nostalgia has become an almost forbidden feeling, denounced and altered by mainstream media. In reality it is often innovative and productive. The volume edited by Katharina Niemeyer is a pioneering work that tackles the question critically.” – Régis Debray, author of “Transmitting Culture”, 2004

“The book is divided into four sections each dealing with a distinct area of concern. … The scope of the material covered in this volume, and the rigour of the thought provoking chapters within, make this book an extremely welcome and valuable addition to the growing literature on history, memory and nostalgia.” – Mike Chopra-Gant, Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, 2016

Media and Nostalgia draws together a series of fascinating essays that reveal the multi-faceted nature of both nostalgia and the scholarly responses to this slippery phenomenon. It displays a commitment to the meaningful interrogation of a term and a phenomenon that is often “thrown away” in general usage. This multidisciplinary collection benefits from a scope and ambition that includes reflections on nostalgia in relation to a series of media forms: television, film, advertising, print, photography, popular music, art and literature. The collection offers a productive investigation of the usefulness and multiplicity of nostalgia and its many articulations across these varied media sites.” – Amy Holdsworth, University of Glasgow, UK

“Pervasive in movies, television series, photography and nowadays virtual spaces, nostalgia and its role in media have received little attention in scholarly literature. This book, inspiring, provocative and timely, fills an important gap. It will no doubt constitute a major contribution to memory and media studies and the study of nostalgia.” – David Berliner, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

“Nostalgia is – more and more – a very ubiquitous phenomenon and the volume ‘Media and Nostalgia’ is a pioneering work on the diverse relations of both. Strong theoretical approaches and fascinating case studies are developed and discussed here, revealing the link between the nostalgic boom and the apparent acceleration of time produced by new technologies. The authors concentrate on (social) media content (but not exclusively) as well its uses and show how we ‘nostalgize’ in everyday life. The vintage and retro trend is tackled here within its complexity and goes beyond the idea of marketing strategies by offering very new insights into the study of nostalgia. Nostalgia, as some contributors write, can nourish a critical view on the past and, sometimes, be an element of imagination a better future.” – Géraldine Poels, Institut national de l’audiovisuel, France