The Techne Collection features two thematic series:
Media Performance Histories
Edited by Frank Kessler, Sabine Lenk, Kurt Vanhoutte, and Nele Wynants.
This series focuses on the intersections between media developments and performative culture since the early nineteenth century. The modern era witnessed a proliferation of media performances and exhibitions, encouraged by the burgeoning rise of science and technology, and supported by changes in transportation, communication, education and social mobility. These popular events were part of nascent culture industries that took root in learned environments and lecture halls but also in theatre and opera houses, spilling out into public space, the boulevards and the fairgrounds. Academics and science enthusiasts but also illusionists, artists and amateur savants, all shared a knack for understanding what would entice different audiences, coupled with a delicate balance between scientific demonstration and sensational entertainment. While relying on international networks, media performances contributed to the circulation of knowledge, technologies and visual culture between European cities and across the Atlantic.
Media Performance Histories explores the ways in which cultural change, new forms of knowledge, science and technology were turned into modern spectacles that addressed different audiences and produced different modes of reception. It provides readers with a unique guide to how transnational performance created a culturally shared repertoire of signs and shaped modern Western culture. The books in this series offer accounts that cut across disciplinary and geographical boundaries, while being sensitive to how specific historical contexts and institutional circumstances constituted media and performance cultures. By also considering the interplay between present-day media performances and the archaeological traces that they carry, the series moreover aims to unearth previously overlooked but resurgent prehistories of so-called “new” media.
The series is situated at the intersection of performance studies, media studies and the history of science. It welcomes edited collections and monographs on issues including (but not limited to) the interaction between media (archaeology) and performance; the role of theatre and performance in the circulation of knowledge; the way (early) media and technologies are staged; the agency of human observers as part of intermedial interactions or as part of viewing strategies.
Edited by the Global Matters Steering Committee.
Global Matters focuses on global material circulations from the Renaissance to the present day.