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Media Archaeology

Did you know that the idea behind FaceTime is more than a 100 years old? Or that wireless public large-scale file-sharing could be executed in the 1980s? Or that a music-on-demand system was in fact realised in 1895? Want to take the course but can't be in Stockholm? Spring 2023 we give the course as "Distance Learning Course". See you!


Many of the media technologies we live with today have unexpected, untold, and even whimsical histories. That is, media history is often presented as a series of successful inventions and inventors.

However, media history is also full of weird failures, forgotten gadgets, strange experiments, and imagined futures. Instead of allowing these to disappear, neither from our memories nor from our material lives, media archaeology will help you understand how such overlooked histories and technologies still have a surprising impact on our contemporary digital lives.

Are you new to Media Archeology? - Perfectly fine!

You do not need to have previous experience of media archaeology to enjoy this course. Its relevance  and applicability spans over several fields, and speaks to both master level students and doctoral students.


Themes in the course

The course follows a cycle of theoretical lectures and hands-on activities relating to a specific theme.

At this point, the planned themes are:

  • What is media archaeology? An introduction to the field / method / aesthetic.
  • Representations and Performances + History of computers. A theoretical walkthrough of the performativity concept, plus some basic(!) programming.
  • Inscriptions and Techniques + Feminist Media Archaeology. Lectures on body techniques, cultural techniques and mediated memories. And a design exercise addressing societal injustice!
  • Spaces and Times + Media Ecology. Not only learning about infrastructures and dirt(!), you will also dive deeper into media ecologies (which may not be what you think)!
  • Objects and Affects + Game Archaeology. Media technologies are active in producing emotions and affects. What better way to explore these than through game archaeology?
  • Bodies and Brains + Imaginary media. Our bodies and brains are ”always already there”, but what about media that only exist in fantasies - can they change us? Yes, they can!
  • Course structure

    The course looks at the intricate temporal relations that exists in between new and old media technologies.

    In this course the concept "new media" is questioned and contemporary digital cultures are put in a historical perspective. During the course students will examine forgotten, overlooked, recycled, debunked and imagined media technologies as well as the myths, hopes and hesitations surrounding those. A strong focus will be on how media materiality, functionality and design could be seen as coordinating political, social and cultural practice.

    For successful results on the course, the you will demonstrate:

    - In-depth understanding of the media history of digital cultures;

    - In-depth understanding and analytical ability regarding societal and time-related myths, hopes and concernsabout (digital) media technologies.

    Teaching format

    The teaching formats include not only traditional lectures, but also old-school programming and innovative design exercises, for example, which will provide a hands-on experience that will deepen your knowledge.The course follows a cycle of theoretical lectures and hands-on activities relating to a specific theme.

    Tuition takes place in the form of lectures and seminars.  All tuition is mandatory. Tuition is in english.

    Master's Programme student

    This course is also an optional part of the Master's Programme in Global Media Studies, and we welcome students from other programmes that meet the eligibility.


    The course is examined through a home exam.



  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Course reports

  • Contact

    General information

    Student Counsellor