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Media Performance Histories

Editors: Kurt Vanhoutte Nele Wynants Sabine Lenk Frank Kessler
Publisher: Alexander Sterkens
List of Publications

ISSN 2983-9580

Method of peer review
single-blind undertaken by a specialist member of the Board or an external specialist

Theatre and Performance, Media Archaeology, History of Knowledge, History of Science, Intermediality, Worldwide, Long nineteenth century


This book 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 learning 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.


    Editorial Board:

    David Aubin, Sorbonne université
    Charlotte Bigg, CNRS-EHESS Paris
    Leen Engelen, University of Antwerp / KU Leuven
    Sébastien Fevry, Université Catholique de Louvain
    Erkki Huhtamo, University of California, Los Angeles
    Martyn Jolly, Australian National University
    Evelien Jonckheere, University of Antwerp
    Joe Kember, University of Exeter
    Machiko Kusahara, Waseda University Tokyo
    Jean-Marc Larrue, Université de Montreal
    Martin Loiperdinger, Trier University
    Natalija Majsova, University of Ljubljana
    Dominique Nasta, Université libre de Bruxelles
    Ilja Nieuwland, Huygens ING
    Kristof van Baarle, University of Antwerp
    Vanessa Toulmin, University of Sheffield
    Ilja Vandamme, University of Antwerp
    Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Université libre de Bruxelles
    Koen Vermeir, CNRS Paris
    Kaat Wils, KULeuven
    Yvonne Zimmermann, Philipps-University Marburg


    Main language: English
    Additional languages: French, German

    All volumes in this series are evaluated by an Editorial Board, strictly on academic grounds, based on reports prepared by referees who have been commissioned by virtue of their specialism in the appropriate field. The Series Editors ensure that the screening is done independently and without conflicts of interest. The definitive texts supplied by authors are also subject to review by the Board before being approved for publication.

    The MPH-stylesheet (in English) can be found at:

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