‘Harbour Cities’: media in urban and regional histories

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


This panel reflects on the crucial role of media in creating place and region. As editors of an innovative publishing project via an online portal, we have recently curated an interlinked series of essays on ‘harbour cities’. The series is part of ‘Transnational Media Histories’, an international network project between the Centre for Media History, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, the Research Centre Media History, Hamburg University and Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institute, Hamburg, Germany and the Centre for Information and Communication Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Shanghai, Sydney and Hamburg share situated histories as major maritime transport hubs and also incorporate key communication infrastructures which articulate and cut across regions.

Each of the essays explores an archival document from the twentieth century as a ‘media text’ or ‘media object’. By looking at these media artefacts, each researcher asks what they tell us about the mediated representation, the cultural texture and the habitus of the city during a specific time period. Looking at these objects both individually and as part of a series therefore opens windows onto moments that represent major shifts in local understandings of place and time. As media scholars, each author uses media-historical methods to open a dialogue with the present: what do these objects tell us about how we use media to understand our place in the world now? This series thus investigate the dynamics of place, communication and media in each of these cities.
Period29 Sept 2021
Event titleAustralian Media Traditions Conference
Event typeConference
LocationMelbourne, AustraliaShow on map