Introducing MediaCities

Johan Fornäs
Department of Culture Studies (Tema Q), Linköping University, Sweden

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Ingår i: The ESF-LiU Conference Cities and Media: Cultural Perspectives on Urban Identities in a Mediatized World Vadstena; Sweden; 25-29 October; 2

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 20:1, s. 15–19

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Publicerad: 2007-03-06


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The ESF-LiU Conference in Vadstena 25–29 October 2006 gathered more than 50 inter­national scholars to explore and discuss the theme of “Cities and Media: Cultural Perspectives on Urban Identities in a Mediatized World”. The main organiser and chair of the conference; musicologist researcher in media and communications Johan Fornäs from the Department of Culture Studies (Tema Q) at Linköping University introduces and sums up the event by outlining the general objectives behind this initiative.

This introduction starts by discussing the recent convergence of two previously distinct research areas: media studies and urban studies. The separation is a particular facet of a more general disjunction between culture and space; which is now being outdated from both sides; as geographers and urban theorists are increasingly interested in the imaginary; mediated and symbolic; while cultural studies and media research express a growing attention to spatial dimensions and locations of communication practices.

The various aspects and forms of this convergence are highlighted; combining the study of space in culture and cities in media or media representations of urban spaces with studies of culture in space and media in cities; comprising urban spaces of media making and use as well as the interspatial flows of images; texts and sounds. The result is a complex and dia­lect­ical fusion that may be termed MediaCities.

Subthemes and dimensions of this interface between urban; media and cultural studies are dis­cuss­ed; outlining a background to the conference and ideas for future collaborative Euro­pe­an research in this hybrid field; based on a set of different previous efforts that have paved the way for this new direction of research.


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