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We Need to Talk About Heidegger

Essays Situating Martin Heidegger in Contemporary Media Studies


Edited By Justin Michael Battin and German A. Duarte

This collection assembles a number of chapters engaging different strands of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy in order to explore issues relevant to contemporary media studies. Following the release of Heidegger’s controversial Black Notebooks and the subsequent calls to abandon the philosopher, this book seeks to demonstrate why Heidegger, rather than be pushed aside and shunned by media practitioners, ought to be embraced by and further incorporated into the discipline, as he offers unique and often innovative pathways to address, and ultimately understand, our daily engagements with media-related phenomena.

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Martin Heidegger and Media Studies


Justin Michael Battin and German A. Duarte


Media studies, much like critical theory, attempts to understand the effects of mass media on societies and to draw links between issues of representation, media artifacts, and, to echo Adorno, the culture industries, often with the intent of elucidating its potential as a hegemonic force. In 2007, David Morley suggested that the research output distributed under the designation of media studies had gradually become too idealist and exclusively concentrated on media itself, as both content and a dispositive.1 In his view, a non-media-centric form of media studies must emerge in order to return the discipline to, in his own words, “its full range of classical concerns.”2 Inspired by the time-space compression that has come to epitomize our contemporary social, economic, and political context, Morley suggested that a new paradigm for the discipline was needed, one that “attends more closely to its material as well as its symbolic dimensions.”3 Following this framework, Shaun Moores argues that media studies has become too captivated with symbolic representation and cognitive interpretation as its primary means of investigation,4 and echoes Morley’s call for more inclusive form of the discipline, one that seeks to engage with a diverse collection of discourses circulating across the social sciences. This solicitation for a materialist intervention unveiled an opening to allow what we feel was Heidegger’s inevitable entry into the discipline.

Considering that Heidegger often regarded as being one of the most relevant...

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