Experimental Media Ethnography

Prof. Dr. Andreas Fickers (University of Luxembourg), Prof. Dr. Kristen Haring (Standford University), Dr. Jessica Mesman (Maastricht University) and Dr. Stefan Krebs (University of Luxembourg)

This skills training introduced students to Ethnography and Experimental Media Archaeology as methods and techniques in media historical research. Unlike previous skills trainings, in which we explored digital tools and techniques in digital history and humanities research, this training gave participants the opportunity to do hands-on experiments and participant observations with an original analogue media object: the Edison phonograph. Invented at the end of the 1870s, the phonograph was the first domestic sound recording and sound reproduction technology. By doing historical re-enactments and experiments as well as ethnographic observations, participants learned how to engage with historical media artefacts, practices and realities in a critical, reflexive and sensory way. Furthermore, doing experimental media ethnography helped to foster self-observation and self-reflection skills in general. The workshop was open to PhD candidates with an interest in media history, (auto-)ethnography, experimental media archaeology, technostalgia and historical re-enactment.