Media Materialities: Form, Format and Ephemeral Meaning

By Oliver Carter on March 14th, 2024

Published December 2023, Media Materialities: Form, Format and Ephemeral Meaning is the second title in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research’s New Directions in Media and Cultural Studies book series, published by Intellect and the University of Chicago Press. The book offers new perspectives on the increasingly complex relationships between media forms and formats, materiality, and meaning. Drawing on a range of qualitative methodologies, Media Materialities explores how  the materiality of media is structured around three overarching concepts: form – the physical qualities of objects and the meanings which extend from them; format – objects considered in relation to the protocols which govern their use, and the meanings and practices which stem from them; and ephemeral meaning – the ways in which media artefacts are captured, transformed, and redefined through changing social, cultural, and technological values.

The book considers the materialities which emerge across the broad and variegated range of the term’s use, and to create spaces for conversation and debate about the implications that this plurality of material meanings might have for the study of study of media, culture, and society.

To celebrate the book’s publication, we are holding a book launch on the 10 April in the Parkside Building’s Shell space, where the editors, Iain A. Taylor and Oliver Carter will be part of a Q&A discussion, followed by short presentations from authors who contributed chapters to the collection. We also be holding an exhibition of materials that are featured in the book.