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  • Language  english       Pages  260
  • Publishing Year  2021
  •  978-3-95796-186-0 (print)
  •  978-3-95796-187-7 (PDF)
  • DOI:
  •  10.14619/1860
  • Available as Print, PDF

Touchscreen Archaeology

Tracing Histories of Hands-On Media Practices

The touchscreen belongs to a century-long history of hands-on media practices and touchable art objects. This media-archaeological excavation examines the nature of our sensual involvement with media and invites the reader to think about the touchscreen beyond its technological implications. In six chapters, the book questions and historicizes both aspects of the touchscreen, considering “touch” as a media practice and “screen” as a touchable object.

2022 Limina Award Best International Film Studies Book

The Author


The culminating result of a long and in-depth research on tactile media, Wanda Strauven’s book offers a complete and detailed examination of its object of study. Through a media archaeology approach, it connects historical devices with contemporary media, and ties together low-tech non-electronic screen with high-tech digital ones. […] A seminal contribution to a materialistic rethinking of visual and tactile, old and new media, brilliantly written and guiding the reader through theoretical frameworks, historical case studies, and illuminating anecdotes, Wanda Strauven’s work also calls for a methodology that includes the inherent playfulness of media, remind us that using and studying media should never lose its ludic aspect.

Jury Statement 2022 Limina Award Best International Film Studies Book


Der Autorin gelingt ein produktiver und dezidiert medienarchäologischer Zugriff auf die funktionalen Eigenschaften von Medien im historischen Kontext ihrer taktilen Aneignung einer „hands-on media practice“ (S.18). Lohnend an der analytischen Vorgehensweise ist die sinnvolle Verbindung von medientechnologischen Überlegungen und rezeptiven „object-user encounters as meaningful events“ (ebd.).

– Lars C. Grabbe, MEDIENwissenschaft: Rezensionen | Reviews