MediaCommons is a community network for scholars, students, and practitioners in media studies, promoting exploration of new forms of publishing within the field. MediaCommons was founded in 2006 in collaboration with the Institute for the Future of the Book, and was relaunched in 2008 with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the collaboration of the NYU Libraries Digital Library Technology Services. We are thrilled to have relaunched MediaCommons once again in 2018, on an updated platform developed by NYU DLTS.
MediaCommons’s goal, from its earliest instantiation to the present platform, has been to refocus scholarship in media studies on the communication and discussion of new ideas in the field, in a range of formats, lengths, and time signatures. MediaCommons strives to be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It supports the production of and access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production. Registered users are able to participate in and publish through the platform’s many existing projects, as well as to propose new projects to the editorial board, who serve as stewards of the larger network.
The longest-running feature of MediaCommons is In Media Res, which focuses on up-to-the minute discussion of brief excerpts from media texts in weekly thematic clusters. The Field Guide similarly brings scholars into dialogue around professional issues of importance to scholars and practitioners in media studies. And our most recent channel, [in]Transition, is a collaboration with Cinema Journal that explores the potentials of videographic criticism for film and video studies; [in]Transition received the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award of Distinction from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in 2015.
Past projects of MediaCommons — now archived, but still available for exploration — include The New Everyday, an experiment in “middle-state publishing” founded by Nick Mirzoeff and later edited by Shannon Mattern; #Alt-Academy, a networked edited volume originally developed by Bethany Nowviskie and later edited by Katina Rogers; and MediaCommons Press, a platform for open and community-based peer review of in-development long-form scholarly projects.
Our hope remains that the interpenetration of these different forms of discourse will not simply shift the locus of publishing from print to screen, but will actually transform what it means to "publish," allowing the author, the publisher, and the reader all to make the process of such discourse just as visible as its product. In so doing, new communities are able to get involved in academic discourse, and new processes and products can emerge, leading to new forms of digital scholarship and pedagogy.
We hope that you will be as intimately involved in the development of MediaCommons as are its editors. Get involved in the various conversations taking place and help us set the agenda for the future of publishing in media studies.