Media and Communications
Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age explores online museums as sites of contemporary cultural diplomacy.
Building on scholarship that highlights how museums can constitute and regulate citizens, construct national communities, and project messages across borders, the book explores the political powers of museums in their online spaces. Demonstrating that digital media allow museums to reach far beyond their physical locations, Grincheva investigates whether online audiences are given the tools to co-curate museums and their collections to establish new pathways for international cultural relations, exchange and, potentially, diplomacy. Evaluating the online capacities of museums to exert cultural impacts, the book illuminates how online museum narratives shape audience perceptions and redefine their cultural attitudes and identities.
Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age will be of interest to academics and students teaching or taking courses on museums and heritage, communication and media, cultural studies, cultural diplomacy, international relations and digital humanities. It will also be useful to practitioners around the world who want to learn more about the effect digital museum experiences have on international audiences.
Transmediation—the telling of a single story across multiple media—is a relatively new phenomenon. While there have been adaptations (books to films, for example) for more than a century, modern technology and media consumption have expanded the scope of trans-mediating practices. Nowhere are these more evident than within the Harry Potter universe, where a coherent world and narrative are iterated across books, films, video games, fan fiction, art, music and more. Curated by a leading Harry Potter scholar, this collection of new essays explores the range of Potter texts across a variety of media.
Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy traces the transformation of museums from publicly or privately funded heritage institutions into active players in the economic sector of culture. Exploring how this transformation reconfigured cultural diplomacy, the book argues that museums have become autonomous diplomatic players on the world stage. The book offers a comparative analysis across a range of case studies in order to demonstrate that museums have gone global in the era of neoliberal globalisation. Grincheva focuses first on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which is well known for its bold revolutionising strategies of global expansion: museum franchising and global corporatisation. The book then goes on to explore how these strategies were adopted across museums around the world and analyses two cases of post-Guggenheim developments in China and Russia: the K11 Art Mall in Hong Kong and the International Network of Foundations of the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. These cases from more authoritarian political regimes evidence the emergence of alternative avenues of museum diplomacy that no longer depend on government commissions to serve immediate geo-political interests. Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy will be a valuable resource for students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary museology and cultural diplomacy. Documenting new developments in museum diplomacy, the book will be particularly interesting to museum and heritage practitioners and policymakers involved in international exchanges or official programs of cultural diplomacy.
Miscommunicating Social Change analyzes the discourses of three social movements and the alternative media associated with them, revealing that the Enlightenment narrative, though widely critiqued in academia, remains the dominant way of conceptualizing social change in the name of democratization in the post-Soviet terrain. The main argument of this book is that the “progressive” imaginary, which envisages progress in the unidirectional terms of catching up with the “more advanced” Western condition, is inherently anti-democratic and deeply antagonistic. Instead of fostering an inclusive democratic process in which all strata of populations holding different views are involved, it draws solid dividing frontiers between “progressive” and “retrograde” forces, deepening existing antagonisms and provoking new ones; it also naturalizes the hierarchies of the global neocolonial/neoliberal power of the West. Using case studies of the “White Ribbons” social movement for fair elections in Russia (2012), the Ukrainian Euromaidan (2013–2014), and anti-corruption protests in Russia organized by Alexei Navalny (2017) and drawing on the theories of Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Nico Carpetntier, this book shows how “progressive” articulations by the social movements under consideration ended up undermining the basis of the democratic public sphere through the closure of democratic space.
This paper focuses on the scrutiny of structural units of myth within mass cultural discourse. The author reviews studies of the mythologeme and my theme in semiotics and also relevant research in other fields concerning the announced research object. The main aim of the paper is to distinguish inner semiotic markers of myth and to examine their application to mass cultural narratives. Drawing on the analysis of previous theoretical research and case studies, the author compares the two structural units and makes an attempt to formulate specifications towards existing definitions. Particular examples of mythemes and mythologemes in mass culture discourse are regarded within this paper. The author points out the mytheme of Transformation, the mytheme of Backtracking, the mythologeme of Childhood (Golden Age), the mythologeme of Armageddon (Flood), and the mythologeme of World Tree.
What happens when news aggregators tailor their newsfeeds to include partisan news aimed at users with a known party preference? Relying on a custom-made news portal featuring real, timely articles, this study examines the influence of partisan news sources on participant headline exposure, clicks on news stories to read, and perceptions about the portal’s ability to reliably and comprehensively provide the most important news of the day. Over a period of 12 days, participants preferring either the Republican or Democratic party were randomly assigned to newsfeeds containing increased dosages of real news articles from sources supportive of the participant’s preferred party. Results demonstrate that partisan personalization can benefit a news aggregator by increasing usage and perceptions of its quality, while potentially harming society by decreasing attention to high-quality mainstream sources.
This article examines agenda-setting theory. I compare the results of Levada Center surveys on the most memorable issues of the month with the number of publications on those issues in the Russian press from 2014 to 2016. In total, 884 issues are analyzed in the article. The results of the study confirm the impact of discussions in the media on people’s attention to an issue. The results also show that the discussions in the media one week before the date of polling are more important than the issues covered over the entire month. People better remember those issues that took place shortly before the polling, as well as those issues with intensifying discussions during the period. It is also important to note the role of regional publications in the sensitization of the public to various issues. Issues covered by national newspapers and news agencies but ignored by the regional press are significantly less remembered by the population.
Lacking state-imposed quarantines, we’ve been abandoned to personal choices. Advising us to save ourselves and our neighbors by staying home, our governments struggle to keep the wrong doubts from going viral. The Russian state, in particular, has announced crackdowns on fake news: citing the danger of Covid-19, new laws harshly penalize the “spread of false information.” But accusations of falsity are as bottomless as the hoaxes they try to contain. States accuse each other of spreading disinformation, and scholars show that these accusations are themselves often false, that “an EU-funded body set up to fight disinformation ends up producing it.” The falsity of such accusations of falsity gives fodder for new accusations. And thus the battle against an infectious pandemic becomes overshadowed by the battle for faith, against doubt. In this “infodemic,” America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges citizens to do these “three easy things: Don’t believe the rumors; Don’t pass them along; Go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.”
Can a state agency order citizens (not) to believe?
The increase of internet penetration across Russia has reduced entry barriers for individuals and companies who want to report locally. New digital technologies have given rise to many semi-professional local media projects, so-called ‘hyperlocal media’ (Metzgar et al., 2011; Tenor, 2018), created on various online platforms and social networking sites. Websites, blogs, and social media groups (the so-called ‘pabliki’ in Russian) on the popular social networking site VKontakte have opened up new access routes to local news, both for ordinary citizens and the authorities, but have also become a challenge for traditional local media. This article investigates how the media landscape changes in response to digital technologies in a provincial town of nearly 40,000 in the European part of Russia. More specifically, the article investigates how professional journalists from traditional media and practitioners from hyperlocal media sites understand the influence of digital technologies on the aims and work practices of media in a Russian province. The study is based on in-depth interviews with the editors of traditional local media (e.g. print newspapers) and owners of new hyperlocal media initiatives. The research explores different approaches to the ways in which two groups of media actors understand and make use of the internet and digital technologies. However, within peculiar Russian media model, these differences have led to collaborative rather than competitive relations between the two groups.
Present theories of computation and artificial intelligence often claim that philosophy should either discard its principal modes of gnoseology (its theories of knowledge and cognition) and anthropomorphic genesis, or declare philosophic speculation obsolete altogether, since it fails to provide any precise knowledge regarding the most significant contemporary scientific and technological concerns. If post-structuralism doubted the power of philosophy because of its proximity to the sciences and their own discrete discourses, contemporary ‘post-philosophies’, on the contrary, refuse philosophy because of its insufficient knowledge of science and technology.
Two principal contemporary post-philosophic tendencies stand out in this regard. The first is found in cognitivist theories, which posit philosophy as an obsolete cognitive practice, a quasi-mythological narrative that produces fictitious non-scientific notions such as transcendentality, metaphysics, idea, dialectics, the universal or truth.
Another tendency is more subtle and interesting. It posits algorithimic creativity itself as a philosophical procedure. Reclaiming philosophical thought, it confines it mainly to the body of computation. Here, in the works of Luciana Parisi and Reza Negarestani, among others, we come across a series of elaborate standpoints for reconstituting the tasks of philosophy after and due to computation.
In the present article I consider the premises of thought grounded in computation theory (Negarestani, Parisi) in order to show how in a similar situation - when, in the Soviet 1960s, cybernetic studies were claimed as the new philosophical discipline - a communist thought, exemplified here by the writings of Evald Ilyenkov, developed its own militant postulates of what reason is, and why its algorithmic emulation would be impossible.
This paper focuses on the educational possibilities and potential of digital simulation games in higher education. It provides the detailed examination of the true experimental design of a co-creative gamified classroom that could be used in different academic subjects in social science education. In this pedagogical experiment, we tested the effects of a co-creative gamification classroom within a Public Sector Economics course attended by 253 first-year master's students. We used pre-test and post-test examinations, surveys, and interviews to evaluate and compare effects on learning outcomes and course evaluations of different classroom modes (with and without a co-creative approach and digital simulation games). This paper presents a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the proposed experimental design, using treatment and control groups. Our conclusions make a contribution to the discussion of the co-creative approach in education, proving that its digital implementation can develop students' generic and professional skills. We also reveal a more conscious and motivated attitude toward the future profession of those students who participated in the process of creating the game.
Internet memes, which constitute a significant portion of social-media content and an important vector of users’ communicative exchange, have by now turned from mere entertainment to a news source. However, they are still approached rather uncritically by young audiences. A survey was conducted among Russian students (N = 138) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and it identified not only the “problem spots” of the Russian memosphere but also a number of skills in decoding information, which are necessary today as part of “Meme Literacy.” These skills range from an adequate assessment of the type of message and verification of the news topic to the fact-checking of the verbal and visual content the meme is based on.
In recent years scholars have called for more attention to local net histories, work that demonstrates how networked computing developed in specific geographical, material, and social contexts. Research carried out in this spirit stands in contrast to a canonical and popular history of the (singular) “Internet,” and thus sets up an opposition or dyad between “local” net histories and the “global” or mainstream history of ARPAnet, the Internet Protocol, and the World Wide Web. This article takes up the call for local net histories by focusing on Tonet, a local network that was developed in the Siberian city of Tomsk and which peaked in usage in the early 2000s. However, rather than assuming an opposition between local and global Internet history, this article interrogates how the local net and global Internet were articulated by Tonet’s computer scientists and regional journalists at the time. The article thus enquires into symbolic connections between a local net and the global Internet, unsettling this opposition while also drawing at
Issue 20 celebrates ten years of Digital Icons. As an integral part of this celebratory issue we want to paint a broad picture of the changes Runet underwent in the last decade. In order to achieve this goal, we asked leading scholars in the field—among them most of the authors of Digital Icons 1—for short statements: Did Runet change in the past ten years, and if so, how? Has this change affected the academic or professional field in which you work? Did the field itself change? Have your methods and theories of study evolved? Based on the answers we received from Olena Goroshko, Tatjana Hofmann, Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk, Sudha Rajagopalan, Ellen Rutten, Robert A. Saunders, Henrike Schmidt, Elena Trubina and Vera Zvereva, we compiled a panorama of ten years of Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media.