About MHRC

Media History Research Centre is an interdisciplinary research centre engaging with the historical development of media change and communication. The centre focuses on nascent, yet robust subfields such as media archaeology, variantology, new materialism, circulation theory, and technology writing. Through their research projects and publications, MHRC members have been celebrated for their innovative studies of many aspects of media history.

MHRC is part of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University, an ambitious institute for research-creation working at the intersection of design, art, culture and technology. It is a platform for progressive imagining, critical thinking, creative experimenting and interdisciplinary training. Above all, it is a site of innovation, where thinking and making come together to transform our encounter with technology.

Concordia has earned a solid international reputation as a major hub for research and study in Media History. Over a dozen prominent scholars from the Departments of Communication Studies, English, History and Journalism locate the majority of their research, teaching, and supervision in this field. In Fine Arts, particularly in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, there is a further concentration of renowned Media History specialists. And locally, McGill University’s Media History research initiatives further complement Concordia’s notable strength in this area.

Why now?

There has never been a more perfect time for such an initiative. The last decade produced a boom in media-historical scholarship. The unmistakable rise of research in new media has naturally led scholars and students to engage more fully with the historical development of media change and communication technologies.

Why interdisciplinary?

While Communication Studies departments are the traditional homes for such work, research in Media History has become inherently interdisciplinary and often takes place outside of the university’s departmental structure, as it does here at Concordia. As a result, we see a pressing need to coordinate activity in this domain across the university in order to better capitalize on this particular research strength. MHRC consolidates the university’s tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration.