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African Media and Materialities

Year of Funding: 
A corner block with run-down cellphone repair shop called Dr. Musa Cellphone Repair, made from shipper containers

The African Media and Materialities graduate research cluster focuses on media and materialities to bring together several strands of thought and research. The multiple meanings of media tie together our interests, as members study “media” in the sense of physical materials, channels of communication, and tools for creative activity (to list a few interpretations).

In channeling materiality, we focus on the importance of physical objects as agents of stasis and change. We examine objects, environments, and people, and their relationships with one another. This lens allows us to examine the effects that new media technology, new forms of organization, and new artistic expression have on communities without abdicating creative power from human individuals or communities.

By bringing diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives to bear on our studies, we seek to avoid African essentialism and instead identify and celebrate the diversity of African voices effecting cultural stability and change.

Primary Contact

Ruth Moon (Communication)