Techno-Phenomenology and TV

Recently I posted about a paper of mine coming out in the open-access journal Phenomenology & Practice, entitled “Faith in Technology: Televangelism and the Mediation of Immediate Experience.” Now, my article, along with the new issue of P & P, has gone online (the entire contents can be found here), and I hope that you’ll take a look.

Anyway, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I think that the “techno-phenomenological” approach I have taken towards the topic of televangelism may also be adaptable to fictional narrative television, and that it might thus provide a complement to — not a replacement for — more traditional (narratological-formal and industrial-social-contextual) approaches to television studies. This remains to be seen, of course, and I look forward to hearing your comments on the text itself and on the prospects of adapting its methodology to other sorts of projects.

Incidentally, though, since the time of suggesting that such adaptation might be possible, it has occurred to me that I once undertook a very cursory attempt at doing just that: in a very short essay, entitled “Techno-Habitats and Media Habits: Reflections on Contemporary Children’s Television” (originally published in Philament 12), I implicitly assumed a techno-phenomenological approach to young children’s TV shows like Teletubbies, Bob the Builder, or Lunar Jim. That paper, roughly contemporary with my initial work on the televangelism paper, just sketched out some ideas, presenting them in a literally essayistic manner, while the theoretical and methodological underpinnings were not explored. Now, with the publication of the televangelism paper, the methodology in particular has become available for inspection (the deeper theoretical implications, on the other hand, remain buried in the media-philosophical Part Two of my dissertation, Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface). So please take a look and let me know what you think about the prospects for a techno-phenomenological form of television studies.


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