Vol 21, No 2 (2018)

In recent years, scholarly research in a range of fields, including media studies, has capitalised on the availability of ever-increasing numbers of data, generated by corporations, public administrations and other organizations. However, the collection, selection and analysis of so-called ‘big data’ is not a new phenomenon. This issue of TMG – Journal for Media History takes a media historical perspective on datafication, and on the analysis of data in different areas of cultural, social and economic life. It also contains articles that zoom in on antecedents of current practices of (big) data analysis in media studies specifically, and interviews with media scholars on the data and data practices they research, or the methodologies they develop for the purpose. The issue was edited by Karin van Es and Eef Masson.

Table of Contents


Big Data Histories: An Introduction PDF HTML
Karin van Es, Eef Masson 1-6

Articles (peer reviewed) Part 1 – Contemporary Big Data Practices in Historical Perspective

The Database ‘Revolution’: The Technological and Cultural Origins of the Big-data-based Mindset in American Management, 1970s–1980s PDF HTML
Niels Kerssens 7-29
A Culture of Competition: Sport’s Historical Contribution to Datafication PDF HTML
Markus Stauff 30-51
Trust in Techno-images: Early Media Collections as Precursors of Big Data PDF HTML
Frank Kessler, Mirko Tobias Schäfer 52-66
Origins: A History of Race-ethnic Categorisation in the Dutch Governmental Data Ontology (1899–2018) PDF HTML
Gerwin van Schie 67-88
Unmasking Biometrics’ Biases: Facing Gender, Race, Class and Ability in Biometric Data Collection PDF HTML
Rosa Wevers 89-105

Articles (peer reviewed) Part 2 – Big Data in Media (History) Research: Developments and Historical Entanglements

Writing Cinema Histories with Digital Databases: The Case of Cinema Context PDF HTML
Julia Noordegraaf, Kathleen Lotze, Jaap Boter 106-126
From Text Mining to Visual Classification: Rethinking Computational New Cinema History with Jean Desmet’s Digitised Business Archive PDF HTML
Christian Gosvig Olesen, Ivan Kisjes 127-145

Interviews Part 1 – Constructing Knowledge on Big Data: Methods in Historical Context

Alison Powell on Data Walking PDF HTML
Alison Powell 146-150
Mirko Tobias Schäfer on Entrepreneurial Research PDF HTML
Mirko Tobias Schäfer 151-157

Interviews Part 2 – Issues in Big Data Practice: Histories and Historiographies

Anne Helmond on Researching the History of the Web PDF HTML
Anne Helmond 158-162
William Uricchio on the Colonization of the Data-Imaginary in the Public Service Sector PDF HTML
William Uricchio 163-169

Interviews Part 3 – Big Data Art, Present and Past

Data-Based Art, Algorithmic Poetry: Geert Mul in Conversation with Eef Masson PDF HTML
Geert Mul, Eef Masson 170-186


Making Sense of the Data-driven: SETUP’s Algorithmic History Museum and Its Relevance for Contemporary Reflection PDF HTML
Maranke Wieringa 187-194

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ISSN: 2213-7653