Dead media: Obsolescence and redundancy in media history


  • Tara Brabazon Charles Sturt University



Dead media, dead media studies, Bruce Sterling, lifecycle management, sunsetting


Adjectives attend the new: fresh, clean, exciting, dynamic, innovative and productive. Oppositional binaries cling to the old: tired, worn, redundant, sick, slow and useless. While anti-discrimination policies can address these connotations when applied to people, the consequences of such ideologies on ‘old media’ are under-researched. While media and cultural studies departments teach ‘New Media’ courses, ‘Old Media’ courses remain invisible and unpopular. This article extends these adjectives and narratives by following a challenge Bruce Sterling posed to researchers: to understand ‘Dead Media.’ I explore the origins of this term and how and why an interest in Dead Media has – in itself – died.

Author Biography

Tara Brabazon, Charles Sturt University

Tara Brabazon is Professor of Education, Head of the School of Teacher Education, Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) and Director of the Popular Culture Collective. Previously, Tara has held academic positions in the United Kingdom, Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand. She has won six teaching awards, including the National Teaching Award for the Humanities, along with other awards for disability education and cultural studies. She is the author of 13 books and over 100 refereed articles. Tara is also a regular contributor to the Times Higher Education




How to Cite

Brabazon, T. (2013). Dead media: Obsolescence and redundancy in media history. First Monday, 18(7).