Communication and Curation: Embodied Meaning and Praxis
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation focuses on developing and furthering curation as a mode of inquiry for the discipline of communication, and how concepts can lead to action (praxis) for life. It will contribute to the ongoing repair of communication and media studies by addressing how an emergent interdisciplinary curational approach leads us to reimagine media and materiality, thus redefining communication today. The study presents definitions of the key concepts in communication and media studies. To ground this curational communication research approach, interdisciplinary and integrative accounts are composed using radial category analyses of medium, media, and intermedia, as well as the emergent extensions of information, multimedia, transmedia, and metamedia. Three exemplars are presented to explore the material practices providing evidence of an applied curational approach. They focus on Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr’s Hull-House and Museum, the 1893 World’s (Fair) Columbian Exposition, and the collaboration between John Dewey and Albert Barnes at the Barnes Foundation. An argument is made for an embodied aesthetics, ethics, and design built along a Pragmatist line that can contribute to new notions of curation and its relation to communication, embodied meaning, and praxis. The dissertation offers a framework for engaging curation as meliorative, stewarding, and repairing. The pragmatist exemplars demonstrate an orientation to medium/media that embraces embodiment and nature to help us rethink how this mode of inquiry plays out concretely in people’s lives. Overall, the dissertation brings forward marginalized resources of embodied cognition in communication theory to revitalize and ecologize communication theory-practice. We need a novel pragmatist conception of curation, not merely preservation and presentation of artifacts, but as a participatory activity, a melioristic remaking of experience for the better, as a caring for, as a repair of, and as a stewardship supported by pragmatism.