Communication History

The Communication History Division’s objective is to study the full breadth of mediated (public) communication in historical perspectives. This includes historical research on the means, conditions and transformations of production, of distribution and usage of mediated communication and its impact on societies or individuals in different time periods. The division is especially interested in how media institutions, roles of media professionals, media contents or audiences change and evolve over time and the complex interrelations of media change and changes in culture and society. Furthermore the history of the field communication studies and the interpretation of its research in relation to scientific and social contexts, questions of methodology as well as affordances of access and perseveration of sources for historical communication research are at the heart of the division’s interests.

The Communication History Division promotes the historical perspectives in communication research and the representation of such perspectives in both academic research and university education. The division advocates the interests of historical communication researchers and especially aims to bring together and support early career scholars in this transdisciplinary area of expertise. The division’s annual workshops provide a space for exchange or initiate discussions of current problems and challenges of media and communication historiography. Results and findings of workshops are usually published in edited volumes or special issues of academic journals. Members are furthermore regularly informed about the ongoing activities of the division and the German Communication Association as a whole. This also includes information about academic events of related associations, in media and communication studies as well as in topically related disciplines like history. By organizing joint division workshops, the division aims at developing relations with other thematic divisions of the German Communication Association or other academic associations that are active in related fields or address similar research problems.

Chair: Dr. Thomas Birkner (
Vice Chair: Dr. Christian Schwarzenegger (