Trauma and digital media: Introduction to crosscurrents special section

Amit Pinchevski, Michael Richardson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Associations between trauma and media theory are longstanding, going back at least to Walter Benjamin’s observations on technology and modernity, which were themselves informed by Freud’s 1920 speculations on war trauma following WWI. A century later, and in the wake of numerous conflicts, catastrophes, and far-reaching technological transformations—and of course the COVID pandemic—it is time to reconsider the relation between trauma and media, digital platforms in particular. While some significant scholarship has noted the intersections of modern media technologies such as photography, film, radio, television, and recently digital and algorithmic media, with the conception and experience of trauma, a more systematic theoretical consideration of the relation between media and trauma remains to be developed. And with the intensifying reliance on new and old media in these pandemic times the question of these relations is increasingly urgent. Moving beyond conceptions of media as representing or inducing trauma, this special section of Crosscurrents explores how (digital) media and trauma shape one another.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)178-180
Number of pages3
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • digital culture
  • digital media
  • media
  • mediatization
  • trauma
  • trauma culture
  • traumatic affect


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