Remix Politics

Political Remix as an Analytic Framework for Critical Media Literacy

Authored by: Benjamin Thevenin

International Handbook of Media Literacy Education

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138645493
eBook ISBN: 9781315628110
Adobe ISBN: 9781317240068


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The concepts of media literacy and remix have a remarkable amount in common: Both might be understood as lenses through which we can understand the shifting landscape of contemporary media culture. Both terms might be understood as nouns (i.e., we acquire media literacy; we make a remix) or as verbs (i.e., we practice media literacy; we remix a song, video, etc.). Both might be understood as rooted in long-standing traditions (media literacy in various interpretive theories in arts and humanities; remix in the history of artistic appropriation) or, alternatively, as particularly relevant to digital media culture. And while there is a growing amount of scholarly research being devoted to both media literacy and remix, as new areas of study, they both remain contested terrain. Media literacy is understood and practiced differently by scholars and educators from the fields of communications studies, education, media arts, media effects, and so forth, with a variety of objectives, methods, and areas of interest (as I am confident other entries in this volume discuss). 1 And studies of remix have focused on rhetoric (Kuhn 2012, Church 2015), aesthetics (Navas 2012), ethics (Aufderheide 2014), cultural and economic significance (Lessig 2008), and the list continues to grow. Thus, each concept—as well as its corresponding fields of study and practice—is both increasing in visibility and continually evolving.

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