For our inaugural issue, "The Allure of Obsolescence," we invited contributors to think about the meaning of "obsolescence" in the writing of media history. Playing on the title of Arlette Farge's The Allure of the Archives, we encouraged scholars to explore our collective preoccupation with "obsolete" media formats and technologies: What is their hold on us? Why do some people feel compelled to save and collect outdated technologies? How can we safeguard their continued existence? Should we? and, if so, whose responsibility is it? What treasures and secrets do these objects hide, and what can they reveal about past and present media cultures? Is "obsolescence" a productive lens through which to write and read media history?

Image source: Sam H., "How to Make Wall Art from Vintage Film Reels," Today's Nest, August 11, 2020,


"Music for Universities: Composing with MP3 and iPod"

Hugo Boothby  |  PDF  |  MP3 supplement

"'Every Copy is Personalized': Queer Obsolescence and Ludic Nostalgia in Super Mario 64 Conspiracy Theories"

Travis L. Wagner  |  PDF

"Studying Pretty Pink Garbage: Neo-feminism in Disney Princess™ Ephemera"

Melanie Hurley  |  PDF

"Unessential Cinema: Performative Curation of Obsolete Films"

Ekaterina Kipiatkova  |  PDF

"VCR, VHS, and RCP: Reflexive (N)ostalgia in Gabriel Achim's Visul lui Adalbert"

Liri Chapelan  |  PDF

"Taking Imaginary Photos with Tamás Waliczky's Imaginary Cameras"

Zsuzsanna Szegedy-Maszák  |  PDF