Keynote by Prof. Kate Lacy (UK) – Media History and Theory (University of Sussex)

It seems appropriate in this ancient space to turn to the techniques of media archaeology in order to excavate the idea of the public sphere as auditorium, or in other words, a place where the act of listening is built into the very fabric and architecture of public life. Listening is a communicative and participatory act that has long been buried in histories of the media and theories of the public sphere.  A media archaeological can reveal the foundational qualities of listening in political communication and public life in civic spaces that transcend the limits of the acoustic, but which are still contingent on material and cultural conditions. In so doing, I will argue that rethinking audiences as listening publics offers productive new ways to address the politics, ethics and experience of political communication and public life.