Introduction: Media and Nostalgia

  • Katharina Niemeyer
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies book series (PMMS)


‘Nostalgia’ is the name we commonly give to a bittersweet longing for former times and spaces. This private or public return to the past, and sometimes to an interlinking imagination of the future, is, of course, not new. There has always been a fascination for the, as we often call them, ‘good old times’. But who would have thought, given the 1990s’ imagining of a future filled with technology, that the beginning of the new century would in fact be marked by an increase in expressions of nostalgia, and in nostalgic objects, media content and styles? This volume goes back to a simple observation of the current nostalgia boom, which is infiltrating various aspects of our lives. On social media sites like Facebook, groups and forums with titles like ‘nostalgia’, ‘vintage’ or ‘retronaut’ have emerged, videos and pictures with nostalgic statements are posted and the vintage fashion collection of the television series Mad Men (AMC, 2007-) is celebrated. Not to mention editing digital photographs on mobile phones to resemble Polaroids; retro design has become digitised. Indeed, part of the web could be seen as a huge attic or bric-a-brac market where individual and collective nostalgias converge and spread. Skeuomorphs invade our mobile phones using old-fashioned objects to represent new ones, even when the old objects are no longer necessary or relevant.


German Democratic Republic Social Medium Site Memory Study Camera Phone Television Series 
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© Katharina Niemeyer 2014

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