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The "Ambulant In-between"

Media Histories of Mobile Communication

Regine Buschauer

The essay delineates a multi-layered approach to a media history of mobile telecommunication. Whilst contemporary media such as the digital mobile phone are often seen as a recent “mobilization“ of media, the dual aim of the essay is to both historicize and theorize mobile communication media, focusing on their past and present configurations at the junction of media and mobility. Historically these configurations are discussed in regard to the early history of wireless, to the cell phone, and to Citizens' Band (CB) radio as well as to relations between mobilities of transportation and media within the history of telecommunication. Today's mobile media are thus traced back to a heterogenous historical landscape of mobile “media in transition“ (W. Uricchio). Theoretically mobile communication is discussed in its multiple and basically ambiguous mobility that shifts and broadens the notion of the “mobile.“ The term “ambulant,“ referring to something “not fixed,“ is used to mark this shift and is brought into play as a heuristical concept that allows us critically to rethink notions of mobility from a historical and media-related point of view.

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Book Reviews

Tristan Josephson, Marcin B. Stanek, Tallie Ben Daniel, Jeremy Ash, Liz Millward, Caroline Luce, Regine Buschauer, Amanda K. Phillips, and Javier Caletrío

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Book Reviews

Daniele Massaccesi, Emiliano Treré, Regine Buschauer, Liz Millward, Chandra D. Bhimull, Debojyoti Das, Tracy Nichols Busch, Anindyo Roy, and Carmelo Busceme

Rodney Wai-chi Chu, Leopoldina Fortunati, Pul-Lam Law, and Shanhua Yang, eds., Mobile Communication and Greater China Review by Daniele Massaccesi

Pui-Lam Law, ed., New Connectivities in China: Virtual, Actual and Local Interactions Review by Emiliano Treré

Cara Wallis, Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones Review by Regine Buschauer

James Fallows, China Airborne: The Test of China’s Future Review by Liz Millward

Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Review by Chandra D. Bhimull

Rila Mukherjee, ed., Pelagic Passageways: The Northern Bay of Bengal Before Colonialism Review by Debojyoti Das

Jamal J. Elias, On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan Review by Tracy Nichols Busch

Arundhati Roy, Walking with the Comrades Review by Anindyo Roy

Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, eds., Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific Perspectives Review by Carmelo Buscema