PCA Faculty Published Two Articles On the History of Communication

Dr. Juraj Kittler recently published two articles reflecting his long-term research interests: the development of the concept of public opinion and the history of communication technologies.

The first article, titled “The Normative Role of Public Opinion in the Republican Experience of Renaissance Venice,” was published in the inaugural issue of the journal Communication and the Public (Sage Publishing). The essay is a result of Dr. Kittler’s long-term research of the Venetian public sphere. Its main argument challenges the traditional notion popularized by German philosopher Jürgen Habermas that public opinion as a political-philosophical category emerged for the first time during the Enlightenment period in early 1700s London. The essay argues that Venetian politicians and political philosophers already had a very good grasp of the concept and its impact on the process of political decision-making almost two hundred years earlier - at the peak of the Renaissance era between 1480-1530.

The second article is a result of international collaboration with Italian-Swiss scholar Dr. Gabriele Balbi. The idea was born during his visit to Canton in 2011, when he delivered a guest lecture at St. Lawrence University. The essay titled “One-to-One and One-to-Many Dichotomy: Grand Theories, Periodization, and Historical Narratives in Communication Studies” was gradually shaped as a result of multiple conference presentations and invaluable feedback provided by several leading scholars – especially Dr. John D. Peters from The University of Iowa. It was published by The International Journal of Communication (Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, U. of Southern California), a prestigious communication research venue, and challenges traditional historical scholarship in its attempt to impose internal logic on the histories of communication technologies.