Making touch analog: The prospects and perils of a haptic media studies

David Parisi, Jason Edward Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we argue for the urgency of establishing a coherent tradition of haptic media studies, suggesting that the fields of visual culture studies and sound studies provide analogs, however imperfect, for modeling a new touch-oriented approach to media. This call to make touch like the senses of seeing and hearing echoes previous movements in touch’s discursive and institutional history, as investigators in prior generations similarly aspired to transform tactility through the development of new institutionally grounded research programs. Furthermore, we outline one possible genealogy of haptic media that attends specifically to the power relations expressed through the technoscientific harnessing of touch by haptics. We close with a programmatic set of suggestions for operationalizing haptic media studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1540
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Haptics
  • media archaeology
  • media interfaces
  • media studies
  • sensory studies
  • tactility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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