Anaphoric Trajectories of Creative Processes: The Case of a Failed Film Project

Anaphoric Trajectories of Creative Processes: The Case of a Failed Film Project

Sara Malou Strandvad (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0616-4.ch009
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This chapter critically questions the strategy of applying the Actor-Network Theory to media studies. Arguing that an application of a fixed ANT-approach fundamentally opposes the ambition of Actor-Network Theory, this chapter outlines a different way of drawing inspiration from ANT. Based in the writings of the French cultural sociologist Antoine Hennion, who has been a pioneer in developing a cultural sociology inspired by ANT, and the recent writings of Bruno Latour addressing cultural production, the chapter suggests investigating the “anaphoric trajectories” of creative development processes. To illustrate this approach, the chapter analyzes the case of a failed film project and considers how the content of creative production processes may be incorporated into cultural production studies.
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Applying Actor-Network Theory Vs. Researching Anaphoric Trajectories

As this book sets out to present ways in which Actor-Network Theory can be applied in Media Studies, let me start by declaring that I do not necessarily think this endeavor is very productive. Speaking of “applying the Actor-Network-Theory” is problematic, in my view, because it risks cementing and dogmatizing what John Law (2009) has called “Actor-Network theory 1990” (p. 142). By doing so, we turn an empirically informed research approach into a theory which it was never meant to be. This argument will be explicated below. Yet, I also do think that the idea of this book to draw inspiration from ANT into Media Studies can be modified into a highly fruitful research strategy. To do so, I suggest drawing inspiration not only from “actor network theory 1990,” but particularly from the vast and quickly growing body of literature that constitutes the diaspora of research that has affinities with the acronym ANT (Law, 2009, p. 142). Hence, in this section I turn attention to the ways in which creative production processes have been discussed by Latour in his later work, outlining how this research may add to the existing literature within the field of production studies. In making this proposition, look into the work by Latour’s former colleague, the French cultural sociologist Antoine Hennion, and the tradition of cultural production studies. Thus, the chapter will propose an empirical research agenda informed by studies of diasporic ANT to follow anaphoric trajectories of creative production processes.

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