In this chapter, I review developments in historical studies of communication and media. In order to contextualize these developments, it is necessary to consider, historically, the formation of history as an academic discipline. Throughout the chapter, I attend to theoretical and methodological issues concerning historiography (the practice of writing history) in order to illuminate some of the more specic problems in writing histories of media and communication. Historiography must come after events taking place in the present wherein history is ‘made’ and is thus, by denition, a retrospective process. The present has to enter into the past in order to become visible, intelligible and writable – in this process ‘history’ begins to appear. It is an important question as to how much time must go by for the present (in which history is made) to enter into the past, thereby becoming historical. The transition from present to past is the time of generations; the process of change and renewal as older generations (of people, things, technologies)
begin to age and die while, in the very same moment, new generations of people, things and technologies are born and enter into maturity. Roughly speaking, the span of generational time is between twenty and thirty years: so that if 2011 is taken as the immediate and present ‘now’, then at this moment the 1970s and 1980s are moving out of the noisy present and entering into the silent past. They are becoming historical, while the decades that precede them (the 1960s and 1970s) now belong to history.