Dr Simone Natale BA, MA, PhD University of Turin, Postdoc Columbia University and University of Cologne
Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies.
Simone joined the department in 2015. His main areas of interest are media history, digital media, film and visual studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Turin, Italy, in 2011, and has researched and taught in numerous international institutions, including Columbia University in New York, USA, Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Cologne in Germany, and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He is the author of a monograph, "Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016), and of articles published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Jounral of Communication, New Media & Society, Communication Theory, Media, Culture & Society, and Media History. He was awarded research fellowships by world-leading institutions such as the Humboldt Foundation and Columbia University’s Italian Academy.
Simone has written on the relationship between media and the imagination, on digital media and culture, and on media archaeology. His research reminds us that media are not only machines, artifacts, and social systems, but also imaginary and cultural constructions that contribute to shape our understanding of broader cultural issues, and create new ways to narrate and make sense of the transformations experienced in our society and everyday life.
His book "Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016) argues that the emergence of new forms of beliefs in spirits since the middle nineteenth century was closely related to the rise of the media entertainment media industry. Drawing from extensive archival research, the book provides an archaeology of how the supernatural entered into the core of contemporary media culture.
Simone is also interested in how digital media are imagined and represented, and how this informs how they are used and inserted into our everyday experience and life. He has written on the connections between new media and particular visions of the future, on the rhetorical use in political communication of the myth of the Web as harbinger of democracy and free speech, and on how particular narratives about digital media influence our interaction with them. His publications on these topics have appeared in top-ranked journals such as New Media & Society and Media, Culture & Society.
Simone teaches primarily in the areas of digital media, media theory and history, film, and cultural studies.
He is epecially interested to supervise postgraduate students in the following areas: media history, new media studies, history of digital media.
- Natale, S. Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press 2016.
- Natale, S. There Are No Old Media. Journal of Communication 66.4 (2016): 585-603.
- Natale, S. Unveiling the Biographies of Media: On the Role of Narratives, Anecdotes and Storytelling in the Construction of New Media's Histories. Communication Theory 26.4 (2016): 431-449.
- Ballatore, A. & Natale, S. E-Readers and the Death of the Book: or, New Media and the Myth of the Disappearing Medium. New Media & Society 18.10 (2016): 2379-2394.
- Natale, S., Ballatore, A. The Web Will Kill Them All: New Media, Digital Utopia, and Political Struggle in the Italian 5-Star Movement. Media, Culture & Society 36.1 (2014): 105-21.
- Natale, S.,Balbi, G. Media and the Imaginary in History: The Role of the Fantastic in Different Stages of Media Change. Media History 20.2 (2014): 203-218.
- Beil, B., Natale, S. (eds.), New Media and the Imagination of the Future. Special issue of WI: Journal of Mobile Media vol. 8 no. 2 (2014).
- Natale, S. A Short History of Superimposition: From Spirit Photography to Early Cinema. Early Popular Visual Culture 10.2 (2012): 125-45.
- Natale, S. Understanding Media Archaeology. Canadian Journal of Communication 37.3 (2012): 523-27.
- Natale, S. Photography and Communication Media in the Nineteenth Century. History of Photography 36.4 (2012): 451-56.
- Natale, S. The Invisible Made Visible: X Rays as Attraction and Visual Medium at the End of the Nineteenth Century. Media History 17.4 (2011): 345-58.
- Natale, S. The Cinema of Exposure: Spiritualist Exposés, Technology, and the Dispositif of Early Cinema. Recherches sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry 31:1 (2011): 101-117.
- Natale, S. A Cosmology of Invisible Fluids: Wireless, X Rays and Psychical Research around 1900. Canadian Journal of Communication 36.2 (2011): 263-75.