Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Research at the Marconi Archives

Research at the Marconi Archives

Dr. Arceneaux in Chanderi, India conducting research while on a Fulbright exchange in 2014

March 23, 2017

Noah Arceneaux, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Journalism & Media Studies, received a $7,000 grant from the University Grants Program to conduct research at the Marconi Archives in Oxford, England for summer 2017.

Arceneaux’s research examines the development of media technologies, particularly at their earliest stages, a topic that has interested him for more than two decades. “My goal is to identify dynamics or patterns in history that apply to multiple technologies, especially those in the 21st century,” he said. “But, rather than focus on studying the current or latest technologies, which change rapidly, I prefer to focus on older forms of media.”

The grant not only funds Arceneaux’s ability to travel and research abroad, but it provides for the advancement of his research and knowledge in the field. “The grant process is the culmination of a significant amount of research. My qualifications for doing this next research project are based on my prior research projects into this aspect of media history.”

Research at the Marconi Archives

During his time at the Marconi Archives, he will look specifically at wireless telegraphy, the technology used before radio broadcasting to deliver messages through electric impulses.

“Wireless telegraphy was the ‘new media’ of its day, and was not really regulated by governments in either the U.S. or the U.K. in the early 20th century,” Arceneaux said. “Consequently, there are relatively few records from this time period, and those that exist are difficult to access. The Marconi Archives are quite significant when it comes to primary documents from this era.”

In addition to examining the historical records relating to Marconi, the most important and influential inventor from radio’s early history, Arceneaux plans to study records from rival companies to learn more about their discoveries and pursuits during the late 1890s and early 1900s.

Linking Research and the Classroom

Ultimately, he hopes his time at the Marconi Archives will allow him to uncover enough material for publication in an academic journal, learn more about topics related to his overall research and bring back information he can share with his students.

“I regularly teach two classes for the media studies emphasis in the journalism major and both of them deal with the development of media technologies,” he said. “Whenever I can bring in items from my own research into class, I get excited and try to share my passion for research with the students.”

In addition to the research findings, Arceneaux is also looking forward to being abroad for an extended period of time.

“Being in such a different environment is being in a constant state of exploration, since even the small things that we usually take for granted are different; food, television, press coverage, popular culture, etc.,” he said. “I have found that this kind of lengthy stay in a foreign country forces you to reevaluate your own country, as well. Simply put, you start to see America through a different perspective when you are outside of its borders.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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