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Open Access No time like the past? On the new role of vintage and retro in the magazines Scandinavian Retro and Retro Gamer

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The article presents a cultural historical rendition of the terms vintage and retro and how the revival of the recent past based on objects of modern culture is a characteristic feature of late 20th and 21st century culture. In the words of music critic Simon Reynolds, we have entered a state of retromania, where revival has become ubiquitous and has changed the focus from new to old. Retro and vintage has been made accessible to a wider audience and is not delimited to the subcultural sphere. This development is shown and analysed through the case of two monthly magazines: Scandinavian Retro (2011-present) and Retro Gamer (2005-present). On the basis of these specialised retro medialisations the framing of the past through retro and vintage is discussed and suggested as being nurtured by myth and well as materiality.
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Keywords: cultural memory; design history; material culture; retro; retro gaming; revival culture; vintage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kristian Handberg is a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Copenhagen and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark on the project Multiple Modernities. His PhD thesis ‘There’s no time like the past: Retro between memory and materiality in contemporary culture’ was defended in August 2014. Handberg was a visiting scholar at McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2012.

Publication date: September 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • NECSUS is an international, double-blind peer reviewed journal of media studies connected to NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) and published by Amsterdam University Press. The journal is multidisciplinary and strives to bring together the best work in the field of media studies across the humanities and social sciences. We aim to publish research that matters and that improves the understanding of media and culture inside and outside the academic community. Each volume includes feature articles, a special thematic section, a video essay section, and a reviews section that covers books, festivals, and exhibitions. NECSUS is targeted to a broad readership of researchers, lecturers, and students, and will be offered as a biannual open access, online journal.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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