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“Mediation” is shorthand for the work done by everything that intervenes, enables, or is simply in-between. To use the term in this manner is to posit the conceptual priority of mediation. Mediations do not only clean up after our binaries; they generate them.  Relationships are mediated, and changes in mediations change relationships. Mediation also recovers historically the stipulation famously invoked by Francis Bacon 400 years ago. “Instruments,” “aids,” “tools” of some kind, he argued,  are—and should be—at work in every intellectual as well as physical endeavor. But—and here’s a major payoff—because the forms of mediation differ over time, there is a “history of mediation.” Such a history can engage “media history” and “media theory,” but its wide range of objects, forms, technologies, agency, and interactions—and thus its chronological scope—differentiates it from both of those established enterprises. And, since mediations can be more easily pinned down to specific times and places than “ideas,” we can track more of them more accurately—and thus more readily identify patterns in those interactions. The history of mediation, that is, offers a powerful alternative to our habitual reliance on the history of ideas. “Mediation” and its “history” can provide us with new—and newly useful—ways of thinking about agency and change.

SUGGESTIONS FOR REVISION?
SUGGESTIONS FOR REVISION?