While promiscuity suggests a certain randomness, intellectual promiscuity implies rigor combined with randomness. This article traces Miriam Hansen's understanding of cinema as a promiscuous medium that can be approached only by adapting an intellectual and methodological promiscuity, which itself is seen as a legacy of the Frankfurt School. Such an intellectual and methodological promiscuity becomes particularly important in attempts to grasp modern urbanity, explored here via Siegfried Kracauer's visits to the city of Marseille. And it may help with methodological concerns in the twenty-first century by allowing us to frame in new ways research objects and research questions in the age of proliferating media platforms and proliferating archives—in the age of the network and the database.

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