Berber Hagedoorn | Photograph by Sebastiaan ter Burg

I am Assistant Professor in Media Studies & Audiovisual Culture at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. My research interests revolve around screen cultures (representations and crossmedia storytelling practices) and audiovisual cultural memory in Europe. I am the Vice-Chair of ECREA’s Television Studies section (European Communication Research and Education Association) (www.ecrea.eu) and Member of the EUscreen Foundation Board (www.euscreen.eu), organizing cooperation for European research and education into television’s history and its future as a multi-platform storytelling practice and promoting the use of television content to explore Europe’s rich and diverse cultural history. You can find out more about my research, publications and teaching activities on this page. Feel free to contact me (b.hagedoorn@rug.nl) for any queries.

New CST blog on: Herstory? The potential of female-centred historical miniseries made in Germany

My new CST Online blog, written together with Sandra Becker, is out! It’s a report on the potential of female-centred historical miniseries made in Germany. You can find it here.

The idea for this report goes back to our upcoming research publication titled “‘All Things New?’ The Female-Centred Historical Miniseries Die Neue Zeit and German High-End Series Production” (Becker and Hagedoorn, forthcoming), in which we offer a critical analysis of the gender dynamics in German female-centred historical miniseries since the mid-2000s, and the particular case of Die Neue Zeit. In this upcoming publication, we reflect on the extent in which, and how, the historical miniseries as well as the made-for-TV drama film or “TV movie” has become a mode of audiovisual storytelling from a female perspective, one which has allowed the writing of women and female experiences in different time periods back into German history.

To give our future readers a better understanding of the peculiarities of German TV programming and TV market developments, we precede our research publication with this report: a reflection on the history of historical (female-centred) miniseries in Germany in the last twenty years and their international appeal. This overview allows for closer insights into the longer ongoing niche trend in German historical TV miniseries towards female-centred narratives.

Becker, S. and Hagedoorn, B. Forthcoming. “All Things New?” The Female-Centred Historical Miniseries Die Neue Zeit and German High-End Series Production. In: Gutiérrez Lozano J.F., Eichner S., Hagedoorn B. and Cuartero A. (Eds.) New Challenges in European Television Series: National Experiences in a Transnational Context. Granada: Editorial Comares.

My new CST online blog: The Power of My Own Platform; NikkieTutorials and Television Talk in the Age of Platform Culture

You can read my new CST online blog here! It’s on the power of NikkieTutorials her YouTube platform, her coming-out video as a ‘media event’ in the age of platform culture, and key discourses or ‘paratexts’ around this event, such as television talk shows.

ECREA Television Studies conference comes to the University of Groningen!

ECREA Television Studies 2019 RUG.png

Looking forward to the ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) Television Studies section conference “The Youthification of Television and Screen Culture” 24-25 October 2019 at the University of Groningen! With keynotes by Jeanette Steemers and Vilde Schanke Sundet #ECREATV2019 @ECREA_eu

Full programme and abstracts at: https://ecreatelevisionstudies2019.wordpress.com/programme/

Participate in a short survey about @Europeana1914 for my research project

Please take part in a short questionnaire about @Europeana1914 ! It’s part of my research project on creative reuse of digital (AV) heritage. It will take no more than 5-10 minutes and is completely anonymous, you can find the survey also here.

This survey is part of a research project by Berber Hagedoorn, who works as an Assistant Professor Media Studies at the University of Groningen, and awarded a Europeana Research Grant. For more about Hagedoorn’s research project see:


My new CST online blog: “Vloggers on the dancefloor: Television Culture’s Online Remix and Collage”

You can read my new Critical Studies in Television online academic blog here! It’s on novel aspects of television as a convergent and participatory media culture, and the case of online remix of vlogs and tv entertainment like Strictly Come Dancing:


Meet the winners of the Europeana Research Grants 2018

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From left to right: Professor Lorna Hughes, Chair of the Europeana Research Advisory Board; Dr Elizabeth Benjamin, Dr Saverio Vita, Dr Berber Hagedoorn. Brussels, 28 November 2018. – Europeana Foundation

From the Europeana Research website: “[28 November], at the House of European History in Brussels we were thrilled to have Professor Lorna Hughes, Chair of the Europeana Research Advisory Board, present the recipients of the 2018 Europeana Research Grants with their awards. (…) For this year’s Research Grants Programme, Europeana’s third annual call, we invited early-career scholars to apply with project proposals connected to the theme of The First World War. We received high-quality responses from all over Europe and are delighted to announce the winners: Dr Berber Hagedoorn, Dr Saverio Vita and Dr Elizabeth Benjamin.” To find out about the projects and to hear what a Europeana grant might mean for early-career scholars interested in the digital humanities, see the blog on the Europeana Research website.

Europeana Research Grant awarded to Berber Hagedoorn

Berber Hagedoorn, Assistant Professor Media Studies at the University of Groningen Centre for Media and Journalism Studies, received the Europeana Research Grant award for her project ‘Europeana 1914-1918: AV Storytelling Data in a European Comparative Perspective’.

Hagedoorn’s research project helps to build expertise about the socio-technical practices of media creators and users (including researchers) in relation to creative storytelling practices, search and research on the Europeana platform and the 1914-1918 Thematic Collection – generating knowledge, skills and tools for data science and qualitative analysis around audiovisual (linked open) data, and the translation of interaction on a platform into data. Such data analysis helps to understand motivations for online platform use in today’s attention economy, and how media professionals share and contextualize content for creative storytelling practices and successful user engagement.

Europeana is the EU digital platform for cultural heritage. Their Research Grants Programme is intended for early career scholars of all nationalities and in any field of the humanities. Award winners must have a particular interest in cultural heritage, a transnational research scope and use digital tools and digital humanities methods to address their specific research topic. The 1914-1918 Thematic Collection hosts 400,000 items aggregated from Europeana partner libraries, archives and museums, including over 600 hours of video, alongside 200,000 items of content contributed by individuals both online and during the 200+ collection days. Community collection days, organised by Europeana and other institutions throughout Europe, invited people to share their stories and objects from the First World War, which were then digitised by professional archivists.

The Research Grants Programme manages the total amount of 25,000 Euros per year. It funds up to three projects of 8,000 Euros per project. The projects’ outcomes are published under open licences.

New article published in Acta Universitatis Sapientiae on Histories, Identities, Media

Vol. 14 of the scientific journal Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Film and Media Studies has been published with an issue on Histories, Identities, Media. You can find my contribution ‘Collective Cultural Memory as a TV Guide: “Living” History and Nostalgia on the Digital Television Platform’ here. In this article, I reflect on how modern audiences engage with representations of the past in a particular way via the medium of television, negotiating a shared understanding of the past. This is evidenced by the increasing popularity of reboots, newly developed history and documentary programming, re-use of archival footage and nostalgia content. This article takes a closer look at television’s abilities to circulate and contextualize the past in the current era of convergence through narrowcasting or niche programming on digital television platforms, specifically via nostalgia programming. Such platforms exemplify the multifaceted way of looking at and gaining access to television programming through a variety of connected platforms and screens in the current multi-platform era. Since the way in which television professionals (producers, schedulers, commissioners, researchers) act as moderators in this process needs to be further analysed, the article places an emphasis on how meaningful connections via previously broadcast history and nostalgia programming are also curated, principally through scheduling and production practices for niche programming – key elements in television’s creative process that have received less academic attention. Continue reading “New article published in Acta Universitatis Sapientiae on Histories, Identities, Media”

Invited talk DH Clinics on Working with audiovisual sources

DH ClinicsI was invited to give a talk/lecture on Working with audiovisual sources [‘Werken met audiovisuele bronnen’] as part of the DH Clinics programmeDag 5: Werken met audiovisueel materiaal en geografische informatie, organized by Lotte Wilms (KB), Ben Companjen (Centre for Digital Scholarship, UBL) and Michiel Cock (UBVU). In my talk I focused on methods for working with and analysing audiovisual sources, and which types of audiovisual sources are available for research. I reflected on my work with audiovisual platforms such as EUScreen. I also discussed workflows of scholars in Media Studies and tool and source criticism in relation to doing research with different AV sources.

For my PPT presentation slides of my lecture [in Dutch] click here. See also a report on the day by Hugo Huurdeman here.

Workshop Digital Humanities Days 2017

I am looking forward to be conducting a workshop together with dr. Sabrina Sauer at the Digital Humanities Days 2017 at the University of Groningen. Our workshop on ‘Digital exploratory search: Discover new research questions and create narratives with audiovisual sources’ invites humanities researchers who want to use audiovisual sources in their research, are curious about how exploratory search tools can aid their research process, and want to know more about narrative creation about historical media events, using both English and Dutch audiovisual sources. How do searching for audiovisual sources and storytelling interrelate? This is one of the questions that drives the researchers of DIVE+. DIVE+ is an open linked exploratory search browser that facilitates the exploration of diverse archival and museum collections, and allows researchers to investigate how different media objects, events, people and concepts can be compared, connected, and contextualized. But how do humanities researchers create narratives, and develop research questions when they use the possibilities offered by linked data? Based on previous research into the search and storytelling practices of media professionals who use digital audio-visual archives, this workshop’s starting point is the notion that searching for audio-visual material (the search technologies used) changes the stories one can tell.

IAMHIST 2017 Conference, Paris

Capture-d_écran-2017-06-20-à-16.36.43Looking forward to the upcoming IAMHIST 2017 XXVII conference on ‘Media History and Violence’ at the University Paris 2 (CARISM) in Paris, France, where I will be presenting current research within the CLARIAH Research Pilot project Narrative Disruption on ‘(Re-)Presenting the Assassination of Pim Fortuyn as a disruptive media event,’ as part of the panel ‘Critical perspectives on historical events and the role of the archive’, and I also will be chairing a conference panel on ‘Public and historical figures’. You can find the full programme here.



DHBenelux 2017 Panel “A Pragmatic Approach to Understanding and Utilising Events in Cultural Heritage”

At the conference DHBenelux 2017, I was also very happy to participate in the panel “A Pragmatic Approach to Understanding and Utilising Events in Cultural Heritage” together with Lora Aroyo, Chiel van den Akker, Marnix van Berchum, Lodewijk Petram, Gerard Kuys, Tommaso Caselli, Jacco van Ossenbruggen, Victor de Boer and Sabrina Sauer. You can find the panel contributions here:

Paper presentation: Getting the Bigger Picture: An Evaluation of Media Exploratory Search and Narrative Creation

I co-presented a paper with dr. Sabrina Sauer at the DHBenelux conference hosted by Utrecht University  on the 4th of July, titled “Getting the Bigger Picture: An Evaluation of Media Exploratory Search and Narrative Creation”. You can find the PPT on SlideShare and the conference programme here.

Getting the Bigger Picture: An Evaluation of Media Exploratory Search
and Narrative Creation
Berber Hagedoorn and Sabrina Sauer

Abstract: Digital Humanities centres on questions that are raised by and answered with digital tools in the Humanities. At the same time, it interrogates the value and limitations of digital methods in Humanities’ disciplines. While it is important to understand how digital technologies can offer new venues for Humanities research, it is equally essential to understand – and therefore, being able to interpret – ‘the user side’ of Digital Humanities. Specifically, how Humanities researchers appropriate and domesticate search tools to ask and answer new questions, and apply digital methods. Previous user research in Digital Humanities concentrates on assessing, for example, how and why Digital Humanities benefits from studies into user needs and behaviour (Warwick, 2012), user requirement research, as well as participatory design research (Kemman & Kleppe, 2014). Continue reading “Paper presentation: Getting the Bigger Picture: An Evaluation of Media Exploratory Search and Narrative Creation”

New publication (in Dutch): De poëtica van het verbeelden van geschiedenis op broadcast televisie

TMGNew publication (in Dutch) is out! You can find it here in the open access peer reviewed journal Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis (Journal of Media History). In modern society, television is one of the most important media for (re-)presenting the past. In this new article, I focus on the poetics of history on television broadcasts in relation to the manner in which these broadcasts present our past as well as our collective memory. This study rebuts criticism of television as a medium for historical accounts by demonstrating how professionals in the field actively display an extensive knowledge and understanding of the past, provide frameworks for the contextualization of audiovisual materials and depth, and apply and operate specific functions of different representation tools in their productions. To gain insight into the way television producers interact with history, this study combines qualitative textual analysis of the broadcasts and an approach from the field of production studies: diverse in-depth interviews and analysis of internal documents. The case study chosen for this research was Andere Tijden, a history program based on archive material and produced by NTR (formerly known as NPS) and VPRO for the Dutch Broadcast Foundation, from 2000 onwards. The case study demonstrates how television producers’ mediation of history is an important practice in the search for history and memories and the conservation and presentation thereof. The analysis reveals the possibility of more cohesive poetics with regard to history on broadcast television and offers insight into the objectives, strategies and conventions of television producers. Special attention is paid to the more implicit practices of selection and interpretation of material by television producers as curators of the past. These implicit practices are made explicit on a cultural-historical, institutional and textual level.

Granted CLARIAH Pilot Research Project: Narrativizing Disruption

Granted CLARIAH Pilot Research Project: Narrativizing Disruption, a project on how exploratory search can support media researchers to interpret ‘disruptive’ media events as lucid narratives. ‘Disruptive’ media events, such as terrorist attacks or environmental disasters, are difficult to interpret due to an inability to grasp the story. In the media, such events are unwieldy and difficult to interpret due to their spread across platforms, media types and wide coverage – such events make a lot of ‘noise’. This leads to problems for media scholars, who analyse how narratives construct different political, economic or cultural meanings around such events. Offering media scholars the ability to explore and create lucid narratives about media events therefore greatly supports their interpretative work. This project studies how exploratory search can help to understand how ‘disruptive’ events are constructed as narratives across media, and instilled with specific cultural-political meanings. This project specifically approaches this question by using CLARIAH components (DIVE+’s navigation and bookmarking pane) to examine how scholars use and create narratives to understand media events. Academic insights conclude how exploratory search supports narrative generation. Software-specific insights produce recommendations at the entity, interface and user level, provide starting points for media research, and recommendations for auto-generating narratives based on exploratory search practices. This project is a Research Pilot in the context of CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities).

nardis Continue reading “Granted CLARIAH Pilot Research Project: Narrativizing Disruption”

2016-17 Research Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Researcher in Residence)

AV Representations of Historical News Events, A Comparative and Exploratory Study

On November 1st, 2016 I have started as Researcher in Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (2016-17 Research Fellowship), working on a research project titled ‘AV Representations of Historical News Events: A Comparative and Exploratory Study’. Many hours of audio-visual material have been digitized in the Netherlands since 2007. As a result, the access to radio, film, and television programmes from the past has increased immensely, offering more opportunities for re-use and research. In this process described as the archival turn,[1] infrastructure and contextualization function as important preconditions for users of archives to find their way through the enormous amounts of audio-visual material. Such users include television programme makers, media professionals and academic researchers.[2] From this starting point, I conduct a comparative and exploratory study into the cross-media, AV representation of historical news events, particularly radio news events. Such a combination of historical and digital humanities research can aid in providing specific interpretations of the vast amounts of newly digitized materials, as well as critically assessing how an event narrative exploration tool can support a researcher from beginning to end. Continue reading “2016-17 Research Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Researcher in Residence)”

New journal publication: The End of the Television Archive as We Know It? The National Archive as an Agent of Historical Knowledge in the Convergence Era

extNew publication is out! You can find it here in the open access peer reviewed journal Media and Communication, written together with drs. Bas Agterberg, curator at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum (http://www.beeldengeluid.nl/en) as part of a special thematic issue on (Not Yet) The End of Television, edited by Milly Buonanno. In this article we reflect on the role of the national archive as an agent of historical knowledge in the convergence era, and how professionals in the television industry are working towards a certain future—rather than end—for the medium based on multi-platform storytelling, as well as multiple screens, distribution channels and streaming platforms. They do so rooted in institutional frameworks where traditional conceptualizations of television still persist. In this context, we reflect on the role of the national television archive as an agent of historical knowledge in the convergence era. Contextualisation and infrastructure function as important preconditions for users of archives to find their way through the enormous amounts of audio-visual material. Specifically, we consider the case of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, taking a critical stance towards the archive’s practices of contextualisation and preservation of audio-visual footage in the convergence era. To do so, the article considers the impact of online circulation, contextualisation and preservation of audio-visual materials in relation to, first, how media policy complicates the re-use of material, and second, the archive’s use by television professionals and media researchers. This article reflects on the possibilities for and benefits of systematic archiving, developments in web archiving, and accessibility of production and contextual documentation of public broadcasters in the Netherlands. We do so based on an analysis of internal documentation, best practices of archive-based history programmes and their related cross-media practices, as well as media policy documentation. We consider how audio-visual archives should deal with the shift towards multi-platform productions, and argue for both a more systematic archiving of production and contextual documentation in the Netherlands, and for media researchers who draw upon archival resources to show a greater awareness of an archive’s history. In the digital age, even more people are part of the archive’s processes of selection and aggregation, affecting how the past is preserved through audio-visual images.

PhD defense Berber Hagedoorn: how televised history contributes to cultural memory

1898_BerberHagedoorn_voorkant_lowresTelevision is a significant mediator of past and historical events in modern media systems. In my dissertation, to be defended on January 22 2016 at Utrecht University, I study practices of representing the past on Dutch television as a multi-platform phenomenon. My analysis includes, among others, Andere tijden (NPS/NTR/VPRO), NostalgieNet, the documentary project De oorlog/13 in de oorlog (NPS) and the crossmedia documentary project In Europa (VPRO).

Dynamic screen practices such as broadcasting, cross-media platforms, digital thematic channels and online television archives provide access to a wide range of audio-visual materials. By exploring how television’s convergence with new media technologies has affected its role as a mediator of the past, I reflect on how contemporary representations of history contribute to the construction of cultural memory.

The importance of storytelling

Televised histories connect users with the past and provide necessary contextual frameworks through cross-media and transmedia storytelling, demonstrating the continuing importance of stories and memories produced through televisual practices – challenging accepted versions of history.

Experimenting with storytelling practices

Specifically, the poetics of doing history in archive-based and documentary programming are analysed from 2000 onwards, when television professionals in the Netherlands seized the opportunity to experiment with storytelling practices made possible by the increased digitisation of archival collections and the presence of online and digital platforms. Continue reading “PhD defense Berber Hagedoorn: how televised history contributes to cultural memory”

Dutch summary dissertation Doing History, Creating Memory

An English language abstract of my dissertation can be found here. A Dutch and English press release can be found here.

Samenvatting in het Nederlands (from Berber 1898_BerberHagedoorn_voorkant_lowresHagedoorn, Doing History, Creating Memory: Representing the Past in Documentary and Archive-Based Television Programmes within a Multi-Platform Landscape, Dissertation Utrecht University, 2016, pp. 228-230).

Geschiedenis-televisie als geheugenpraktijk: de verbeelding van het verleden in documentaires en televisieprogramma’s over geschiedenis via een multi-platform aanpak

In mijn proefschrift bestudeer ik manieren waarop het verleden wordt verbeeld op de Nederlandse televisie als een multi-platform fenomeen. Daarmee laat mijn onderzoek zien hoe hedendaagse representaties van geschiedenis bijdragen aan de vorming van het culturele geheugen. In mijn analyse betrek ik onder meer Andere tijden (NPS/NTR/VPRO), digitale themakanalen zoals NPO Doc en NostalgieNet, en crossmediale documentaireprojecten zoals De oorlog/13 in de oorlog (NPS) en In Europa (VPRO). Dit onderzoek weerlegt kritiek op televisie als geschiedenispraktijk door te laten zien hoe televisieprofessionals actief kennis en begrip van het verleden aanbrengen, kaders voor contextualisering en verdieping bieden, en specifieke functionaliteiten van verschillende media inzetten en sturen in multi-platform producties. Het onderzoek toont hierbij de rol aan van de Nederlandse televisie-industrie en de publieke omroep als pionier en experimentele ruimte in de ontwikkeling van multi-platform en participatieve projecten. Continue reading “Dutch summary dissertation Doing History, Creating Memory”

Blogpost on final EUscreen Conference on Curating Europe’s Audio-Visual Heritage in Warsaw

I was honoured to chair the fifth and last session of the ‪#‎EUscreen15‬ conference on Curating Europe’s Audio-Visual Heritage. This session, titled “Transmedia Storytelling For Archive Materials”, examined the potential of AV archives as tools for storytellers; in cinema, exhibitions and museums as well as academic research. The session consisted of presentations by Andreas Fickers from University of Luxembourg on transmedia storytelling in relation to media history, Piotr Śliwowski on the making of the film Warsaw Uprising, and Daniela Petrelli from the Art & Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University on using design to intertwine digital and physical heritage. You can find a blogpost on the panel session here and a brief AV recap of the entire event in Warsaw here.