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.

This research study is CLARIAH-centric, from the viewpoint of DIVE+. This entails that starting from the overarching question how events and narratives can provide context for interpretation of cultural heritage collections, this research study further explores the biggest potential of DIVE, which lies in its focus on narratives. DIVE is a tool for explorative search where narratives are central. The project itself outlines its main objectives as providing a basis for interpretation support in searching and browsing of heritage objects, where semantic information from existing collections plus open linked data vocabularies are linking collections of objects to the events, people, locations and concepts that are depicted or associated with those objects. An innovative interface allows for browsing this network of data in an intuitive fashion supporting researchers, media makers and general users in their online explorations.[3] DIVE+ builds on the results of DIVE by expanding the innovative approach for interaction, interpretation and exploration of digital heritage via different online collections. Continue reading


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

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

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.

New journal article publication: “Towards a participatory memory: multi-platform storytelling in historical television documentary”

ccon20_v029_i03_coverI’m happy to share news of my recent article publication “Towards a participatory memory: multi-platform storytelling in historical television documentary” in the peer-reviewed journal Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, as part of a special issue that resulted from the international conference on ‘New Media, Memories and Histories’ at Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in 2012. The special issue discusses “the role of the New Media in shaping memoryscapes from the private to the public in specific case studies across several countries including Australia and Malaysia, the UK, Holland, Hong Kong and Singapore [and] [t]he topics in these papers span from studying new technical applications and semiotics to new politics of repression and trauma on both national and transnational contexts”, as described by editors Kai Khiun Liew, Natalie Pang & Brenda Chan (2015). You can find the full issue here!

EUscreenXL on the Future of Archives at NECS 2015

Every year NECS, the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies gathers a significant number of scholars, researchers, media professionals and archivists from all over the world. The 2015 NECS Conference took place this year in Łódź, Poland on 18th-20th June. The theme of the conference was “Archive of/for the Future” and certainly, this theme could not be more appropriate and relevant for EUscreenXL. A team of EUscreenXL representatives participated to the event presenting an entire panel session on “Perspectives on the Contextualization of Audiovisual Online Archives: Access and Publication Formats” represented by myself, Mariana Salgado from Aalto University, Eleonora Maria Mazzoli from Utrecht University, and Dana Mustata from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. You can find the full conference report here on the EUscreen blog.