Research

2016-present Vice-chair ECREA Television Studies thematic section

The Television Studies Section aims to organise a strong cooperation for European research and education in the field of television studies.

In the face of technological and cultural changes to television ‘as we know it’, the section will bring together TV researchers from a wide range of disciplines focusing on all aspects of television, both addressing the post-broadcast era and television’s history and multiple futures.

Section website: https://ecrea.eu/Television-Studies

2018-2019 European Research Grant Award

I recently received the 2018-2019 Europeana Research Grant Award to study specific storytelling data of media creators and users’ practices of search and research explicitly with the Europeana 1914-1918 collection, an online archival collection and database consisting of items (a.o. diaries) with memories from WOI.

My 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 digitized by professional archivists.

2017-2018 CLARIAH Research Pilot Grant

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).

Project team:
Sabrina Sauer (RUG) & Berber Hagedoorn (RUG)
Lora Aroyo (VU University)
Liliana Melgar (UvA, CLARIAH)
Victor de Boer (VU University)
Roeland Ordelman (Beeld en Geluid)

For more information see the project website.

2016-2017 Research Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Researcher in Residence)

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, as researcher in residence at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (2016-17 Research Fellowship), 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 digitalised 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.

[1] De Leeuw, S. (2011). Het archief als netwerk. Perspectieven op de studie van online televisie-erfgoed. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 14(2), 11.

[2] See also Hagedoorn, B. and Agterberg, B. (2016). The End of the Television Archive as We Know It? The National Archive as an Agent of Historical Knowledge in the Convergence Era. Media and Communication, 4(3). Doi: 10.17645/mac.v4i3.595.

[3] http://www.beeldengeluid.nl/kennis/projecten/dive

Dissertation research: Doing History, Creating Memory: Representing the Past in Documentary and Archive-Based Television Programmes in a Multi-Platform Landscape (defended 22 January 2016)

Television is a significant mediator of past and historical events in modern media systems. In my dissertation research Doing History, Creating Memory (supervisors: prof. dr. Sonja de Leeuw & prof. dr. Eggo Müller) I studied practices of representing the past on Dutch television as a multi-platform phenomenon. 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, this study reflects on how contemporary representations of history contribute to the construction of cultural memory. 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. This study is founded on a textual analysis of audio-visual cases to reveal processes of meaning making, and a production studies approach to gain insight into creators’ strategies of broadcasting and multi-platform storytelling in relation to historical events. Such an approach reveals distinct textual, cultural-historical and institutional aims, strategies and conventions for doing history on television, bringing power relations to the surface. The project was carried out on a 50% basis next to my research work for VideoActive, EUscreen and EUscreenXL, Best Practice Networks funded within the eContentplus programme of the European Commission.

This dissertation consequently shows, first, how the selection and circulation of historical narratives and audio-visual archive materials in new contexts of television works in relation to processes of mediation, hybridity and curation, and second, how such practices help to search, preserve and perform individual and collective cultural memories. 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.

2012-2015 EUscreenXL: Discover Europe’s Television Heritage

EUscreenXL is a three-year project (2013-2016) that aggregates a comprehensive amount of professional audiovisual content and makes it accessible through Europeana. The consortium brings together 32 partners from 21 EU member states and has established formal links with external stakeholders including the Europeana Foundation, FIAT/IFTA and IASA. EUscreenXL as the Pan-European aggregator of audiovisual heritage provides Europeana with at least 1.000.000 metadata records linking to online content held by 22 leading audiovisual archives, and 20.000 high quality contextualized programmes for public access and engagement on the EUscreen portal. The project promotes and maximises awareness for a shared Pan-European audiovisual content policy among archives, heritage institutions and broadcasters across Europe – and, in effect, substantially increases the online presence of digitised audiovisual heritage in Europeana. It thus enhances the visibility of the 20th century represented in audiovisual heritage and provides strategies for durable use, raising broader awareness of Europeana content for diverse groups of users.

2009-2012 EUscreen: Exploring Europe’s Television Heritage in Changing Contexts

EUscreen is a three-year project (2009-2012) in which 36 partners from 19 countries are brought together. The project is supported by the European Commission as part of the e-Contentplus Programme. Content will also become available through Europeana, the gateway to Europe’s vast heritage collections that currently provides access to over 20 million objects from libraries, museums, archives and audio-visual archives. The portal provides a wide variety of functionalities to search and browse the collection, which can be used in different contexts such as curricula and research programmes, for remix, and for leisurely dives into popular history. Curated exhibitions and an academic e-journal which researches significant trends in over 60 years of European television with the help of original programme sources are also available via the portal. The major objective is to stimulate the use of television archive content for the widest range of European user constituencies and communities and thus to advance active engagement with the cultural memory of Europe both at a national and a European level. EUscreen enables alignment of European audiovisual content with the digitized cultural heritage of Europe and achieves this by building a highly interoperable digitized collection of television material, which supports the exploration of Europe’s television heritage in changing contexts. A critical mass of audiovisual content and its metadata will be made accessible through the EUscreen platform. EUscreen investigates, exploits and extends existing tools in order to create a highly interoperable environment to enable content sharing among the EUscreen partners and with Europeana, for which EUscreen will deliver the audiovisual component. The project aims to create appropriate conditions for multicultural and multilingual access and use of audiovisual (television) content. Through investigation of user specifications, EUscreen develops and evaluates use case scenarios for using content for research, learning, and leisure and creative re-use regardless of the language and cultural boundaries. Furthermore the content will be analysed and contextualised from a European perspective in the academic e-journal VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture.

2009 VideoActive: Creating Access to Europe’s Television Heritage

Video Active presents television material from audiovisual archives across Europe. It provides resources to explore how cultural and historical events have been televised within and across nations and gives a unique perspective on European television history. It enables an interactive discovery of television’s contribution to the construction of a European cultural space, with the help of a large collection of program material. Integrating television research with audio visual material has been a significant challenge, but Video Active offers new and exciting possibilities for researchers, students and the general public to understand the history of television in Europe in novel and dynamic ways. It offers different pathways to exploring European television history, providing key questions and answers combined with clips and programs from the European archives.

Advertisements