Transnational Mediascapes Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline for applications: February 28 th, 2013

In recent years, quite some progress towards a transnational point of view on historical processes and on contemporary developments has happened in the fields of television and sound studies – both finding shared theories, methodologies, and analytical tools, and identifying useful case studies and histories.

The conference Transnational Mediascapes: Sound and Vision in Europe will take place at the Department of Media and Performing Arts of the Catholic University of Milan on May 14th-15th, 2013. The conference is organised in association with Ce.R.T.A. – Centro di Ricerca sulla Televisione e gli Audiovisivi and ALMED – Alta Scuola in Media, Comunicazione e Spettacolo. Abstracts are invited for contributions to the two main topics of the conference:

Day 1: Transnational Television: Towards a Comparative TV History
Day 2: Transnational Soundscapes: Sound and the Media in Europe

Media studies have been forced by convergence, digitization and globalization to look beyond the traditional structure of national media systems, histories and habits, and to begin to analyse their phenomena according to a wider, and more complex, point of view. On one side, they have started to reconstruct the global flows of information and entertainment, the basis of a “mainstream culture” that unifies – at least partially – different geographical, political, social and cultural areas. On the other, they have begun to follow media products and trends in their complex paths across various countries and macro-regions, underlining both the differences and the deep similarities in shapes and meanings, in production processes as well as in consumption practices.

Day 1 – Transnational Television: Towards a Comparative TV History

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, May 14th, 2013

Following the comparative approach to European television established by recent works as Jonathan Bignell and Andreas Fickers’ A European Television History (2008) and Jérôme Bourdon’s Du service public à la télé-réalité. Une histoire culturelle des télévisions européennes (2011), the focus on trans-nationality in television is one of the most compelling and current challenges for TV studies. If the medium is still deeply national in many aspects, in fact, digitization and globalization include TV into wider multi-national exchanges of ideas, formats, programmes, genres, trends, and also viewing practices.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Jérôme Bourdon (Tel Aviv University), John Ellis (Royal Holloway, London), Peppino Ortoleva (University of Turin). There will be also the presentation of the latest issues of View. Journal of European Television History and Culture and Comunicazioni sociali.

Abstracts are invited for contributions to the conference that seek to compare television histories, genres, trends, production, and distribution practices across different countries and regions, in Europe as well as in the rest of the world, offering a wide approach on methods, theories and case histories.

Topics can include:

  • The (im)possibility of a transnational history of television;
  • Definitions and methods for the comparative approach;
  • Public Service Broadcasting, Commercial TV and Pay TV across different countries;
  • Logics of broadcasting in different countries;
  • Production practices in different countries;
  • Scheduling practices in different countries;
  • TV brands in different countries;
  • Genre definitions and redefinition in different countries;
  • Textual evolutions in different countries;
  • Consumption practices in different countries;
  • Transnational circulation of TV products;
  • Production and consumption macro-areas (i.e. European Community, English-speaking countries);
  • Original research findings on single case histories across two or more nations.

Scholars from all areas of TV and media studies are invited to submit proposals for contributions. Each speaker will have about 20 minutes of speaking time. Proposals (250 words, written in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by February 28 th. Submissions should be sent to Attilia Rebosio. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than March 10 th.

Day 2 – Transnational Soundscapes: Sound and the Media in Europe

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, May 15th, 2013

In post-WWII Europe, popular culture began to relate to a wide range of mediatized practices, at the centre of which the growing music industry essentially revolutionized the media- and soundscapes we live in. This already convergent network expressed a wider social change towards modernity, mobility, new gender relations, that could also be felt as a generational shift. For us today it seems likely to have been the place for the building of individual and collective life histories, allowing an interpretation in terms of personal and collective memories and cultural heritage.

In order to begin a reconceptualization of such cultural practices, we are in need of more information concerning the historical background, the modes of production and the industrial strategies, the textual and paratextual output and the patterns and ways of consumption that characterized the crucial encounter between audio-visual media and popular music, gathering different methodological perspectives as much as comparing different national or transnational trajectories.

As a consequence, the aim of this symposium is to explore from a comparative perspective, European popular culture in its crucial journey towards mediatization from 1945 to the Seventies, as an exemplary trajectory for its seemingly excessive foregrounding of music and sounds within the national film, radio and television cultures and the transnational mediascape. Topics of papers may include:

  • popular music and media industry
  • European Media industry vs American media industry
  • amplification and high fidelity;
  • audiovisual performance and the canonization of popular forms;
  • national/transnational pop music and culture;
  • popular music in film, radio and television;
  • cross-media singers and performers
  • stardom and fandom.

Confirmed keynote speakers are: Franco Fabbri (University of Turin), Andreas Fickers (Maastricht University), Wolfgang Mühl-Benninhaus (Humboldt Universität Berlin). Scholars from all areas of media and popular music studies are invited to submit proposals for contributions. Each speaker will have about 20 minutes of speaking time.

Proposals (max. 250 words, written in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by February 28 th. Submissions should be sent to Attilia Rebosio. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than March 10 th.

Guidelines to Properly Cite Audiovisual Productions

In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features, it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these sources properly. The BUFVC’s AV Citation Guide brings together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation.

The AV Citation Project

In an exciting initiative, the BUFVC has brought together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation. As part of the HEFCE-funded Shared Services project, this working group is currently producing a series of guidelines to enable the citation of a range of audiovisual sources for teaching, learning and research. The guidelines are being created for two purposes: to provide sensible, clear and practical uniform ground rules for the citation of audiovisual material and to ensure that all audiovisual material referenced and used in research and higher education can subsequently be found by others.

Current Citation Practice

Existing guidelines for audiovisual resources are modelled on standards established for text-based sources. They frequently privilege the author, a practice that is unsatisfying when applied to a great deal of audiovisual material. In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these kinds of sources according to what is useful rather than simply the title, author, date and publisher. Useful information for audiovisual sources may include detail on date uploaded or created, version, format, date accessed, chapters, URL or point of access, and owner of material.

These guidelines don’t equal a catalogue record or a database entry. As with any source, you can find out a great deal about audiovisual material which does not need to be included in a straightforward citation. Digital records often include extensive metadata such as catalogue numbers, length of the footage in feet, the date of the original footage, when it was digitised, related items in the series and if it has been broadcast since its original transmission. This is important information, yet including all of this in a citation is not appropriate or practical.

Project Status

Following a survey of existing guidelines on AV citation the working group, led by Dr Sian Barber, is now producing a set of new guidelines to offer a practical approach to this tricky problem. Once finalised, the guidelines will be thoroughly tested and incorporated into the final template. Rigorous enough to provide all the necessary information for referencing purposes and yet flexible enough to allow for the citation of material as diverse as YouTube videos, radio programmes and lecture podcasts, the guidelines will be made freely available in March 2013.

More information

Have you ever wondered how to cite a TV advert? Or extra features on a DVD? What about a scene from a director’s cut feature film or amateur film footage held in an archive? Or how do you ensure that those writing for your journal provide enough information on the resources they have used? How can you give the best advice to students and how do you make sure that your own resources are being correctly cited?

SOIMA2013 Expert Course

Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections

DATES 23 September – 16 October, 2013
PLACE Nairobi (Kenya) with study visits to partner institutions

Today sound and image records account for a large portion of the world’s memory and are found in diverse cultural institutions. As documents of intangible heritage and contemporary culture they are of immense value; yet, archives, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions around the world are struggling to conserve their sound and image collections in both analogue and digital formats. Moreover, conservation of sound and image materials is complex and requires specialized guidance, skills and infrastructure. While digitization offers new possibilities for wider access and preservation, many institutions lack expertise to assess the technological implications and to make informed choices that do not strain institutional resources and at the same time respect the authenticity and inherent values of this heritage.

The course will provide an overview of issues related to the preservation and access of sound and image materials e.g., photographs, films, video and audiotapes, and digital materials. It will discuss the value, meaning, selection and use of sound and image collections in various institutional contexts, exploring the potential of sound and image media in transmitting knowledge and cultural traditions. Initial sessions will especially focus on identification of various formats including the playback equipment, life expectancy of media and ways of detecting deterioration. Additional course topics will include: current knowledge and practices for documenting and cataloguing, media handling and storage, risk assessment of collections, emergency preparedness and response, criteria and technologies for migration and reformatting, planning preservation projects, outsourcing options, digital preservation and management. Issues such as curating and access, copyright laws, legal deposit, and institutional and national preservation policies will be discussed in context with participants’ working realities. Adaptation to technological changes and related cost-effective preservation strategies will form a key component of the course.


At the end of the course, participants will be able:
1) to recognize materials and media in their sound and image collections,
2) to identify the risks to such collections,
3) to make informed choices for preservation and access within given means;
4) They will have improved their skills to communicate effectively across disciplines and to work in teams.

Course Methodology

The course will comprise lectures, a variety of group activities, practical sessions, case studies and site visits. Significant time will be allocated for independent consultation with the course team. Case studies for the course will be based on participants’ inputs and will address issues and challenges identified by them. Thus, active involvement of participants will be sought during the course preparation phase. A follow-up programme, will involve working on self-defined initiatives in participants’ home institutions and communicating as well as networking through a platform supported by the organizers.


The course is aimed at professionals working with mixed collections that have sound and image records of national or regional significance. In particular, it will interest archivists, collection managers, conservators, curators and librarians in charge of preserving such collections in various cultural institutions around the world. It will also interest Information Technology professionals working on projects involving digitization of sound and image collections or allied professionals and managers working for broadcasting institutions. Preference will be given to people actively involved in teaching and advising.
A maximum of 22 participants will be selected.


  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • TARA – Trust for African Rock Art
  • In cooperation with: National Museums of Kenya

Teaching Team

International team of recognized experts identified through professional networks of the partners.

Travel, Accomodation and Living Expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round trip travel costs to and from Nairobi (Kenya). In order to cover living costs during the course, participants should plan for a minimum total allowance of approximately Euro 1200. This sum would include the costs of accommodation in moderately priced hotels identified by the organizers. Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and other relevant funding agencies. . ICCROM may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to selected candidates who have been unable to secure funding.


Please use the course application form at and send it by e-mail to Please note it is mandatory to include the statement stating your reasons for applying. Application deadline: 1 March, 2013. Applications without the statement of intent will not be considered. Should you be sending the application by mail, please send to the following contact address: SOIMA 2013-Collections Unit, ICCROM, 13, via di San Michele, 00153 ROME RM, ITALY.

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