Researching Film and Television Through the Archive

The National Film and Sound Archive's collection contains approximately 1.7 million collection items.

The one-day multi-disciplinary symposium Researching Film and Television Through the Archive, jointly hosted on November 9th 2012 by University of Warwick’s Department of Film and Television Studies and the Institute of Advanced Study, will explore the practices and implications of researching film and television through the archive.

Making the archive the basis of a project or incorporating archival research into an existing project can be an insightful, rewarding, and frequently also a frustrating experience. The symposium will offer a space for archival researchers from across disciplines to share practices, methodologies and experiences of using different types of archives to research film and television texts, contexts and histories.

Call for Contributions

Abstracts are invited for contributions that seek to further understand the possibilities and boundaries of conducting archival research. Contributions can take the form of a 20 minute paper – outlining research ideas related to the themes of the symposium – or a 10 minute presentation – discussing the practical, methodological or scholarly implications of using archival research as an aspect of film and television research.

Contributions are particularly welcome in the following areas:

  • Archival research methodologies
  • Why do archival research?
  • The allure of the archive
  • Practical aspects of using archives
  • Archiving policy and practice
  • The possibilities of the archive
  • The limits and limitations of archival research
  • The archive, impact and the REF

Abstracts (max 200 words), along with a short biographical note and a specification of the type of contribution you wish to make, are due by Monday October 8th 2012. Please send your abstract to .


CFP: Television for Women

Television for Women: An International Conference: Call for Papers
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 15th-17th May 2013
Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Brunsdon, Christine Geraghty, Kathleen Karlyn and Lynn Spigel

At the culmination of the AHRC-funded project, A History of Television for Women in Britain, 1947-89, the project team (Dr. Mary Irwin, Dr. Rachel Moseley and Dr. Helen Wheatley (Warwick), and Hazel Collie and Dr. Helen Wood (De Montfort)) are organising a three day conference which seeks to open up and internationalise debate about the past, present and future of television programming for women.

Whilst television has traditionally been identified as a ‘feminised’ medium, because it is apparently ‘domestic, passive and generally oriented to consumption, rather than production’ (D’Acci, 2004), there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of the relationship between television and women. The team is therefore interested in hearing from scholars about television programming made for and watched by women viewers throughout the history of broadcasting and in the contemporary period, and would welcome both other researchers writing about the UK and those offering comparative work overseas.

Whilst the project has worked to fill in some of the some of the gaps in the history of women’s television, outlining significant moments in their research period, specific programme types, genres and scheduling slots which have become significantly marked as feminine, they know that there are many more gaps to fill, and hope that this conference will be a further step towards this.

Potential topics

  • Rethinking broadcasting histories: where have women’s programmes and viewing practices been left out?
  • National histories of programming for women. Is ‘TV for Women’ a global phenomenon?
  • Female audiences: speaking to them, mapping their tastes and interests.
  • Institutional/production perspectives on addressing the female viewer: how have broadcasters envisaged ‘what women want’?
  • Questions of gender and genre.
  • Representation of women and women’s concerns and cultural competences on television (as addressed to the female viewer).
  • Feminist (and post-feminist) address and representation on television.
  • Significant programme makers/teams/production companies in the production of television for women: is TV for women TV by women?
  • Channels for women in the multichannel age: Lifestyle, Living, etc.
  • Archiving issues that relate to women’s TV culture.
  • Analyses of magazines and TV ephemera (listings guides, women’s magazines, promotional materials, etc.) and their address to the female viewer.
  • Other media, other screens: histories of women’s radio, the female viewer and social media, women viewers on multimedia viewing platforms, which consider their connection to television etc.
  • Understanding female TV fandom.
  • The question of generation: how do women remember and relate to television differently at different life stages.


Abstracts of c.250 should be sent to by 12th October 2012. Pre-constituted panels of three speakers may also be submitted, and should include a brief panel rationale statement, as well as individual abstracts.

CfP: Moving at Different Speeds

Call for papers for Comunicazioni sociali, I, 2013

The Commercialization of Television Systems in Europe and its Consequences

Monographic issue. Accepted languages: English, Italian, and French
Issue Co-editors: Massimo Scaglioni, Luca Barra (Università Cattolica di Milano)

One of the most compelling and current challenges for television studies is to work on the edge of national and international boundaries. Such work must attempt to scrutinize the  historical evolutions of the different television national systems in the light of broader, supranational trends (Bignell-Fickers 2008; Bourdon 2011).

Following a comparative approach, and in order to better understand the developments of European television, the focus on commercialization is without any doubt productive: the entry of private and adbased players in TV national markets is a major phenomenon that has affected European broadcasting systems at different times and speeds, with complex consequences. Starting from the strong tradition of public service broadcasting and, in many cases, of monopoly, European television has experienced the birth of commercial TV at different points of its history, from the first experiments in the UK during the Fifties until the articulated – and often contradictory – process of deregulation and “liberalization” that occurred in many continental countries from the Seventies, as well – in Eastern Europe – along the Nineties.

This special issue of Comunicazioni sociali will analyze the gradual diffusion of several models of commercial TV throughout the decades into different nations across Europe. It aims to provide readers with an outline of the implications of commercialization at the social, cultural, institutional, political, textual and technological level, through case studies of individual nations or regions, comparative studies or theoretical analyses.

Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for contributions to a special issue that will seek to further our understanding of the historical dynamics of TV commercialization that have differently shaped broadcasting systems in various European contexts: similarities and differences will emerge, contributing to a deeper comprehension both of European television histories and of the historical logics and developments of the medium. These can include:

  • Early commercial broadcasting in Europe, both as lasting or “experimental” experiences;
  • Definitions and implications of TV commercialization;
  • Consequences of TV commercialization on a social and cultural level;
  • Consequences of TV commercialization on a political and economical level;
  • TV commercialization and changes in the logics of broadcasting;
  • TV commercialization and production practices;
  • TV commercialization and scheduling practices;
  • TV commercialization and genre (re)definitions;
  • TV commercialization and textual evolutions;
  • TV commercialization and its consequences on the broader media system;
  • TV commercialization and consumption practices;
  • TV commercialization and changes in audience conceptualization;
  • Theoretical approaches on TV commercialization;
  • Original research findings on single case histories and nations.

Paper proposals (250-300 words, in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by October 31th, 2012.

Submissions should be sent to both the editors, Massimo Scaglioni ( and Luca Barra ( Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than November 15th, 2012.

Accepted articles (3500-5000 words, in English, French or Italian) will be due on January 31th, 2013, and will be subject to a double-blind peer review. The issue of Comunicazioni sociali will be published in April/May 2013.

About Comunicazioni sociali

Founded in 1973, Comunicazioni sociali is a journal that features both monographic and miscellaneous issues, dealing with critical questions pertaining to studies of the performing arts, film, radio, television, journalism, advertising and new media. Founded on an interdisciplinary approach, the journal has since its inception promoted rigorous debates on media content, representation and
consumption in terms of theory, history and critical analysis. The journal has enhanced exchanges with academic institutions, research centres, European networks and prominent scholars, by hosting both theoretical elaborations as well as empirical findings. Since 2009, the journal has adopted the double-blind peer review system and enhanced the international profile of its editorial board, including scholars from European and extra-European countries.

Screen Media and Memory

The conference was hosted at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Report on the 2012 NECS Conference, Lisbon, Portugal

Every year NECS, the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies, brings together a remarkable amount of archivists and scholars from all over the continent. After London, Lund and Istanbul, the 2012 NECS conference ‘Time Networks: Screen Media and Memory’ took place in Lisbon on 21-23 June. Several of the papers given over the course of this three day event were particularly relevant to EUscreen.

Report by Erwin Verbruggen and Berber Hagedoorn

Television in Transition

A number of papers paid specific attention to the medium of television. Scholars from the Centre for Television in Transition (TViT, located at EUscreen partner Utrecht University) focused in their papers on forms of user engagement as ‘spaces of participation’, arguing how new forms of television not only use online media as platforms for distribution, but television programmes and website interfaces form new frameworks of interaction between producers, programmes and audiences. Eggo Müller addressed forms of participatory television in the Dutch TV Lab, which presents pilots for future shows on Dutch public television. Abby Waysdorf examined fan interaction and the emergence of a ‘television canon’ on the pop-culture website The AV Club. Karin van Es‘ paper focused on how constructions and constellations of liveness are at work in the US talent show The Voice. Berber Hagedoorn discussed how, as spaces of participation, multi-platform TV documentaries such as the project In Europe can offer new dynamic ways in which cultural memory is ‘performed’.

Unstable Television Histories

Dana Mustata presenting at the 'Unstable Histories' panel

In her paper on PhD research carried out at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Andrea Meuzelaar (University of Amsterdam) incorporated practical encounters with an archival institution. As an archive, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision relates how media discourse has changed towards Muslim inhabitants. By choosing and applying descriptions and keywords in particular eras, not only the media but also the archive itself reinvigorates that era’s discourse towards Islamic inhabitants.

The panel ‘Unstable Histories: The Problem of Seeing and Understanding ‘Old’ Television in the Digital Age’ informed the gathered media scholars about the EUscreen project and how the portal can be a tool for contemporary television research. Erwin Verbruggen from the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision explained the origins and contents of the project, and argued how EUscreen is defined by its blend of academic scholars, technologists and archives. Dana Mustata (University of Groningen) and Berber Hagedoorn (Utrecht University) zoomed in on the challenges of providing online access to television history: Mustata focused on the fact that many TV historians today are actually analogue researchers in a digital world, while Hagedoorn concentrated on contemporary strategies in online projects by means of which television history can become a powerful cultural resource for ‘TV users’. Liam Wylie from Ireland’s broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann concluded this panel with a presentation from the perspective of the archive, and why it is rare for academics – or the general public for that matter – to gain full access to television archives. Head over to the EUscreen slideshare page to flip through our presentations.

Copyright and Remix

During the panel on ‘Copyright and Remix’, digital pirates entered the scholarly debate. IPR remains an ever-important topic for audiovisual libraries. May we even say: the begin-all and end-all of access undertakings. EUscreen has therefore set up a workshop and several documents and reference libraries related to these issues. During the panel, Anne Kustritz (University of Amsterdam) pointed out the bittersweet irony of large film companies creating movie franchises about thieving pirates who sue fan boys and -girls that craft remixed fan fiction about those very same thieving pirates. Katherine Groo (University of Aberdeen) brought up remix as an addition to the academic toolkit: media scholars are very much focused on words and discourse, but in examples such as this particular remix of filmmaker D.W. Griffith’s work, elements of continuity editing are explored in ways that words cannot. Her article on the topic of remix can be found in the first issue of the new journal FRAMES.

Melancholy is Analogue

Audio Cassette as a Design Object, MUDE Museum, Lisbon

By far the most ‘swinging’ presentation was provided by keynote speaker Andreas Fickers (Maastricht University) in his lecture on the transistor radio as an analogue memory machine. Fickers presented a cultural history of this plastic medium through songs and lyrics of ‘transistor memories’, emphasizing the analogue melancholia that marks our current media landscape and thus ‘investigating the complex relationship between the materiality of memory machines and their work as technologies of memory’.

In a related context, Richard Misek (University of Kent) presented the paper The Algorithmic Image about his current research into timelines as a driving force for audiovisual media. New algorithmic video and web technologies are changing properties and ownership of those timelines that before were situated in the sacred realm of post-production houses or film studios. His example of ‘web-friendly director’ Vincent Morrisset’s video Sprawl II, which he made for the rock act Arcade Fire, showed how algorithmic tricks opened up the rhythm of the film to the influence of the viewer, who thus becomes a participant in the creation of  his/her own viewing experience.

Another ‘melancholic medium’ discussed at the conference was the home movie. Researchers from the Amateur Cinema Studies Network (ACSN) presented several papers – from approaching contemporary home movie technologies through the lens of amateur culture (including Skype as a contemporary form of the home movie) to the changing status of home movies in a digital and networked culture. In this context, Susan Aasman (University of Groningen) argued in her paper From archival desire to performative pleasures how contextual integrity has gotten lost – for example, a personal home movie is now part of the world of YouTube. Paradoxically, the internet now also offers new possibilities for contextualisation.

To conclude, the conference provided insight into historical and theoretical work relevant to the EUscreen project and was a great opportunity to talk about EUscreen to media researchers in Europe. At the conference, the NECS network launched the first issue of its scholarly journal NECSUS which is worth a look. NECSUS currently cooperates with the EUscreen-hosted Journal of European Television History and Culture on the practical embedding of audiovisual materials in online scholarly publications.

Scholarly publications at the registrations desk

CfP: FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Seminar – Deadline 25 May

The International Television Studies Seminar, hosted by the British Film Institute at its South Bank premises London on September 28th 2012, will present academic papers based on research conducted in FIAT/IFTA member archives and illustrated by extracts provided by those archives.


Paper proposals should include a brief abstract and details of arrangements made with the television archive where the research will be conducted.  Participating FIAT/IFTA member archives will provide research facilities and extracts on DVD free of charge.  The archives represented in the Television Studies Commission are all participating.  These are:

  • BFI (British Film Institute) National Archive, London, UK
  • INA (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel), Paris, France
  • Beeld en Geluid, Hilversum, Netherlands
  • Library of Congress, Culpeper, Va, USA
  • RTÉ (Radio Telefís Éireann), Dublin, Eire

Other FIAT/IFTA member archives may participate upon request.

Contact persons for proposals

Initial enquiries should be made to the appropriate member of the Television Studies Commission and completed proposals sent to the same person by May 25th 2012.  These are:

  • For participants from the UK : Steve Bryant, BFI (
  • For participants from France and other French-speaking countries: Claude Mussou, INA (
  • For Dutch/Flemish speakers: Bert Hogenkamp, Beeld en Geluid (
  • For US participants: Mike Mashon, Library of Congress (
  • For Central and Eastern European participants and members of the European History Television Network: Dana Mustata, University of Groningen (
  • For Irish participants: Liam Wylie, RTE (

All other potential participants should send their proposals to Steve Bryant, who will attempt to connect them with the appropriate FIAT/IFTA member archive.

Proposal administration

Participants will be confirmed in early June.  The Seminar language will be English.

Proposals can cover any aspect of television history or practice, though the following topics are suggested:

  • In the context of the London Olympic Games our main theme will be Sport on Television, including how sport drives the development of television technology
  • Media events, including news: the role of technology and viewing platforms and the aspect of collective memory

Registration details for the Seminar will be advised in due course at


From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to September 11

— Book announcement (language of the book: French)

Katharina Niemeyer
De la chute du mur de Berlin au 11 septembre 2001.
Le journal télévisé, les mémoires collectives et l’écriture de l’histoire.
Antipodes, Lausanne (Switzerland)
2011, 342p.

English title: From the fall of the Berlin wall to September 11. Television news, collective memories and writing of history

This book discusses the importance of television and television news in contemporary history telling and making, and also asks the question of collective memories. Concepts developed by philosophers of memory and history are linked and discussed with media theory; pointing out the temporal and visual implication of television news and the eternal, audiovisual game of the past, the present and the future. Two major televised events are analyzed: the fall of the Berlin wall and September 11 (as well as their commemorations). The results of the study show that television is a special history maker and teller as well as a creator of collectives memories. It is also an indicator and accelerator of social, political and cultural changes (aesthetics of television news trailers, visual design etc.) and … television remains an eternal challenger of media studies.



CfP: Media Homes Conference, Amsterdam

Call for Papers – Media Homes: Material Culture in Twentieth-Century Domestic Life
Friday June 29, 2012 (University of Amsterdam)

Picture by Foxtongue on Flickr

During the early‐twentieth century, a raft of media technologies emerged against the backdrop of
urbanization, industrialization and rationalization. At the same time, the private dwelling developed into a centerpiece of modern conceptions of everyday life. While the domestication of media and their adoption for everyday consumption became one of the crucial factors for constructions of private and public space (Morley 2000), the same holds true for the mediation of the domestic, as new visions and representations of the home invaded magazines, movies, radio broadcasts and TV programs (Spigel 2001).

The conference seeks to explore the close – but rarely discussed – entanglement of these two phenomena in the context of recent debates on materiality in the humanities. Older tensions between approaches focusing on immaterial ‘representations’ on the one hand, and material ‘social practices’ on the other, now seem to have been replaced: firstly, by a common interest in representations and, secondly, by a growing concern for the significance of materiality in social life more generally. ʹMedia homesʹ can thus serve as a test case for investigating the new possibilities created by this situation.

Participants are invited to reconnect the strands between media and material culture, as framed within the locus of the interior and domestic life. Both the concept of ʹmediaʹ and of ʹmaterialityʹ are approached from two angles: the different media used to convey new visions of domestic material culture should be analyzed in their function of not only representing but also molding and creating the ‘home’. At the same time, all media – be it books, radios or personal computers – are material objects in themselves that conquer the private home and give it new meaning as a space of media consumption. The home itself thus emerges as ‘mediated’ in two ways: as a represented – imagined and conceptualized ‐ social space and as a space shaped by the material presence of media.

Against this background a set of key questions can be raised: how are old and new media technologies given meaning within everyday life and family relations? In what ways do domestic dwellers engage with media discourses concerning domestic lifestyle and home improvement? To what extent are categories of class, gender and ethnicity bound up with media consumption and related cultural practices within the home? What are the sensory, embodied dimensions to media consumption within the domestic sphere (visibility and audibility, as well as touch, taste and smell)? In what ways did the onset of digital media encourage a rethinking of the domestic sphere (as ʹhome theatreʹ or smart home)?

Themes for the conference may include, but are not limited to:

  • Media representations of the home, domestic life and ʹconspicuous consumptionʹ
  • Home recording and amateur media practices
  • Memory practices and forms of collecting based on media and the domestic sphere (diaries, scrapbooks, mementos)
  • Trends such as miniaturization and portability, with new constructions of the interior or domestic in public life (e.g. mobile technologies in the car, mobile phones, portable stereos)
  • The relationship between private and public forms of media consumption (cinema‐going, portable stereos)
  • Paradigmatic shifts in conceptualizations of the home and domestic life, and the challenge of periodization for researchers
  • The relationship of the ʹmedia homeʹ to urban, regional, national, and international or transnational identity categories

Please send abstracts (max. 500 words) and a short CV before 20 January 2012 to Natalie Scholz /Carolyn Birdsall A publication related to the conference is planned for February 2013.



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