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

Andere Tijden (NPS/NTR/VPRO)
Still from intro Andere Tijden (NPS/NTR/VPRO)

Television is a significant mediator of past and historical events in modern media systems. In her dissertation Berber Hagedoorn studies practices of representing the past on Dutch television as a multi-platform phenomenon. Her analysis includes, among other things, Andere tijden (NPS/NTR/VPRO), NostalgieNet, the documentary project De oorlog/13 in de oorlog (NPS) and the crossmedial 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, Hagedoorn reflects 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.

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.

Preserve memories

This dissertation shows, firstly, 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. Secondly, it shows how such practices help to search, preserve and perform individual and collective cultural memories.

The PhD defense will be held in English.

Start date and time
End date and time
PhD candidate
Berber Hagedoorn
Doing History, Creating Memory: Representing the Past in Documentary and Archive-Based Television Programmes within a Multi-Platform Landscape
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. dr. Sonja de Leeuw, prof. dr. Eggo Müller