Completed Projects
Project
Projecting Knowledge – The Magic Lantern as a Tool for Mediated Science Communication in the Netherlands, 1880-1940 01.09.2018 to 31.08.2023
General project description

“Projecting Knowledge” will study the use of the magic lantern in science communication in the Netherlands, 1880-1940, and thereby elucidate the role of this important visual medium in the transmission and dissemination of knowledge. Adding “showing” to “telling”, the lantern allowed to share visual information with an entire auditorium and to present scientific information in challenging ways never seen before. It transformed both teaching and public lecturing comparable to the changes brought about by computer programmes such as PowerPoint. Three subprojects will, respectively, analyse the scope of public illustrated lectures aimed at the general audience, the didactic use of projected images in academic teaching, and the background of individual lecturers and scientists who were active in the field of public engagement with the help of the lantern. The synthesis will provide a comprehensive history of the lantern’s role in science communication and dissemination from 1880, when the lantern became a mass medium, to the beginning of the Second World War. The goal of the projectis to analyse the didactic affordances of the lantern, the science communication strategies that it made possible, and the public image of science that resulted from this.
The project will draw upon the wealth of hitherto little explored collections of lantern slides in Dutch universities, libraries, archives and museums, allowing a study based on primary source material. It will collaborate with several institutions to help them investigate this cultural heritage and make it accessible for the benefit of scholars as well as the general public.1

Role
PhD Supervisor & Project Leader & Researcher
Funding
NWO grant Vrije Competitie
Project
B-Magic: The Magic Lantern and its Cultural Impact as a Visual Mass Medium in Belgium 01.01.2018 to 31.12.2022
General project description

The B-magic project  aims to rediscover the various functions of the lantern performance within the Belgian public sphere, in particular, its use in the transmission and negotiation of knowledge, norms and values by different societal groups. Scientists and entertainers, teachers and priests, political movements and organisations: they all used projected visual narratives to inform, entertain, educate and mobilize audiences of up to more than a thousand people per occasion. The lantern was the first visual mass medium to contest the printed word as a primary mode of information and instruction. All layers of society, both literate and illiterate, received visual information about nature, religion, science, new technologies and foreign countries. Our team therefore consists of researchers from cultural history and history of science, media and communication science, and film and theatre history. Together, we will investigate the role of the magic lantern in the first hundred years of Belgian history.

The B-magic consortium will research the pivotal role of the magic lantern in Belgian societyfrom the country’s independence (1830) up to 1940, when its use declined. To this end, it brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Performance Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Urban History, History of Science and Knowledge, Communication Studies, Semiotics, and Narratology. B-Magic will produce the first comprehensive study of the role of the magic lantern as a mass medium in a country.

Role
Project Leader & Researcher
Funding
Other grant (government funding) B-Magic is funded by the Belgian research organisations FWO and FNRS and is part of their Excellence of Science (EoS) funding scheme.
Project members UU
Project
A Million Pictures: Magic Lantern Slide Heritage as Artefacts in the Common European History of Learning 01.06.2015 to 31.05.2018
General project description

The magic lantern was the most important visual entertainment and means of instruction across nineteenth-century Europe. However, despite its pervasiveness across multiple scientific, educational and popular contexts, magic lantern slides remain under-researched. Although many libraries and museums across Europe hold tens of thousands of lantern slides in their collections, a lack of standards for documentation and preservation limits the impact of existing initiatives, hinders the recognition of the object’s heritage value and potential exploitation.
A Million Pictures addresses the sustainable preservation of this massive, untapped heritage resource. A Million Pictures promotes sustainable use and management of lantern slides by:

  • Creating Knowledge about lantern slides through researching the contexts in which they were used.
  • Exploring the needs of stakeholders for access and re-use.
  • Providing innovative examples for creative re-use.
  • Examining ways for people to enhance their knowledge about lantern slides and so connect to their shared European history of learning.
  • Develop and implement standard working procedures on a European level for documentation, preservation and digitization.

This projects caters to the Strategic Research Agenda themes 'Creating Knowledge' and 'Connecting people with heritage.' The interdisciplinary, transnational research team will therefore generate and disseminate knowledge concerning lantern slides as a pan-European aspect of cultural heritage. Across four case studies, the project investigates the use of lantern slides in disseminating knowledge about European countries; in the practices of learned societies and educational institutions; in popular venues (theatres, opera houses, museums and observatories); and will also investigate methods for classifying the repertoire of these shows.
Expected outcomes:

  • Production of standardized vocabulary and working procedures across national and disciplinary research traditions.
  • Generation of sustainable documentation and access to digital copies of lantern slides and research results via virtual documentation centre.
  • Creation of protection-through-use projects (Apps, Animations, Reenactments) to transfer outcomes to individuals and organizations outside the immediate research community (creative industry, journalism, art)
Role
Project Leader & Researcher
Funding
NWO grant JPI Cultural Heritage – Heritage Plus, funded by NWO, Belspo, AHRC and MINECO and Co-Funded by the European Commission
Project
Varieties of Absorption in Narrative and Aesthetic Experiences. A Comparative Study of Responses to Literature and Film 01.09.2010 to 01.09.2014
Role
PhD Supervisor
Funding
NWO grant
Project members UU
External project members
  • Prof. Dr. Ed Tan
  • Miruna Doicaru
  • Katalin Balint
Project
The Nation and Its Other: The Emergence of Modern Popular Imagery and Representations 01.04.2010 to 31.08.2014
General project description

This project will analyse the emerging mass-medial production and dissemination of popular imagery and representations in the late 19th and early 20th century, looking specifically at cinematographic images of the Nation and its Other. Two case studies will investigate, on the one hand, trans-nationally circulating popular images of the Netherlands of Dutch and foreign origins, and on the other hand representations of the Asian Other circulating in the Netherlands, in particular in the light of the Boxer Rebellion and the Russo-Japanese War, and with regard to the countries’ colonies in Asia. The goal of the project is to contribute to our understanding of the emergence of a modern globalized mediasphere, and the cultural dynamics modern visual media have engendered, by looking at the formative phase of modern popular mass-media imagery.

Role
PhD Supervisor & Project Leader & Researcher
Funding
NWO grant NWO – Culturele Dynamiek