Logo Utrecht University

Utrecht Centre for Television in Transition


22 January 2016
Senaatszaal Academiegebouw, Utrecht

PhD Defence Berber Hagedoorn

On 22 January 2016 at 12:45, Berber Hagedoorn will defend her PhD entitled Doing History, Creating Memory: Representing the Past in Documentary and Archive-Based Television Programmes within a Multi-Platform Landscape.

Berber Hagedoorn received her BA and Langauge and Culture Studies and her Research MA in Meda and Performance Studies at Utrecht University, where she, attached to the EUscreen project, also completed her PhD. Berber is now an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Groningen. In her PhD, Berber studies 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. This study demonstrates, 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 viewers/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.