History on Television

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Routledge, 2013 - History - 246 pages
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In recent years non-fiction history programmes have flourished on television. This interdisciplinary study of history programming identifies and examines different genres employed by producers and tracks their commissioning, production, marketing and distribution histories.

With comparative references to other European nations and North America, the authors focus on British history programming over the last two decades and analyse the relationship between the academy and media professionals. They outline and discuss often-competing discourses about how to 'do' history and the underlying assumptions about who watches history programmes.

History on Television considers recent changes in the media landscape, which have affected to a great degree how history in general, and whose history in particular, appears onscreen. Through a number of case studies, using material from interviews by the authors with academic and media professionals, the role of the 'professional' historian and that of media professionals – commissioning editors and producer/directors - as mediators of historical material and interpretations is analysed, and the ways in which the 'logics of television' shape historical output are outlined and discussed.

Building on their analysis, Ann Gray and Erin Bell ask if history on television fulfils its potential to be a form of public history through offering, as it does, a range of interpretations of the past to and originating from or including those not based in the academy. Through consideration of the representation, or absence, of the diversity of British identity – gender, ethnicity and race, social status and regional identities – the authors substantially extend the scope of existing scholarship into history on television

History on Television will be essential reading for all those interested in the complex processes involved in the representation of history on television.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
public service to brand identity
26
heritage and national identity
63
memory and identity
100
engagement experience and empathy
130
considering the audience
158
Problematizing public history what is rarely there?
186
Notes
220
Bibliography
227
Index
239
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About the author (2013)

Ann s main research interests are in media and popular culture but she has focused more recently on television studies in particular. Her first book Video Playtime: the gendering of a leisure technology was a study of the uses of the video cassette recorder in the home, relating this to an understanding of media use in everyday life with particular reference to gender. In addition to writing on aspects of gender, feminist cultural studies and audience studies she has also written about the intellectual and institutional politics of research methods most particularly in her book Research Practice for Cultural Studies.Ann has a strong interest in the history of cultural studies, having worked for a number of years at the Department of Cultural Studies in Birmingham. In 1993, with Jim McGuigan, she edited Studying Culture: an introductory reader and in 1996 with Helen Baehr Turning it On: a reader in women and media and was lead editor of the recently published two volume collection of the original CCCS Working Papers in cultural studies. In 2005 Ann, working with her colleague, Dr Jirina Smejkalova secured a British Academy grant for their project Re-thinking Cultural Studies in the New Europe (link) which has established a European network of cultural researchers who are bringing different intellectual histories and perspectives to cultural studies.Ann s main research focus is now on how television represents the past for which she secured a substantial AHRC grant for the four year project Televising History 1995-2010 .( http: //tvhistory.lincoln.ac.uk ) Ann is a founding Editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies(link) and she was a founder member of the International Association of Cultural Studies. She sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of British Film and Television, Memory Studies and, Mediana Studia, Czech.She is a member of the Midlands Television Research Group at the University of Warwick, on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Culture Identity and Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and an Honorary Associate of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University, Sydney.Ann currently supervises PhD students in the fields of television and new media and welcomes proposals for research topics in any of the above areas.

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