Books for Review Summer 2021

IAMHIST received copies of the following books and is looking for reviewers (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television). If you are interested, please send a message (mentioning the full title of the book and your postal address) to Ciara Chambers (ciarachambers3@gmail.com).  It would help if you could tell us a bit about your own research and expertise and/or why you are interested in reviewing this title. Please also note that some books may still be available from previous lists.

Aiello, Thomas. The Life and Times of Louis Lomax. Duke University Press, 2021.
Baptiste, Bala James. Race and Radio: Pioneering Black Broadcasting in New Orleans. University Press of Mississippi, 2019.
Baron, Jaimie. Reuse, Misuse, Abuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era. Rutgers University Press, 2020.

Downs, James. Anton Walbrook: A Life of Masks and Mirrors. Peter Lang, 2020.

Filippo, Maria San, editor. After Happily Ever After: Romantic Comedy in the Post-Romantic Age. Wayne State University Press, 2021.
Gonzalez, Vernadette Vicuña. Empire’s Mistress Starring Isabel Rosario Cooper. Duke University Press, 2021.
Hegnsvad, Kristoffer. Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Truth and Other Useless Conquests. Reaktion Books, 2021.
Jönsson, Mats, et al., editors. Thresholds: Interwar Lens Cultures 1919-1939. Verlaine Der Buchandlung Walther König, 2021.
Negra, Diane. Shadow of a Doubt. Liverpool University Press, 2021.
Ray, Sandeep. Celluloid Colony: Locating History and Etgnography in Early Dutch Colonial Films of Indonesia. National University of Singapore Press, 2021.
Rea, Christopher G. Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949. Columbia University Press, 2021.    Already assigned for review. 
Redrobe, Karen. Deep Mediations: Thinking Space in Cinema and Digital Cultures. University of Minnesota Press, 2021.
Spano, Carmen. Emerging Dynamics in Audiences’ Consumption of Trans-Media Products. Anthem Press, 2020.
Torlasco, Domietta. The Rhythm of Images: Cinema beyond Measure. University of Minnesota Press, 2021.
Tremlett, Sarah. The Poetics of Poetry Film. Intellect, 2020.
Ward, Elizabeth. East German Film and the Holocaust. Berghahn Books, 2020.
Williams, Christy. Mapping Fairy-Tale Space. Wayne State University Press, 2021.

In Search of the Text

Khadija Koroma, University of Leicester

14 July 2021


Doing PhD during a pandemic is no easy feat, especially when the PhD entails literature and texts that have long since gone out of publication. My research focuses on the representation of African women in postcolonial literature through the Heinemann African Writers series (AWS).

The AWS has published over 200 texts between 1962 and the early 2000s. With COVID and its endless lockdowns, the typical library/archives search for my primary texts were out of question. With a ban on physical copies of books through the interlibrary loan system, and the British Library either closed or with limited opening hours, I had no choice but to take my search to second hand online bookstores for the necessary texts. Searching for, locating, and buying 200+ texts, with most of the earlier AWS texts being out of print, was not an option for a self-funded PhD student. Apart from the financial strain that this would have caused me, it would have also taken up a large part of my PhD, giving me very little time to focus on the key texts or write my thesis. However, at the same time, I knew that I needed to read as wide and as much of the AWS as was feasible. With the focus of my thesis being the representation of women in the texts, I needed to ensure that there was female presence in the narratives, as well as in the authorships of the texts chosen for my thesis. After an initial reading of a few of the most popular books in the AWS, I realised that the scarcity of female authors, as well as the exclusion of women in the texts, meant that I needed a plan.

With 3 years of project management work in local government under my belt, I was able to channel my inner project manager in order to create the plan. I was able to create a spreadsheet with drop down lists, tables, and rows including genre of text, points of interests and themes. I knew that looking through 200+ texts on a very limited budget and time was impossible. I had to focus my attention on certain texts. The easiest way and most sensible way to achieve this was through a set time period. I decided to focus on novels of the AWS written between 1965-1985. This was because the majority of African nations had achieved independence from their colonisers by 1965, meaning that texts within this period were a perfect fit for my research as they were written at the start of the ‘postcolonial’ era. This then limited the number of texts I needed to find and read.

The next issue I had to tackle was the inclusion of female authors. As I mentioned earlier, the AWS was a male-dominated series with only a handful of female writers. With my research topic in mind, I wanted to include as many female writers as possible that wrote within the time period outlined. I also had to decide what level of popularity I wanted to include in my research. With the most well-known author of the series being Chinua Achebe, whose popular Things Fall Apart (1962) had gained so much acclaim and academic scholarship, I had to carefully think about the contribution my thesis would make to this already crowded field. The second option was to choose the less popular authors whose work had gone largely unnoticed. However, this ran the risk of my finished thesis being very descriptive as opposed to analytical as there would be little to no secondary critics to engage with. I decided to include a mixture of well-known and less known authors. With the well-known authors such as Achebe, Buchi Emecheta and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, I stayed clear of their most popular works and instead chose works with less popularity such as Girls at War and Other Stories (1972) by Achebe, The Joys of Motherhood (1980) by Emecheta and Devil on the Cross (1982) by Ngugi. This provided an opportunity for my research to make an original contribution whilst also able to engage with academic scholarship. With the less-known authors, I chose their most popular works (Xala (1976) by Sembene Ousmane), giving me the same advantages as the well-known authors.

Creating a spreadsheet made the whole process of selecting texts much easier. I could record the texts after my first reading, writing short summaries as well as key themes and points of interest that I found in the narratives. Initially, I also wanted to include various forms and genre of texts in my thesis. However, after reading some of the plays in the AWS, I could see that there was very little female presence in them. Although it is possible to write about the absence of women in postcolonial plays, I do not believe that it would help me uncover how women were represented in postcolonial literature of the AWS. I was still able to include other genres, outside of the novel in my final selection of texts. These included the epistolary novel So Long a Letter (1981) by Mariama Ba, two different short story collections, one by Achebe, Girls at War, and the other by Bessie Head. The Collector of Treasures (1977). I also included a collection of speeches and essays by Tom Mboya, The Challenge to Nationhood (1970). After searching for, obtaining, and reading over 50 poems, 23 short stories, 15 prose, 10 plays, 10 novels, and a collection of essays and speeches, I was able to choose the 7 texts that would shape my thesis.

After the choosing of my primary texts came the initial self-doubt. Did I make the right choice? Should I read more texts? Have I chosen the best texts for my thesis? Would I be able to answer my research questions through these texts? The doubt, however, did not last long as the busyness of my PhD pushed these questions to the back of my mind as I began to focus on planning and formulating an argument for my thesis. The whole process of searching for and finding my texts has given me greater confidence in my PhD, as I can go back to my spreadsheet and see my rationale and notes behind every decision I made. Uncertainty regarding my source selection no longer plays on my mind, the back or front, and with the recent completion of the first chapter of my thesis, I can confidently say that I made the right choices.


Khadija Koroma is a PhD researcher at the University of Leicester. Her research is focused on women in postcolonial nations, particularly on how African women are represented through the narratives of the Heinemann African Writers Series.


Disclaimer: The IAMHIST Blog is a platform that offers individual scholars the opportunity to present their work and thoughts. They alone are responsible for the content, which does not represent the view of the IAMHIST council or other IAMHIST members.

Candidates for the 2021 IAMHIST Council election

Candidates:

James Chapman, Leen Engelen, James Fenwick, Tobias Hochscherf, Richard Legay, Alessandra Luciano, Katharina Niemeyer, Emil Stjernholm, Roel Vande Winkel, Rolf Werenskjold


Election statements:

James Chapman

I have been a member of IAMHIST Council since 2006 and became editor of the IAMHIST journal, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, in 2010. I have been a frequent contributor to the IAMHIST Blog, with contributions to the ‘Day at the Archives’ series, advice blogs on publishing journal articles and monographs, and a forthcoming piece on analysing film budgets for the ‘Detectives in the Archives’ series.

As the journal’s editor, I am particularly interested in supporting scholars in the fields of film, radio and television history to develop their research into publishable form. To this end I regularly contribute to IAMHIST publishing workshops, as well as representing the HJFRT at editors’ and publishers’ forums. I welcome suggestions and proposals for possible special issues of the journal arising from research seminars, symposiums and conferences.

My ‘day job’ is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester (UK), where I am currently Postgraduate Research Director in the School of Arts in which role I am actively engaged in supporting PhD students across a range of disciplines through their studies. My own research focuses on the institutional and cultural histories of (mostly British) cinema and television, and my recent publications include Hitchcock and the Spy Film: Authorship, Genre and National Cinema (I. B. Tauris, 2018) and Contemporary British Television Drama (Bloomsbury, 2020). I am currently completing a history of British film finance (the world’s most fascinating subject!) and am writing a short monograph on Dr No, the first James Bond film, to be published on the film’s sixtieth anniversary in October 2022.


Leen Engelen

I am a film and media historian at LUCA School of Arts and at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. My research focusses on historical film cultures, film and the First World War, the position of film in wider cultures of spectacle and 19th century visual media such as the optical lantern and the Kaiser-Panorama. I recently co-edited a book on the post-World War I era Revival after the Great War. Rebuild, Repair, Remember, Reform (Leuven University Press, available in open access). I teach media historical courses to aspiring film makers as well as to university students.

I’ve been involved in IAMHIST for over fifteen years. As secretary general I organised several master classes for early career researchers and practitioners and was involved in the day-to-day business of the association. In 2019 I was elected IAMHIST president by the membership. What I value most about IAMHIST is its tradition in working with and coaching early career researcher through master classes, the IAMHIST prizes and special events for grad students at our biennial conferences. This is also how as a PhD student I first became involved in IAMHIST. Another aspect I especially appreciate is the orientation of IAMHIST towards academics as well as the archive world and media practitioners. These are aspects I’d like to develop further in the following years. I would also like to work towards widening the IAMHIST network and connecting with colleagues outside Western Europe and the United States.


James Fenwick

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Sheffield Hallam University. Archives (both written and audio-visual) are integral to my research, using them to focus on film and television production companies, archives as subject, film festivals, unmade films, and Stanley Kubrick. I’m an editor of the Open Screens journal and a co-convenor of the BAFTSS Archives and Archival Methods Special Interest Group. I’m the author of Stanley Kubrick Produces (2020) and Unproduction Studies and the American Film Industry (forthcoming 2021), and co-editor of Shadow Cinema: The Historical and Production Contexts of Unmade Films (2020). I’ve been an active contributor to IAMHIST, including writing several articles for the IAMHIST blog and for the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

I want to act as a voice on the IAMHIST Council for my precarious colleagues in the sector. I’m an early career researcher in that I completed my PhD five years ago, have worked a variety of insecure contracts since 2015, and have only had a permanent contract since 2019. I will bring my perspective and experience of having been a precarious researcher to the Council to advocate for those colleagues that are not in permanent academic positions and to ensure an inclusive research community. I’m an active supporter of schemes that give voice to precarious colleagues. I volunteer my time for the BAFTSS Mentoring and Job Coaching programmes and serve as an Inclusive Champion in my own institution. I believe IAMHIST has made great contributions in this area through the Masterclass sessions and the IAMHIST Challenge, schemes that I will champion wholeheartedly. I believe IAMHIST’s greatest strength is its international network. I want to ensure that IAMHIST can continue to develop an inclusive community of media history researchers and practitioners and I want to encourage greater collaboration between researchers and filmmakers, particularly given my own experience of supervising several practice-based doctoral students, and between researchers and archivists.


Tobias Hochscherf

Tobias Hochscherf is Professor of Audiovisual Media at Kiel University of Applied Sciences (KUAS) and the University of Flensburg. He is currently vice president of IAMHIST and the host of the 2022 biennial IAMHIST conference in Kiel, Germany, on the topic ‘Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Media’. He studied German, English and Media at the universities in Hamburg and Kiel and received a PhD from the University of Liverpool (UK). From 2006 to 2009 he worked as senior lecturer in film and television studies at Northumbria University (UK). Owing to a background in broadcast journalism and filmmaking, he is editor-in-chief of the student radio station at KUAS. He teaches a variety of undergraduate (BA) and postgraduate (MA) modules on media, film and television – including courses on film and television history, media theory, radio broadcasting and film production. He is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and Vice President of KUAS.

Tobias Hochscherf’s research focuses on film and television history as well as contemporary television drama; he has recently published Beyond the Bridge: Contemporary Danish Television Drama (2017). He is also author of The Continental Connection: German-speaking Émigrés and British Cinema, 1927-45 (2011) and co-editor of Divided, but not disconnected: German experiences of the Cold War (2010) and British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays (2011). He is associate editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, the Journal of Popular Television and on the editorial board of the Journal of Scandinavian Cinema.


Richard Legay

I wish to be part of the IAMHIST Council to give a voice to PhD students and early career researchers, and to represent their needs and aspirations. One key feature of IAMHIST has always been its supportiveness towards junior scholars and postgraduate students, something I have myself greatly benefited from. Having recently defended my PhD thesis, I believe that I am well suited to represent these voices in the council. I also wish to further the range of opportunities that our association offers to early career researchers, whether it is through specific workshops or networking activities.

I am a radio historian with a strong interest in popular culture, cross-media studies, and public history. I hold a PhD from the University of Luxembourg on the transnational history of commercial radio stations Radio Luxembourg and Europe n°1 in the 1960s. As a postdoctoral researcher for the Popkult60 research project, I curated an online exhibition on popular culture in Europe in the Long Sixties. I regularly published on radio history and was a co-editor on a special issue on ‘Radio Beyond Borders’ for the Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television.


Alessandra Luciano

After receiving my Bachelor in Film Studies: Theory & Practice from Exeter University, I decided to pursue my academic career at Columbia University, where I obtained my Masters in “Film Studies”. Because of the various classes and projects, I worked on at Columbia I decided not to pursue a PhD but to reorient myself toward film preservation. As such, I got my degree in the ‘Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image’ from the University of Amsterdam. In 2013, I started working at the Centre national de l’audiovisuel in Luxemburg – the national audiovisual archive, as lead film archivist and collection manager in CNA’s moving image archive. In 2018, I became Digital Curator at CNA, where I led our digital ambition, in regards to digital preservation and access strategies, as well as ensuring that our full potential was met through the use of new technologies and the advantages digital workflows can offer. Most recently, Paul Lesch has entrusted me with the role of deputy director of the CNA. A great opportunity that further motivates me to grow CNA’s national and international network.

Since leaving academia, I have successfully been able to combine theory with practice, across a spectrum of diverse interests and fields. I am on the organising committee of the international conference No Time To Wait, I work as copy-editor for the international peer-reviewed academic journal Cinéma&Cie, and joined the EUscreen Foundation board last year. I have also presented at various national and international conferences, including IAMHIST’s biennial conference at Northumbria University in Newcastle in 2019. I believe that my background is reflected throughout the different members of the association, and would therefore be an asset to IAMHIST, allowing me the unique opportunity to further align and expand the grounds on which academia and the cultural heritage sector meet.


Katharina Niemeyer

It is a pleasure to present again for re-election to the IAMHIST council. I had the opportunity to organise the IAMHIST conference (2017) as well as one masterclass in Paris (2015) and I had the pleasure to participate in many other activities: webmaster and community manager, book review editor (HJFRT) etc. If I am re-elected I will organise the next IAMHIST master class with Tobias Hochscherf in autumn 2021 and would also be pleased to organize one in Montreal in 2022 or 2023.

I am a media theorist and professor at the School of Media (Faculty of Communication) at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and director of CELAT (Centre de recherche Cultures-Arts-Sociétés). Trained in cultural sciences, media archaeology and media philosophy at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany), as well as in communication sciences at the University of Lyon (France) and at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), my research focuses on the relationships between media and (digital) technologies, temporalities, memory, and history. I recently co-edited the book Nostalgies contemporaines : médias, cultures et technologies, published in 2021 by Presses universitaires du Septentrion. I am a member of the editorial board of the journals MAST (Media Art Study and Theory), Memory, Mind & Media (Cambridge University Press) and also the co-founder of the International Media and Nostalgia Network. One of the current research projects I am exploring is entitled “An EXPLORATORY RESEARCH ON THE MEDIATIZATION of “TERRORISM” IN THE FRANCOPHONE AND ANGLOPHONE CANADIAN NEWS Media (1900-2000)”/ SSHRC – Insight Development Grants (2018-2022). The main purpose of this project is to understand how the Canadian news media – the francophone and anglophone press and television – used and defined the notion of “terrorism” before the beginning of the 21st century. The project brings forth an in-depth reflection on how “terrorism” has been covered and defined historically by the Canadian news media and, by doing so, will grasp the political, historical and legal issues that influence and are revealed via mediatization. Starting from an extensive research in francophone and anglophone media archives (Radio Canada/CBC, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Library and Archives Canada, Toronto Public Library), this research has the following two main objectives: 1/ Provide a comprehensive overview of the media coverage of “terrorism” and 2/ Analyze the mediatization and capture, in a historical perspective, the evolution of the definitions of “terrorism” and its media staging.


Emil Stjernholm

I am an assistant professor in Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Communication and Media, Lund University. I earned my PhD in 2018 with a dissertation focusing on the Swedish filmmaker Gösta Werner and propaganda newsreels during World War II. My main areas of research include media history, documentary film and propaganda studies, with work appearing in journals such as the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and TelevisionStudies in European CinemaVIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies and Journal of Scandinavian Cinema. Currently, I am working on a media historical digital humanities project, Televising Information: Audiovisual Communication of Swedish Government Agencies, which is financed by the Swedish Research Council (2020–2023). As part of the project, I will spend one year as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry at Utrecht University and one year at the Department of Communication at the University of Copenhagen. I am also the co-editor of the book Nordic Media Histories of Propaganda and Persuasion, forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.

I became an IAMHIST member during my time as a PhD student and I was immediately struck by the hospitable intellectual environment at conferences and other events organized by the association. My main motivation for applying to become a council member is the opportunity to provide the same type of support to PhD students and postdocs that I myself have benefited greatly from. I have a history of writing successful funding applications and would be happy to work with the organization of future IAMHIST events.


Roel Vande Winkel

I am a longstanding member of IAMHIST and associate editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. I ran the book reviews section of the HJFRT for more than a decade. I was introduced to IAMHIST as a PhD student almost twenty years ago, when I attended a masterclass and the biennial conference later that year. I have always enjoyed the informal and collegial atmosphere at these IAMHIST events. As a council member, I intend to contribute further to the role of the association as a meeting place between academic researchers (early career or established) and practitioners. This is valuable to me because I worked at the Belgian Royal Film Archive (Cinematek) before pursuing an academic career.

I have a background in history (MA) and communication studies (PhD). I am currently associate professor of film and television studies (KU Leuven – LUCA), board member of an international master in documentary film directing (DocNomads) and staff member of the Filmeu European Universities Alliance for Film and Media Arts. Like every other academic, I publish about my research in various forms (book chapters, monographs and edited collections). I am currently writing a monograph on Belgian cinema under the Nazi occupation (1940-1944). I am also looking for other ways to present the results of ongoing research and recently published the website www.cinema-in-occupied-belgium.be.


Rolf Werenskjold

Rolf Werenskjold is a Norwegian professor of media studies at Volda University College. He is a historian and media scholar who has published several studies on media and protests during the year 1968, modern American history, Norwegian media and the Spanish Civil War, Norwegian newsreels in the 1930s, and Norwegian foreign news journalism during the Cold War. He edited Media and the Cold War in the 1980s: Between Star Wars and Glasnost (2018), with Henrik G. Bastiansen and Martin Klimke. He has also recently participated with a chapter about ‘A Norwegian News Reels in the 1930s’ in the edited volume Researching Newsreels: Local, National and Transnational Case Studies (2018), edited by Ciara Chambers, Mats Jönsson, and Roel Vande Winkel. His latest publications are Ekko fra Spania: Den spanske borgerkrigen i norsk offentlighet, 1936-39 (Echo from Spain. The Spanish Civil War in the Norwegian public, 1936-39 ) (2019), with Hans Fredrik Dahl and Bernt Hagtvet, and he has been guest editor of the special issue on ‘Spies in Scandinavia’  in the Journal of Scandinanvian Cinema together with Tobias Hochscherf. In that issue he published the article ‘German Pressure: Spy Films and Political Censorship in Norway, 1914-1940’ (2019). Together with Tobias Hochscherf and Bjørn Sørenssen he is currently a guest editor of Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television’s specials issue on ‘Dissent and Dissidents in Central and Eastern European Film’ (September 2021). Werenskjold is a member of the Norwegian National Board of Media Studies, and the Board of the Norwegian Association of Media History. He is currently member of the Management Committee of the European research program Cost Action: New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent. He is also an elected member of the Core Group of the program.

For a number of years I have been active in various research networks and programs, and have seen the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration across national borders. Media history is still a new research field. There are many white spots on the research map that need special attention. I will together with the rest of the board help to bring together both young and experienced researchers from different countries and regions, and stimulate the expansions of new topics of media history research. To achieve such goals I intend actively attending regular IAMHIST meetings – such as the annual master class and the biannual conferences.

 

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