ViCTOR-E Symposium

Eyewitnessing the Past. Questioning Film and Media Agency in Collective Memory and Public History

Andrea Pető

Central European University, Budapest

Dagmar Brunow

Linné - universitetet

Lucie Česálková

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

Perrine Val

Universitè Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne

Vinzenz Hediger

Goethe-Universitat, Frankfurt am Main

Francesco Pitassio

Università degli studi di Udine

Tuesday - November 10th
09:00 - 12:30
09:00 - 10:00

Digits, Memories, Conflicts. Researching into WW2 through Digital Archives

Suggested reading: A. Pető, "The Lost and Found Library. Paradigm Change in the Memory of the Holocaust in Hungary", Memories en Jeu - Memories at stake, Etè-Automne 2019, pp. 77-81.


Andrea Pető

Andrea Pető is Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is teaching courses on European comparative social and gender history, gender and politics, women’s movements, qualitative methods, oral history, and the Holocaust. Her articles have appeared in leading journals including East European Politics and Society, Feminist Theory, NORA, Journal of Women’s History, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Clio, Baltic Worlds, European Politics and Society, International Women’s Studies Forum, The Journal of Intelligence History. She is on the editorial board of 6 international and 2 Hungarian academic journals. She also serves as an associate editor for The European Journal of Women’s Studies. Her recent monograph is T"he Women of the Arrow Cross Party. Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War". (Palgrave, Macmillan, 2020). She is author, with Ildikó Barna, of "Political Justice in Budapest after WWII" (2015) and co-editor, with Ayşe Gül Altınay, of "Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories: Feminist Conversation on War, Genocide and Political Violence" (2016) and edited the volume on "War in the Interdisciplinary Handbook: Gender series" (Macmillan, 2017). In the Hungarian Academy of Sciences she is the chair of the subcommittee on history of Second Word War, member of the Presidential Committee of Hungarian Academy of Sciences on Female Researcher’s and Life Course and Committee on History of Life Sciences. She serves in the Hungarian Accreditation Committee (2018-2021).

10:00 - 11:00

Curating Audiovisual Memories: Archival Ethics of Circulating Film Heritage

Suggested reading: D. Brunow, Curating Access and Audiovisual Heritage. "Image & Narrative", 18(1): 97-110

Dagmar Brunow

Dagmar Brunow is a lecturer in Film Studies at Linnaeus University in Växjö (Sweden). Since 1999 she has been teaching Film Studies at the universities of Lund and Halmstad, as well as Gender Studies at Södertörn University (Sweden). Her research centres on cultural memory, documentary filmmaking, the essay film, experimental and avant-garde filmmaking and video. 
Dagmar’s current research project on film archives and diversity “The Cultural Heritage of moving images” (2016-2018) has been financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). Her book "Remediating Transcultural Memory: Documentary Filmmaking as Archival Intervention" (de Gruyter, 2015) is a contribution to the emerging field of media memory studies, offering new takes on concepts such as transculturality, remediation and the archive. After publishing an edited collection on Stuart Hall (Ventil Verlag, 2015), she is currently co-editing the first German-language volume on Queer Cinema Studies. Dagmar is the leader of the workgroup “Media and Cultural Memory” within NECS – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies. She is also a founding member of filmvet.se, the Swedish national association of film studies, now a part of NECS, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Scandinavian Cinema (intellect)

11:00 - 12:30

Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction in Post-World War II Europe

Both recently institutionalised as research fields, Memory Studies and Public History can hardly be investigated without referring to mass-communication networks and audiovisual representations. Mass media are crucial in publicly circulating historical information and in sharing memories of the past, but the way in which they performed, and still perform today, this function has a history and a specificity that requires adequate framing. In this sense, cultural historians should learn to handle audiovisual contents related to past events with care, confronting the challenges of their “multilayered mediation”, considering them as both representations of the past and products of that past, and therefore actively shaping collective memory and public knowledge. To acknowledge the manifold agency of media in shaping our awareness of the past, we intend to survey how mediation operates, focusing on the functions performed by film and media as historical agents, as products of history, as historical sources validated by public institutions (archives, schools, museums, exhibitions, and so on), in their connections with oral testimonies, educational purposes, frames of “publicness”.

Funded by the European HERA programme in 2018, the project VICTOR-E, Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction in Europe is grounded on an extensive research on post-war non-fiction films from Italy, Germany, France and Czech Republic between 1945 and 1956. It aims at reconstructing the way in which, in alliance with other media, non-fiction films created a public memory and a sense of shared destiny through the representation of iconic public spaces, while also enhancing this often neglected heritage and making it available to a wide audience by digitising original materials, curating a Virtual Exhibition and a Teaching Toolkit. The symposium will serve as an occasion to present the first research outputs of this ongoing project, and to reflect on some of its major methodological and theoretical concerns.

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Vinzenz Hediger

Vinzenz Hediger is Professor of Cinema Studies at the Goethe University, Frankfurt and the Director of the Graduiertenkolleg “Configurations of Film.” He is a co-founder of NECS – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and the founding editor of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (Journal for Media Studies). He is the project leader of the ViCTOR-E research project, a principal investigator at the Cluster of Excellence “Normative Orders” and a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. His research concerns the aesthetics of film within the larger framework of a history of risk and uncertainty in modernity. His objects of study include Hollywood cinema and industrial and ephemeral films. In addition, he has a strong interest in the main currents, deviations, and dead ends in the histories of film theories, an interest that he pursues in part as the co-editor of the book series Film Theory in Media History.

Perrine Val

Perrine Val, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research work focuses on the French and East-German cinemas during the second half of the 20th century and on the cinematographic exchanges between East and West during the Cold War. Her most recent publications are: « La Resistenza vista dal cinema della RDT (1949-1969) », Clio nei socialismi reali, Tracce. Percorsi internazionali di storia contemporanea, Milan, Unicopli, 2020, pp.199-212 ; « Jeanne et Kurt Stern, des traducteurs en pleine guerre froide », Traduire n°240, 2019, pp.93-104. To be published in 2021 : Le cinéma entre Est et Ouest. Les relations cinématographiques entre la France et la RDA, Villeneuve d’Asq, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.

Lucie Česálková

Lucie Česálková, doc. Ph.D., works as a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and as a researcher and editor at the National Film Archive in Prague (Národní filmový archiv). Before maternity leave, she was an Associate Professor at the Department of Film and Audiovisual Culture of Masaryk University in Brno. She focuses on non-fiction, documentary, and advertising film, and on the issues of film distribution, exhibition, and reception. Her research appeared in journals such as "Film History", "Memory Studies", "The Moving" Image, etc. as well as edited volumes (eg. "Films that Sell", Palgrave MacMillan, 2017; "Rural Cinema Exhibition and Audiences in a Global Context, Palgrave MacMillan, 2018; "The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History", Routledge, 2019). Her book-length study of Czech state-sponsored informational cinema ("Atoms of Eternity. Czech Short Film of the 1930s–1950s") won The Best Book in Czech Film Studies in 2015. In 2019, she, together with Kateřina Svatoňová, published a book on the world's first multimedia theatre Laterna magika.

Francesco Pitassio

Francesco Pitassio is professor in Film Studies at the Università degli Studi di Udine. His research interests revolve around trauma and memory studies, European cinema, film stardom and performance. He sits on the editorial board of NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies and currently acts as research coordinator for the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage at his home institution. He recently authored the monograph "Neorealist Film Culture, 1945 -1956. Rome, Open Cinema" (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)