Registration Open for ‘Mediated Pasts: Visual Cultures and Collective Memory’

Registration is now open for the CATH Centre’s third annual postgraduate conference, ‘Mediated Pasts: Visual Cultures and Collective Memory’! The conference will be held in the Clephan Building at De Montfort University on June 4, 2014. It is priced at £15; this includes lunch and light refreshments. Registration is available via the following link: Mediated Pasts Registration.

Full conference and programme details follow below. The programme is available in PDF format here: Mediated Pasts programme.

The Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre presents:



A postgraduate conference organised in association with BAFTSS

Wednesday June 4th 2014

Clephan Building, De Montfort University

Keynote speaker:

Dr. Amy Holdsworth, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies (University of Glasgow)

Author of Television, Memory and Nostalgia (2011, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)

Collective cultural memory, which according to José van Dijck is concerned with the “communal reservoir of relevant stories about our past and future” (2007: 8), has received a great deal of academic attention over the past two decades. More and more, these studies have focused on the impact of media on this ‘reservoir’, be it via collectively remembered images or via contemporary media that depicts the past retrospectively, as evidenced by the work of van Dijck and Amy Holdsworth (2011), among several others. Visual media – whether film, television, video games, photography or online media – have played an increasing role in the formation of cultural memory since 1950, and especially since the digital age, as screen cultures and media technologies have proliferated and diversified at an exponential rate.

De Montfort University’s Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre has been an active contributor to research on the relationship between media and cultural memory through its participation in the BECTU Oral Histories Project and in the Leverhulme-funded Hollywood and the Baby Boom project. As such, the CATH Centre’s third annual postgraduate conference will seek to explore the role of visual media in shaping collective memories, especially since the Second World War. How have transformations in media impacted on people’s relationships to the past? Can new media sources now be accepted as valid historical evidence?


9:15     REGISTRATION (Third floor lobby)

9:50     WELCOME & INTRODUCTION (Room 3.03, Jilly Boyce Kay and Caitlin Shaw)

10:00   KEYNOTE ADDRESS (Room 3.03, Chair: Cat Mahoney)

  • Dr Amy Holdsworth (Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow) – Television iterations: Comedy, autobiography and memory

11:00   PANEL 1: Material media, the archive and historical narrativity (Room 3.03, Chair: Charley Meakin)

  • Vanessa Longden (University of Lancaster) – Miss. Recognition: Locating the illusory self in Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills
  • Henry K. Miller (Anglia Ruskin/ University of Cambridge) – A Film Record of the 1930s
  • Claire Sedgwick (De Montfort University) – Feminist magazines and feminist histories: Are they on the same page?

PANEL 2: Recounting and reframing histories in non-fiction television (Room 3.01, Chair: Cat Mahoney)

  • Rowan Aust (Birkbeck, University of London) – The presentation of the First World War: History, crisis and recovery at the BBC
  • Jilly Boyce Kay (De Montfort University) – Disturbing collusions? Feminism and neoliberalism in histories of the television talk show
  • Maria Lusitano (University of Westminster) – Being an aesthetic journalist: The imaginary combinations of ‘The War Correspondent’

12:30   LUNCH (Room 3.02)

13:30   PANEL 3: Memories of twentieth-century conflict and historical screen drama (Room 3.03, Chair: Caitlin Shaw)

  • Cat Mahoney (De Montfort University) – Telling histories and reconstructing the past: The Women’s Land Army remembered in film and television
  • Natthanai Prasannam (University of St Andrews) – A missing piece of memory: Boys Will Be Boys, Boys Will Be Men (2000) and its mnemonic network
  • Jing Meng (University of Nottingham) – Remembering the Cultural Revolution: Negotiation between collective and individual memories

PANEL 4: (De)mythologising national eras, icons and figures in popular visual cultures (Room 3.01, Chair: Jilly Boyce Kay)

  • Debarchana Baruah (University of Heidelberg) – The retro effect in Mad Men
  • Claire Markham (University of Lincoln) – Bitter-sweet representations: Media representations of cultural icons and their impact on collective memory of those icons
  • Omar Adam Sayfo (Utrecht University/ University of Cambridge) – The evolution of the Saladin myth in Arab popular culture

15:00   COFFEE (Room 3.02)

15:30   PANEL 5: Recycled media, DIY and ‘retromania’ in the digital age (Room 3.03, Chair: Claire Sedgwick)

  • Marta Wasik (University of Warwick) – To hold on or to let go? Engaging with analog nostalgia in the digital age
  • Charley Meakin (De Montfort University) – ‘It’s a cool game to be sure, but watching someone else play it gets old after a while’: Targeting adolescents in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  • Caitlin Shaw (De Montfort University) – ‘The same handful of images’: Referentiality and recent pastness in Submarine (2010)

17:00   BREAK

17:15   PLENARY DISCUSSION: Researching visual cultures and collective memory: Methodologies and approaches (Room 3.03, Chair: Hazel Collie)

  • Dr Vicky Ball (De Montfort University), Dr Amy Holdsworth (University of Glasgow), Dr Claire Monk (De Montfort University) and Dr James Russell (De Montfort University)


19:00   CONFERENCE DINNER: The Parcel Yard, 48A London Road, LE2 0QB (adjacent to the train station). Drinks from 6:30pm.



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