EMHIS continues

There has been a silence here on the blog regarding the EMHIS activities after our final conference in May, but believe it or not, the EMHIS network still exists! Last week, four of us members in the steering committee (Marie Cronqvist, Hans-Ulrich Wagner, Christoph Hilgert and Hugh Chignell) went back to “the conference scene of the crime” at The Old Bishop’s Palace in Lund in order to plan for a possible continuation of EMHIS beyond the STINT grant 2013–2017.

The meeting was productive. Among other things, we decided to try to continue the network in different ways and we invite others to stay in contact with us via our different channels. The blog here will be updated, although a bit less frequently than Facebook and Twitter, with news regarding upcoming EMHIS conferences and other related things. We are looking forward to staying in touch with everyone interested in tracing entanglements in media history.

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EMHIS conference in May

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The EMHIS research report is finally online

Marie Cronqvist (Lund) & Christoph Hilgert (Munich) has written a report on the discussions in the EMHIS research network since 2013, when we first launched the concept. The report is now published online in the journal Media History (Taylor & Francis). The main article could be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2016.1270745

Two other well established scholars in the field, Professor Michele Hilmes and Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley, have kindly agreed to comment on our article. The very interesting comments could be found through the journal homepage once published in print.

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New doctor in media history


EMHIS-member Erik Edoff defended his thesis, Storstadens dagbok: Boulevardpressen och mediesystemet i det sena 1800-talets Stockholm [Big city diary: The boulevard press and the media system in late 19th century Stockholm] on November 11, at the Department of communication and media, Lund university.

The dissertation examines a forgotten genre in Swedish press-history, the boulevard press. Edoff uses the concept of media system to analyse the media contexts of the boulevard press. The core of this approach is that all media forms are in various ways related to many other phenomena in society, including other media. The media system of the boulevard press consisted of relationships and dependencies to media like other newspapers, restaurants, cafés, wax museums, reprints, guide literature, theatres and variety shows.

The study shows that these relationships were of economic nature as well as symbolic resources for the writers of the boulevard papers when Stockholm was described as a metropolis. The analysis underscores the journalists’ function as guides, as well as the city as a place for modernity. Two main perspectives are identified, associated with different journalistic roles adopted when describing the city. The reporter guided his readers in the tram around the city and on walkabouts among shops, thus stressing his own mobility. The other journalistic position was the overview of the columnist. His elevated perspective was an important attribute when the newspapers summarised and presented the big city as a whole.

As a case point, the boulevard press underlines the importance of understanding the press, or any media, in the context of a broader media history. The dissertation makes a significant contribution to the media history of the press.

In two upcoming research projects, Edoff will examine different aspects of the media geography of Swedish 19th century newspapers.

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EMHIS member Gloria Khamkar’s successful PhD viva


EMHIS member Gloria Khamkar has successfully defended her doctoral thesis on the ‘Evolution of Asian Radio in England: 1960 – 2004’. Gloria has completed her doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Hugh Chignell and Dr Kristin Skoog at the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, UK.

Gloria’s PhD examines the post-war Asian migration from the Indian sub-continent to England and its subsequent impact on the mainstream radio programming including the BBC local radio. It studies how the medium of radio was used as a tool for integrating newly arrived Asian immigrants that consequently led to the creation of today’s independent Asian radio broadcasting in England. This research is considered as a significant contribution to the UK radio history.

Looking ahead, Gloria is keen to further explore the media usage by the immigrant communities as well as delve into existence and development of Community Radio outside of the UK, especially in Europe and India.

Heartiest congratulations to Dr Gloria Khamkar!

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Writing, thinking, making plans, and meeting friends in Lund

From 15th to 26th August 2016 I have had the pleasure to visit my dear Swedish EMHIS colleagues in their cosy realm in Lunds universitet’s Språk- och litteraturcentrum (SOL). Benefiting from the warm and generous hospitality of Lund University’s Media History unit I thoroughly enjoyed my stay as guest researcher within the EMHIS exchange scheme. It was a very productive writing and thinking retreat on the one hand as well as an inspiring time for making plans particularly concerning upcoming tasks and the future of the EMHIS network on the other hand.


Arriving via Kastrup and the Öresundståg on a rainy Sunday afternoon I was welcomed by Marie Cronqvist and Sophie Elsässer, who courteously accompanied me to a “Hemköp” shop and to my private accommodation (which was kindly made available by Laura Saarenmaa). A dinner with Marie’s family completed the warm-hearted welcome.

Monday mornings tend to be moody – but not my first working day in Lund. A desk, marvellous strong coffee, and appreciated colleagues were waiting for me. Even a LU card allowing access to the office was organized in record-breaking time. The next days I spent my time with writing or editing papers on radio’s relationship with young listeners in Germany and on mass media’s role for public history. Furthermore, I searched through Lund University’s library catalogue for a prospective paper on an early Swedish-German collaboration in sound broadcasting and had chats and/or productive talks with Marie, Sophie, Charlie, Erik, Sofi, Charlotte, and other fine colleagues from Lund’s Department of Communication and Media. I even had the pleasure to meet Patrik, who has left Lund earlier this year to become a professor for history at the Mittuniversitetet in Sundsvall.

With regard to the future of EMHIS Marie and I especially worked on the call for papers for the final (or better transitional)  conference that will take place in Lund in May 2017. In addition, other ideas and a possible project application were discussed. As always the time went by far too fast. Tack så mycket för gästfrihet! Det var en mycket vacker tid. Vi ses!

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Transnational Media Histories: Collaboration between Hamburg and Macquarie

We are excited to be part of a strategic partnership between the University of Hamburg and Macquarie University, generously funded through DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service.

From 2015-18 there are 12 projects involving our two universities. Our project is entitled ‘Transnational Media Histories’. It involves a close research and teaching collaboration between Hamburg and Macquarie. It enables exchanges of senior and junior researchers, including postgraduates, to discuss and explore research and teaching in media history through the prism of entangled media histories.

The Centre for Media History at Macquarie University invited Hans-Ulrich to come to Sydney in late 2015. On 3-4 December, he presented a keynote address on ‘chances and challenges of doing entangled media history’ at the 9th Australian Media Traditions Conference held at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

This May/June, the Research Centre Media History at Hamburg invited Bridget and PhD student Mike Nugent to visit Hans-Ulrich. En route to Germany, Bridget presented a keynote address, entitled ‘Entanglements Across the Pacific’, at the EMHIS Forum VI in Cascais, near Lisbon, on 24-27 May. At the end of the workshop, she was delighted to be the first scholar from the southern hemisphere to join EMHIS, and looks forward to attending the final conference at Lund University in 2017.

In Hamburg, Bridget presented a seminar paper; participated in an undergraduate class on ‘sound icons’; joined with CMH Associate Member Dr Craig Munro to introduce a screening of the film Mabo: Life of an Island Man; and conducted research in the superb specialist library of the Hans-Bredow-Institut.

We are now planning further exchanges of staff and postgraduate students. We are also working towards a workshop on ‘Tansnational and Entangled Media Histories’ at Macquarie University in February 2017, with scholars from Hamburg and the Asia-Pacific region.

//Bridget Griffen-Foley and Hans-Ulrich Wagner

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Report from Portugal


Following on the format of EMHIS V in Häckeberga, Sweden, EMHIS VI brought network members together to review works in progress, which in turn stimulated further discussions on entanglement, plans for publication of this research, and the future of EMHIS. In addition, two guest speakers, Dr Nelson Ribiero and Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley, joined the discussions, and were subsequently invited to join EMHIS. The venue for the forum, the Pousada Hotel in Cascais, Portugal, provided a stimulating environment, along with lovely views. Based in a former fort with spectacular views of the coastline, the hotel and its attentive staff helped all feel welcome.

In addition to discussing papers by members Johan Jarlbrink, Katy Homden, Kerstin Stutterheim, and Hugh Chignell and Kate Terkanian, the two invited speakers presented fascinating talks. On Wednesday, Dr Nelson Ribiero discussed Portugese Radio, both from the policy perspective during the years of the Salazar dictatorship, and from the establishment of a successful private network in Mozambique, Clube Mozambique. Although initially suggesting that this research was neither transnational nor transmedial, the content of the discussion clearly demonstrated the transnational strain of Clube Mozambique with its commercial English-language channel popular in South Africa, and its establishment of programming in native languages. The talk also highlighted how the network in Mozambique, although privately run, received state license fees to finance the non-commercial Portuguese programming. Dr Ribiero was able to join the group for both days of the forum, and his participation was greatly appreciated.

Our second guest speaker, Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley, joined EMHIS in Portugal on her way to a visit with Hans-Ulrich Wagner at the Hans-Bredow-Institute. As the director of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Dr Griffen-Foley has established a link with the Hans-Bredow-Institute which included a recent extended visit to Australia by Dr Wagner. In addition to highlighting the work and research activities of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie, Dr Griffen-Foley provided an overview of her research activity by detailing several different projects that demonstrate the entangled nature of her research. First she discussed her research on Australian journalists working in London on Fleet Street, and the long-standing journalistic connections between the two countries. The development of commercial radio in Australia was also examined, especially in terms of how Australian broadcasting blended both British public service and American commercial methods. Building on these comparisons, Dr Griffen-Foley demonstrated how the Fireside Chats of US President Franklin Roosevelt, as well as the broadcasting efforts of his wife Eleanor, provided a successful model for Australian politicians.

The hotel provided delicious meals in the Taberna da Praça, offering stiff competition to those at Häckeberga. Due to the gorgeous weather and the long days, we were able to enjoy the spectacular coastline and catch more than enough sunshine. Many of the museums were open until well into the evening, and some EMHIS members were also able to spend a free hour wandering around the colourful streets of Cascais. A replica 18th Century Russian frigate, the Shtandart, even sailed into the marina on its way to Rochefort in France. EMHIS VII is scheduled for 29 November to 2 December in Bournemouth. Although we’re not expecting warm, sunny beaches or Russian frigates, there is bound to be fruitful collaboration and a convivial atmosphere.


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Coming up: EMHIS Forum VI in Lisbon, May 24–27


Now is the month of maying! The Lund and Hamburg sections of EMHIS are jointly setting up the last preparations for EMHIS Forum VI. This time our conference will for the first time take place outside our three countries, in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 24–27. We will seize the opportunity to again place a direct focus on transnational connections in media history. Specially invited keynote speakers are Dr Nelson Ribeiro, Universidade Católica Portugesa, and Prof Bridget Griffen-Foley, Macquarie University, Australia.

Update: programme available here

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Special issue of Media history on transnational broadcasting

Revisiting transnational broadcasting: The BBC’s foreign-language services during the Second World War. Special Issue of Media History 21,4 (2015), guest edited by Nelson Ribeiro and EMHIS member Stephanie Seul.

This Special Issue re-considers the history of the BBC foreign-language services prior to, and during, the Second World War. The communication between the British government and foreign publics by way of mass media constituted a fundamental, if often ignored, aspect of Britain’s international relations. From the 1930s onwards, trans-border broadcasting became a major element in the conduct of Whitehall’s diplomacy, and the BBC played a major role in furthering Britain’s diplomatic, strategic and economic interests in times of rising international tension and conflict.

Contributions of EMHIS members to the special issue:

Seul, Stephanie, and Nelson Ribeiro: Revisiting transnational broadcasting: The BBC’s foreign-language services during the Second World War. In: Media History 21,4 (2015), pp. 365-77.

Seul, Stephanie: “Plain, unvarnished news”? The BBC German Service and British propaganda directed at Nazi Germany, 1938-1940. In: Media History 21,4 (2015), pp. 378-96.

Wagner, Hans-Ulrich: Repatriated Germans and “British Spirit”: The transfer of public service broadcasting to northern post-war Germany (1945–1950). In: Media History 21,4 (2015), pp. 443-58

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