EMHIS research project on entangled television histories funded

Sandmännchen, 25. GeburtstagThe Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond has recently granted EMHIS scholar Marie Cronqvist 2,3 million SEK to cover a three-year research project on the history of the transnational relations between Swedish and East German television. The purpose is to investigate the contacts, social networks, institutional frameworks and programme exchange between Sweden and the GDR in the 1970s and 1980s.

The point of departure is the concept of entangled history, which is combined with a social network approach in order to highlight the role of individual actors in processes of cross-border cultural exchange. On a first and empirical level, the task is to investigate who, when and which programmes were in transfer. On a second and analytical level, the project aims to understand and analyse the circumstances, channels and practices of transnational communication. What were the cultural obstacles and the common ground for a proclaimed neutral and democratic state looking to a communist dictatorship in the exchange of television programmes and formats? Which role did individual preconceptions, experiences and preferences play in these encounters – and how do they relate to the institutional discourses and practices of the television organisations? What cultural and communicative patterns were produced in the process and were there any unexpected outcomes?

(The project application was successful also at the Swedish Research Council, but will be funded by RJ in the years to come.)

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