An essential component of current societal self-reflective discourse is to consider how society’s own past is publicly communicated. This also becomes evident throughout the latest “Memory Boom”, which once again proves to us the eminent role that media plays in dealing with the past; media decisively shapes the ways we remember our own history. The “Research Centre” examines the various forms of media as actors of memory culture.
The Research Centre Media History analyses the public communication about the past in the following subprojects:
Memory Building and the Social Web
In all current social processes for establishing identity, a central component is, in fact, communication about the past. This is something that the current “memory boom” is, not least, demonstrating, as it also makes clear what a large role the mass media plays in the negotiation of concepts and interpretations of history in society (see also “Erinnerungskulturen online” by Dörte Hein). The project is enquiring into the role of the social web/web 2.0, investigates the mass media as an actor in the culture of remembrance, links media memory and transnational communication, traces journalistic initiatives in history and researches the status of contemporary witness in media (Media Witnessing). The digitally-networked media too are increasingly entering into what is a particular sphere of activity within the overall culture of memory. In the German-speaking sphere, as well as internationally, Internet projects are evolving, which aim at conserving and communicating (recent) historical contexts, and within this framework, users configure memories, impressions and experiences obviously linked to different expectations towards their communicative actions, either for “the posterity”, as a service for groups or generations, or for personal publics, as documentaries of their everyday life. Based on a survey of the studies existing to date, our goal is to identify gaps in the research, to develop a model for classifying actors, to present criteria for investigating the different contributions from possible communicative accomplishments and, hence, to analyse which of them fulfil the processes of remembering, as users generate them.
Media Memory and Transnational Communication
The Research Centre Media History is a member of the working group “Media Memories and Transcultural Communication” at the Research Center for Media and Communication (RCMC). The working group is currently working on broadening the horizon regarding memory (media) research, as well as transnational and transcultural communication. Our aim is to theoretically and empirically analyse how media influences the memory of society in the context of transcultural processes.
Mass Media as Actors in Memory Culture
The Research Centre Media History conducts studies on the role of public service broadcasting as an actor in processes of the culture of remembrance at regular intervals. In response to the question, “What remains from televised representations of the Holocaust?”, Juliane Finger and Hans-Ulrich Wagner have developed an integrative approach to empirically linking the perspectives of recipients and journalists in 2014. In their article, they introduce an empirical study, in which the meaning of television for the long-term development of recipients’ mental representation of the Holocaust is being analysed. We have linked an empirical study on the long-term significance of televised representations for mental images of the holocaust with an investigation of the Majdanek trial through journalistic historiography, or respectively the three-part NDR television documentary “Der Prozeß” [The Trial] by Eberhard Fechner.
In 2011, we published an audio CD in collaboration with the Stiftung Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv on the media coverage of the Auschwitz Trials by Axel Eggebrecht. The Hamburg journalist Eggebrecht reported regularly from Frankfurt am Main in the years 1963-1965.
See also the research project “Arrival on the Radio.”
Various actors negotiate the past and make it relevant for the present in new communicative practices. The Research Lab "Practices of Appropriation" takes a closer look at historical memes and TikTok videos as well as historical Instagram and Twitter accounts.
How do children and adolescents in Europe use the Internet; which risks do they encounter and how do they handle them? The project EU Kids Online has been dealing with these questions since 2006.
In the digital sphere, children and young people establish relationships towards real life, fictitious and artificial media figures. This entails risks. The project examines to what extent the German regulation on the protection of minors from harmful media contents is still suitable to protect a fr...
In order to find out what has to be considered for future developments of youth media protection, children and young people, parents and pedagogues were asked for their individual perspectives.
The time when the child is given his/her own smartphone, a lot changes in the communication and everyday life of the family. In his thesis, Marcel Rechlitz examines what this means for parental media education.
In this contribution, Dr. Claudia Lampert and Marcel Rechlitz introduce the approach of communicative figurations as an analytical framework for researching transformed socialisation processes. The article has been published in Bewegungen: Beiträge zum 26. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft f&...
Irene Broer and first-time author Dr. Stefanie Trümper have published this paper in the journal Memory Studies, which explores how media professionals incorporate memories of historical events into their journalistic work. The study was funded by the interdisciplinary excellence cluster Climate...
In the volume Medienerziehung in der digitalen Welt. Grundlagen und Konzepte für Familie, Kita, Schule und Soziale Arbeit [Media Education in the Digital World. Foundations and Concepts for Family, Kita, School and Social Work], Dr. Stephan Dreyer writes about media education from a constitutio...
Youth protection programmes as a form of technical protection of minors from harmful media have not really made it into the minds and hearts of parents, educational specialists and media providers. Once celebrated as an achievement of the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (J...
His objective has the protection of minors from harmful media clearly in sight: to enable children and young people to grow up safely with media. Risks and dangers in media relations should be kept away from them. But creating laws for it is anything but easy. Who regulates what in the protection of...