- Film history in the making
- Film historiography, digitised archives and digital research dispositifs
- Award date
- 10 May 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
The dissertation investigates the implications which digitisation bears upon scholarly film historiography. It addresses a deficit in our critical understanding of knowledge production with digital methods and their representational practices in film historical research, attending in particular data visualisations and their uses in GIS mapping, scholarly DVD editions and audiovisual essays. The research project argues that if we do not shed light on the underlying assumptions, procedures and representations of digital scholarship we risk losing our ability to critically navigate in contemporary film historiography and evaluate its results. From this point of departure, the project develops a meta-historical framework which accounts for such practices to further the critical analysis and conceptualisation of digital archive-based scholarship. To this end the dissertation contends that it is necessary to elucidate how film archives, scholarly research traditions and scientific visual analytics condition emerging digital methods and stresses that film historians need to develop strategies for reflecting the humanities’ critical, hermeneutical legacy in digital scholarship. The dissertation answers the following research questions:
• How do film heritage institutions, their restoration and preservation deontologies and in particular their digitisation work, condition film historical research with digital techniques and methods?
• How have digital methods travelled from other disciplines into the film historian's toolkit and which disciplinary negotiations do they undergo in this process?
• How may digital tools allow for expressing reflexivity, ambiguity and multiple viewpoints in historical interpretation?
To answer these questions, the dissertation’s meta-historical framework draws on theory of history, media theory and visual studies to analyse how visualisations function as symbolisations of historical data in digital research formats. Using the dispositif concept to combine theoretical insights from these fields, the dissertation elucidates how digital research formats amalgamate variegated techniques and imply procedural human-machinery interactions to produce graphic representations of data, interfaces and inscription devices to think with, analyse and reason from.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
1.0 Film archives and film historiography (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
2.0 Film heritage digitisation in Europe between europeanisation and cinephile, curatorial agendas (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
3.0 Microscopic visions of the film-text: Stylometry, archival DVD editions and film philology (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
4.0 Writing film history from below and seeing it from above: Data mining, GIS and socio-economic history (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
5.0 From figures to figurations – The subjective projections of cinephilia and data art (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
6.0 Conclusion and further perspectives (Embargo up to and including 10 May 2019)
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