The gateway to European audiovisual heritage

Search in:

Announcing the Summer School: “Moving Image Memory Cultures”

  • Date: September 24 to 28, 2018
  • Location: Potsdam
  • Organized by: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam and Brandenburg Center for Media Studies
  • Funded by: Volkswagen Foundation
  • Confirmed speakers: Alison Landsberg, Robert Burgoyne, Paula Amad, Andreas Fickers, Wulf Kansteiner, Chris Kraus (film director)
  • Workshop leaders: Ilka Brombach/Andreas Kötzing, Dagmar Brunow, Nico de Klerk, Matthias Steinle/Ania Szczepanska

The innovative core of the international Summer School lies in its conceptual intertwining of two defining phenomena of current and recent times. These are, on the one hand, the memory boom that swept western societies in the last third of the 20th century, and, on the other hand, the growing public presence of moving images that occurred in the course of the 20th century, and again more recently and more forcefully with digitization. Essential to this undertaking is an interdisciplinary exchange which also incorporates media practices.

The memory boom led to an accentuated preoccupation in Cultural Studies with concepts such as trauma or nostalgia, and the creation of new terms such as memory culture, which has come to define public, non-academic interaction with the past. Few voices have attempted to relate the potentially fundamental impact of moving images, with their strategies for emotionalizing, personalizing and visualizing the past, to the paradigm shift from “history” to “memory”. The role moving images play within cultural memory processes still remains a desideratum. The basic idea of the Summer School is to investigate this role.

To steer the discussion we have defined a series of key terms and questions:

– mediated memories: To what extent can moving images make “foreign” memories accessible?
– memory in moving images: Which stylistic devices are used by films to create visual memories?
– audiovisual iconography: What processes are involved in the iconization of moving images and how do these work?
– everyday history: How do (amateur) films qualify as historical sources and what role do they have to play?
– alternative and anachronistic history: Can moving images, as media of historical uncertainty, engender productive effects?
– historiography in the 21st Century: Is historiography in the digital age becoming increasingly dependent on moving images and approaches related to memory culture?

Call for applications

Applicants are requested to submit a short CV and a letter of motivation (approx. 200 words). Those currently pursuing research projects on a relevant subject that they wish to present/discuss within the framework of the Summer School should submit a short exposé (max. one page) in addition. The submission of an exposé is not mandatory.

Deadline for applications: June 3, 2018

Please send your applications to:

Chris Wahl:

Christoph Classen:

*Note that travel and accommodation expenses will be refunded up to a certain amount (Bundesreisekostengesetz). Meals are included.
**Financial support for child care during the event is available and can be provided upon request.