Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television

Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television

Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television

Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television

Synopsis

This remarkable new book is a collection of selected essays whose theses first came together in October 1988 at a conference sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Concepts of History in German Cinema". The contributors include notable historians, film scholars, and German studies specialists who explore the complex network of social, psychological, and aesthetic factors that have influenced the historiography of German cinema and television. Over the past decade, media specialists have engaged in a variety of projects that address many questions concerning the historiography of film and television. Through their discussions they have reassessed conventional histories of cinema, examined the influence of cinematic and television narration in constructing history, and contemplated the role of media in historical development. Germans began to employ the medium of film to represent the past before the turn of the century, when, among other things, they attempted to document their Prussian heritage. Since then, German cinema and television have promoted history as a component of individual, cultural, and national identity by consistently and prominently treating historical subjects. Although it is relatively easy to document changes in the selection and handling of these subjects, it is more difficult to determine what motivated those changes. Assessments of the link between German cinema, television, and history have primarily developed around three interrelated issues: the reception of Weimar cinema, the inscribing of fascism in cinema and television, and the nature of, and potential for, alternatives to mainstream cinema and television. This extraordinary collectionpresents a provocative dialogue by distinguished authors employing a diversity of methods, theoretical premises, and styles. It is a book that will appeal to scholars and students of German culture and media in the fields of hi
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