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Title: Else-where and else-when : the formation of newsreel memory as a distinctive type of popular cultural memory
Author: Anderson, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 8118
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the formation of a distinctive type of popular cultural memory I have chosen to call newsreel memory, through a close analysis of oral testimonies provided by older residents of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and its districts. Focusing on the 1940s, this study demonstrates that although newsreel memories are anchored within the autobiographical, the interpretation of individual recollections can only be fully realised within wider cultural frames of meaning, significantly the familial, the generational, and the national. This thesis makes it clear that newsreels produced a unique viewing experience and one in which the pleasures associated with the spectacle of ‘actuality and knowledge’ were paramount. In addition, the gathered recollections themselves illustrate that in an important imaginative sense newsreel viewing brought historic news events, particularly during the Second World War, into existence and newsreel audiences into an imagined communion. Given the clustering of individual newsreel memories around an ultra-familiar canon of historic events, this study reveals the formative relationship between the historic events recorded by the newsreels and the personal expression of a particular popular wartime memory. Further, this thesis argues that one of the unique features of newsreel memory is its ‘entangledness’, that is, the way in which newsreel memories have been re-imagined and re-framed by the subsequent use of newsreel material in other cultural contexts. Finally, this study shows that, although the newsreel image derives its cultural authority from its perceived iconic status, what is in fact evoked is an imaginary witnessing of the prediscursive news event. As a result, what is recalled in newsreel memory is an event that took place else-where and else-when. Thus, it is the role of newsreel viewing as an important form of secondary witnessing that is explored here: a complex process, which confirms newsreel memory as a unique expression of both popular cultural memory and history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council ; Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available