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Title: Popular factual heritage television and the contemporary heritage industry
Author: Samuel, Michael Gavin
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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The depiction of British identity and Britain's national past in film and television dramas has been widely analysed over the years. In the United Kingdom during the 1980s, at the height of what Robert Hewison refers to as a 'heritage industry', a particular cycle of quality costume dramas emerged that depicted a traditional, idealised and nostalgic view of Britishness and a selective relationship with Britain's national past on screen. In the early-1990s, Andrew Higson conceived the term 'heritage film' as a way of describing these costume dramas. The years following the financial crisis of 2008 have coincided with the growth of a contemporary heritage industry. Once more, Britain's heritage has become a sought-after commodity. As with the previous cycle of British heritage films, recent dramas are capitalising on the current cultural moment of a contemporary heritage industry. Not only are they once more privileging the settings and iconography of pastoral middle to upper-middle class Englishness, but they are also revisiting certain periods in the national narrative synonymous with patriotism and nostalgia. While scholars have challenged and adapted the concept of the heritage film to the study of recent dramas, they have not fully considered popular factual and reality television in the process. I have identified in a cycle of popular factual and reality television programmes similar patterns of representation to earlier British heritage films. For the purpose of this thesis, I refer to this cycle of programmes as popular factual heritage television. This thesis is a study of popular factual heritage television that considers the nature of the cycle's relationship with the British heritage film and explores its evolving role within the wider contemporary heritage industry.
Supervisor: Cooke, Paul ; Forrest, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available