PhD Defence: Tim van der Heijden (Maastricht University)

Hybrid Histories: Technologies of Memory and the Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies, 1895–2005

Date: Thursday 18 January 2018, at 16:00h
Venue: Aula of Maastricht University, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht
Promoters: Prof. dr Maaike Meijer, Prof. dr Andreas Fickers, Dr Jo Wachelder

On Thursday 18 January 2018 at 16:00h, Tim van der Heijden will defend his PhD dissertation Hybrid Histories: Technologies of Memory and the Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies, 1895–2005. This research project analyses how throughout the twentieth century various generations have recorded their family memories on film, video and digital media. More specifically, it investigates how changes in these “technologies of memory” have shaped new forms of home movie making and screening. Covering the period from the invention of the film camera in the late nineteenth century, the introduction of 9.5mm, 16mm, 8mm small-gauges and Super 8 film technologies for amateurs, via home video to digital media technologies, this study addresses the complex interrelations between the materiality of film, video and digital media technologies, their social usages and cultural meanings from a long-term historical perspective. Focusing on specific periods of transition, it becomes clear that different media technologies, user practices and discourses not only succeed each other in time, but also increasingly interrelate, interact or even transform each other. Maintaining both a diachronic and a synchronic perspective on media transitions, this dissertation proposes an alternative form of media historiography that rethinks media histories beyond the frameworks of change and continuity by perceiving hybridity as a constant factor in media historical development.

The dissertation is carried out in the context of the research project “Changing Platforms of Ritualized Memory Practices: The Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies”, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It entailed a collaboration between Maastricht University, the University of Groningen and the University of Luxembourg as well as several partners from the field of cultural heritage in the Netherlands and abroad. For more information about this research project, see the project weblog: http://homemoviesproject.wordpress.com

You are cordially invited to attend the public defence, which will take place at the Aula of Maastricht University (address: Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht). In case you have any questions or would like to receive a digital copy of the dissertation, please contact Tim van der Heijden via: tim.vanderheijden@maastrichtuniversity.nl