Publications of IMNN members and other publications related to nostalgia are regularly updated and appear here: https://medianostalgia.org/references/ and please find here other IMNN member’s activities
omar al ghazzi | tobias becker | david berliner | carolyne birdsall |alastair bonnett | josh carney |elena caoduro |ana coelho | claire coleman | gary cross | gabriele de seta |sophie dufays |michael d. dwyer |nermin elsherif |emmanuelle fantin |sebastian felzmann | talitha ferraz | sébastien fevry | ross garner| dion georgiou |berber hagedoorn | tim van der heijden | amy holdsworth | ekaterina kalinina | mirjam kappes | slavka karakusheva | emily keightley | gulbin kiranoglu | ryan lizardi | irene martínez marín | manuel menke | dario miccoli | christian hviid mortensen | katharina niemeyer | zamansele nsele | gilad padva | tristan paré-morin | michael pickerig | milica popovic | nicola sayers | niklas salmose | bjørn schiermer |dominik schrey |xenia tsiftsi | constantine sedikides | sabine sielke | tobias steiner | marielle wijermars | tim wildschut| kathleen williams | tim wulf
I am interested in the politics of nostalgia in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in relation to conflict, activism and authoritarianism/ populism. My research has looked at nostalgia on Arab social media and how nostalgic sentiment and aesthetic is creatively deployed in activist media material during and in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings, whether in amateur YouTube videos or on Twitter. I have also examined nostalgic representations in television series. I looked at cases from Syria and also transnationally in regards to the debates that nostalgic Turkish TV series generate in Syria and the Arab world. I contextualized those debates around issues of nationalism, political identity, authoritarianism and masculinity.
Dr Omar Al-Ghazzi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Communications, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Omar is interested in the role of media and communication in political conflict, activism, and collective memory, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining LSE, he was a lecturer (assistant professor) at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Journalism Studies. Omar’s research has appeared in journals such as Communication Theory and Media, Culture & Society. A former Fulbright scholar, Dr Al-Ghazzi comes from a journalism professional background and has previously worked at Al-Hayat Arabic daily and BBC Monitoring. He completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.
- contact: o.al-ghazzi (at) lse.ac.uk
When I began researching nostalgia, I seemed to have a clear idea what nostalgia meant. The more I read, the more ambiguous and vague its meaning became to me. As a consequence, the ways in which nostalgia is defined and used and the critical discourse about nostalgia has evolved into a major interest itself. More generally, I’m interested why and how people engage with the past and to which extent they are motivated by nostalgia. And finally, I’m interested in how popular culture makes use of the past and whether nostalgia accurately describes these uses.
Tobias Becker is a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London, where he works on the “nostalgia wave” in the 1970s and 1980s. He is also co-authoring a textbook on the history of European popular culture since the eighteenth century. His research interests lie in the field of modern European history, urban history, the history of popular culture and the history and theory of history.
- contact: becker (at) ghil.ac.uk
I am interested in the contemporary figures of cultural loss. Losing culture, identity, traditions, knowledge and the need to transmit are tropes mobilized by individuals and groups worldwide. I am looking at heritage nostalgia, diagnoses of cultural loss, the multiple ways in which people think about and express memory, loss, persistence, transmission and heritage.
David Berliner is a Professor of Anthropology at Université Libre de Bruxelles. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Guinea-Conakry and Laos. His topics of research are social memory, cultural transmission and the politics of heritage, as well as the study of gender and sexuality. Some of his articles have been published in American Ethnologist, Cahiers d’Études Africaines, JRAI, Terrain, HAU, L’Homme, RES anthropology and Aesthetics and Anthropological Quarterly. He is the author of Mémoires Religieuses Baga (2014). He has co-edited with Ramon Sarro a collection of essays, Learning Religion: Anthropological Approaches (2007), with Olivia Angé: Anthropology and Nostalgia (2014) and with Christoph Brumann: World Heritage on the ground (2016).
- contact: David.Berliner(at)ulb.ac.be
In my previous work I have written about sound technologies, listening practices and nostalgia, with a particular interest in historical discourses about “the earwitness”. This prompted a related interest in memory practices, media nostalgia and the recycling of archival sound recordings (and other a-v materials).
At present, there are two aspects to my research that are relevant to IMNN. The first is a historical project about the emergence of radio archiving in and beyond Europe, which examines the emergence of practices of recording, editing, archiving and re-using programme content, and how media nostalgia, memory, and heritage processes played in to this development. The second is an interest in a more explicit methodological reflection within the interdisciplinary field of memory studies (through collaboration with Danielle Drozdzewski), which is linked to my interest in developing mixed methodologies for media nostalgia research.
Carolyn Birdsall is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her publications include Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, Technology and Urban Space in Germany, 1933–1945 (2012), and Sonic Meditations: Body, Sound, Technology (2008, edited with Anthony Enns). Birdsall’s current research examines sound archival practice, with a particular interest in early radio archives and concepts of ‘documentary sound.’ Contact: email@example.com
My two main interests in the study of nostalgia are its relationship to left politics and its geography. In my recent book ‘The Geography of Nostalgia’ the role of nostalgia in media culture and consumerism in the content of globalisation is explored alongside a wider discussion of nostalgia as a central aspect of late capitalism.
Alastair Bonnett is Professor of Social Geography at Newcastle University. He is the author of seven books including What is Geography? How to Argue; Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia and The Idea of the West: Culture, Politics and History. He has also contributed to history and current affairs magazines on a wide variety of topics. His latest research projects are about memories of the city and themes of loss and yearning in modern politics
- contact: alastair.bonnett (at) newcastle.ac.uk
My interest in the intersection between screen media and nostalgia stems from my doctoral thesis which explored the memory of left-wing terrorism in the German and Italian cinema of the new millennium. My research investigates those films that look back at the long 1970s and its violence through a nostalgic lens. Nostalgia functions as the pharmakon of memory, in other words both the cure and the poison for remembering a troubled past. Nostalgia shades shameful aspects and the retreat into sugarcoated images filters trauma and sanitises the memory of terrorism. As a palliative against anxiety, in these films nostalgia contributes to the cultural elaboration of the caesura left by the terrorist violence of the 1970s. I have also a keen interest in analogue nostalgia, skeumorphism, and period drama.
Elena Caoduro is Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of Bedfordshire, UK, co-chair of the SCMS Transnational Cinemas SIG and member of the Executive Committee of BAFTSS (British Association for Film, Television and Screen Studies). She received her PhD in Film Studies from the University of Southampton in 2015 and beside nostalgia, her research interests include representation of terrorism in media, fashion and costume.
- contact: elena.caoduro (at) beds.ac.uk
My interest in nostalgia stems from my dissertation research on the Turkish TV serial Magnificent Century (Muhteşem Yüzyıl, 2011-2014), a costume drama that was both popular and controversial throughout its Turkish broadcast life, once coming under direct attack from (then) Prime Minister (now President) Erdoğan for its “false” portrayal of the glorious Ottoman past. My dissertation adapts and makes extensive use of Boym’s restorative/reflective typology to better understand why and how Century’s portrayal of the past evoked such anger, and what this says about the uses of history in contemporary Turkey.
I also teach a course on media and public memory that explores various conceptions of memory in relation to the nation, focusing in particular on cinematic presentations of nostalgia and trauma.
Josh Carney is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. He received a PhD in Communication and Culture and an MA in Central Eurasian Studies (Turkish Studies) from Indiana University in 2015. His dissertation, A dizi-ying past: Magnificent Century and the motivated uses of history in contemporary Turkey, examines the circulation of and controversies surrounding the Ottoman costume drama Muhteşem Yüzyıl through an ethnographic investigation of the producers, distributors, cultural intermediaries, and publics for the popular TV show. His most recent project deals with censorship at film festivals in Turkey between 2014 and 2016. His other areas of specialization include visual culture, nationalism, history and culture of modern Turkey, media ethnography, reception studies, and media production.
- contact: jlcarney (at) umail.iu.edu
My interest in nostalgia emerged while working for my MA in screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Although I did not have the opportunity the develop it then, I’ve come back to the topic in my PhD project. I am particularly interested in the way contemporaneity reshapes Austen, both the author and her novels. I wish to further research the concept of nostalgia in such context, particularly in the way it contributes to the construction of a Jane Austen icon, both in traditional and new media.
- contact: anaalcobiacoelho (at) gmail.com
I initially became interested in nostalgia through a process of self-critique, in which I started to examine my own attraction to visual and aural artefacts that adopt a vintage or retro style or aesthetic. Why do I like objects, films, photos, books or music so much more when they possess a certain kitsch, handmade or old-timey quality? My own fascination seemed mirrored in popular culture, as well as by my peers, and I became interested in the idea that the nostalgic aesthetic experience influences and is influenced by contemporary culture. My doctoral thesis uses techniques associated with multimodal discourse analysis to examine nostalgia in indie folk music.
Claire Coleman completed her Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Western Australia in 2005. Claire worked for several years in a range of roles associated with music performance, education and administration, a highlight of which was founding and directing Menagerie indie-pop choir. She has also volunteered for various not-for-profit organisations, sitting on the Board of Catch Music, and champions inclusive and accessible community music activities. Upon returning to study she undertook an Honours project examining authenticity and relationality in Australian contemporary folk music. She commenced her PhD, which addresses the role of nostalgia in indie folk music, at Western Sydney University in 2013 under the supervision of John Encarnacao, Kate Fagan and Diana Blom.
- contact: 17630782 (at) student.uws.edu.au
Having grown up in the 1950s and 60s in the American west, I have a whimsical fondness for popular retro tv and oldies music (even though I was brought up a high culture snob); and, as a late modern historian of consumption, childhood, and technology, I fairly naturally gravitate to the topic of nostalgia and media. I am currently finishing a book probably to be called “Growing up with Cars” and will write another, “Fast Capitalism and Fast People” on the history and implications of the fast turnover of goods and media in the 20th century. Though I do mostly American topics, I have done British, French, and Australian history in my now old career of writing a dozen books or so. I’m Distinguished Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University and have been there since 1983.
Gary Cross is Distinguished Professor of Modern History at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of a dozen historical books on childhood, consumption, technology, popular culture, and work, notably Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity; The Cute and the Cool: Wondrous Innocence and Modern American Children’s Culture; and An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America.
- contact: gsc2 (at) psu.edu
I am fascinated by the mediation of memory and nostalgia largely as a reaction against the pervasive emphasis on futurity and presence that animates most scholarship on digital media. All media are shot through with temporalities: archives and interfaces inscribing and being inscribed with the threads of lived, remembered and imagined time articulated by their networked publics, audiences and users. Many of these temporalities are oriented towards the past, assembling and preserving personal and collective memories, or sharing and mobilizing countless varieties of nostalgia. I’ve repeatedly encountered the mediation of memories and nostalgias during my fieldwork in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and I’m particularly interested in exploring how different publics and communities articulate these temporalities in relation to the accelerating and momentous changes brought about by urbanization.
Gabriele de Seta is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. His research work, grounded on ethnographic engagement across multiple sites, focuses on digital media practices and vernacular creativity in contemporary China. He is also interested in experimental music scenes, Internet art, and collaborative intersections between anthropology and art practice. More information is available on his website http://paranom.asia.
- contact: notsaved (at) live.com
My interest in nostalgia emerged first from my doctoral research about the roles of the child character in Argentine fiction cinema of the post-dictatorship era (from 1983). By analyzing the aesthetic and interpretative models according to which the child represents a collective mourning related to Argentinean history, I distinguished between “nostalgic” and “melancholic” films, offering two different kinds of allegorical articulation between childhood and historical past. Beyond childhood stories, I find the difference between nostalgia and melancholy very thought-provoking, for example to study the distinctions between contemporary recuperations of melodrama and tragedy. In my current research about songs in Latin American films, the notion of nostalgia is also fundamental, since it sets out to reveal the practices, processes and forms of memory (especially, the nostalgic and the utopian ones) that these songs bring into play.
Sophie Dufays is a postdoctoral researcher in Latin American Studies at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). She has published to books (monographs) about the child’s figure in post-dictatorship Argentinian cinema (El niño en el cine argentino de la postdictadura (1983-2008). Alegoría y nostalgia and Infancia y melancolía en el cine argentino, de La ciénaga a La rabia) and her articles have been published in collective books and journals such as Hispanic Review, Bulletin Hispanique or Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. She has been an invited professor at Ghent University and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the FNRS, she focused on the persistence of melodrama as a model and an anti-model in contemporary Argentine and Mexican cinemas. Her current research project deals with the narrative, aesthetic and memory issues of popular song in Latin American cinemas.
- contact: sophie.dufays (at) uclouvain.be
I have been a nostalgic person for almost as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I thought a lot about my own past, and thought about how my thought feelings about my past structured my present. Years later, in graduate school, I studied the history and culture of the American 1950s and found them to be, quite to my surprise, a time of uncertainty, fear, controversy and radical change. That was a surprise to me, I realized, because so much popular culture in circulation in the 1980s was designed to foster nostalgic feelings toward the 1950s. These practices of representing the past, as well as the culturally fostered feelings of nostalgia, I concluded, were neither neutral nor neutral—they were shaped, and shaped by, the political, cultural, and social conditions of their emergence. My work since I came to that conclusion has investigated the diverse, competing, and sometimes overlapping invocations of nostalgic affect, and how they influence American historical consciousness.
Michael D. Dwyer is an assistant professor of Media and Communication at Arcadia University. His research interests include the relationship between popular narratives and cultural memory, the interaction between popular music and film, fan cultures, and the politics of DIY arts and music. His writing has recently appeared in outlets like CultureBot, Alphaville, Flow, Negative Dunkalectics and In Media Res. His first book, Back to the Fifties: Nostalgia, Hollywood Film and Popular Music of the Seventies and Eighties, which explores the diverse and often competing uses of nostalgia for the 1950s in film and pop music from 1973-1988, was a was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press.
- contact: dwyerm (at) arcadia.edu
The wide spread nostalgic sentiment in the Arab world, especially after the defeat of the 2011 social movements, provoked me to question how do the present difficulties affect our perception of the past and how does the past function as a resource for cultural and social capital. My interest in following the counter narratives of the past, and exploring the hidden and invisible archives, led me to explore social media as exhibitions of online-personas, I started realising the relationship between the performance of social class online and subscribing to a specific narrative of the past.
Nermin Elsherif is PhD candidate in Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and material Culture (UvA), part of CHEurope, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) project. Her research “Technobiographies of an Imagined Past” investigates how the social life of the Arab speaking north African and East Mediterranean cities is remembered online, critically questioning the meaning of ‘remembering together’ in the age of social media. She focuses on the circulation of vintage photographs of the cities that are usually accompanied by a nostalgic mourning narrative of the once-had, now-lost middle-class modernity.
- contact: N.E.M.Elsherif AT uva.nl
My interest in the ‘rewriting’ of the past through media naturally led me to the field of nostalgia. I am fascinated by the ‘ordinary’ uses of the past, the multiple expressions of memory, loss and temporalities in everyday life. I explore how nostalgia stands as a stereotypical and fictional representation used to build mnemonic bridges in the present time. More broadly, I try to understand how media shape and crystallize imaginaries of the past, I question the persuasive force of cultural beliefs in a twinkling past. Being a nostalgic person too, my researches also reflects a personal dynamics, trying to understand why the past seems so alluring …
Emmanuelle Fantin (born 1986) is Associate professor at CELSA Paris-Sorbonne and member of the Group of Interdisciplinary Researches in Information and Communication (GRIPIC, La Sorbonne University). Her researches focus on advertising, consumption and the commodification of the past as well as on the relationship between media, memory and history. Lately, she has been working on the role of nostalgia within the representations of migration.
- contact: emmanuelle.fantin (at) paris-sorbonne.fr
Born and raised in the 80’s, I’m highly fascinated by the whole Retrogaming scene, esp. the fans of the Commodore 64. To fully understand this community and the attraction of old videogames I’m using Media Nostalgia as a research tool to identify different modes of cultural usage and the interconnection between official gaming history and personal memory.
Sebastian Felzmann, M.A., studied German Literature and Journalism at the KIT and worked as a research assistant and project manager for third-party-funded projects and initiatives at the University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe. Together with Adam Rafinski and Jens M. Stober he initiated the HfG GameLab. As a freelancer and consultant, he supported several major clients in the field of game studies (GEELab Europe) and the economic power of games (City of Karlsruhe – Economic Development Department). Sebastian loves retro games and old gaming devices so much, that he had written a book about that subject, several scientific papers and even held various lectures about Media Nostalgia and Gaming History.
- contact: sf (at) colognegamelab.de
My interest in nostalgia emerged from expansions of studies on cinema-going memories and movie theatres’ history that I have been performing in my academic career. In a post-doctorate research developed at the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies of the Ghent University (CIMS-UGent), Belgium, I examined cases of cinema reopenings, with a special attention to the uses of cinema-goers’ memories by the revitalization projects. Since then, I have focused my investigations on the connections between memory, nostalgia, cinema-going experiences and affective communities, considering nostalgia as a creative and productive field of acts and expression dynamics. Within this context, I have been working on the notion of “activated nostalgia” in the project “Activating nostalgia: audience mobilizations, cinema-going memories and institutional strategies in the cases of Circuito Estação, Cine Vaz Lobo and Cine Belas”, carried out at Escola Superior de Propaganda & Marketing (ESPM), Brazil.
Talitha Ferraz (born 1982) is assistant professor at Escola Superior de Propaganda & Marketing (ESPM) and head of the Ways of Seeing Research Group (ESPM-CNPq). Simultaneously she serves as associate reseacher at the Coordenação Interdisciplinar de Estudos Contemporâneos (CIEC-UFRJ) and the Laboratório de Estudos de Memória Brasileira e Representação (LEMBRAR-ESPM). She holds a PhD in Communication & Culture from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, with a doctoral internship at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. She also performed a postdoctoral research at the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies of the Ghent University (CIMS-UGent), Belgium, between 2015 and 2016. Her investigations are focused on topics such as media and nostalgia, cinema-going memories and reopening of cinemas.
My interest for nostalgia has first emerged while I was working on the sepia wave appearing in the popular French cinema, with films like The Chorus (Christophe Barratier, 2004) or Little Nicholas (Laurent Tirard, 2009). These films project the image of an ideal past in an French society more and more obsessed by its memory and I was dealing with the idea that the nostalgia of the sepia wave revealed an important change in the frameworks of the collective French memory. Currently, my research is more focused on nostalgia phenomena dealing with changes of social status. I’m particularly interested in the case of ‘class defector’ described by Richard Hoggart and Didier Eribon. In this perspective, I examine how the nostalgic mood can be linked with the social position of the filmmaker, and then appear in films through editing choices which lead to mix together high and low culture, intimate and collective history, as it occurs for instance in Of Time and the city (2008) by Terence Davies.
Professor at the School of Communication in the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL, Belgium) and coordinator of the GIRCAM research group, Sébastien Fevry works in the field of Memory Studies, focusing especially on cinema and image. He has recently co-edited a collection of articles on the images of the Apocalypse in cinema (2012). His latest book, La comédie cinématographique à l’épreuve de l’Histoire, has been published by L’Harmattan (2013). He is also the author of numerous articles in journals such as Image & Narrative, Espacestemps.net, Cinergie, Revista de Estudios Globales y Arte Contemporáneo, Cahiers Mémoire et Politique
- contact: sebastien.fevry (at) uclouvain.be
My interest in mediated forms of nostalgia, primarily linked to television, grew out of my own fan attachments as I spent most of my teens (and beyond) watching programming from previous historical periods such as ‘classic’ Doctor Who, The Wombles and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (to name but a few). Extending these interests in to academia, I became intrigued with how and why certain programmes endure and become recontextualised across different industrial, media and historical contexts and how different programming forms, genres and brands use nostalgia as a strategy for issues including targeting and amalgamating audiences and fulfilling institutional requirements (such as public service remits). These are all areas that my research explores as, through taking nostalgia seriously and discussing the various encodings which media industries construct, my interest focuses on how institutional and historical contexts construct multiple forms of nostalgic discourse on television.
Ross Garner is a Lecturer in Television Studies at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University. He received his PhD from Cardiff University and his Masters in Television Studies from the University of Bristol. His research interests include industrially-focused approaches to mediated nostalgia, cult television and mediated spaces and tourism.
- contact: GarnerRP1 (at) cardiff.ac.uk
After completing my PhD, I became particularly interested in how the popular culture of the past has been reimagined and reused in the wake of related transformations such as globalisation, digitisation and economic liberalisation, in order to explain and reframe recent history, redefine or reaffirm generic structures, deploy older cultural products for contemporary purposes, and create new rituals. This commenced with research into the phenomenon of contemporary nostalgia for the ‘Britpop’ music of the 1990s, which I am now in the process of writing a short book on, provisionally entitled Britpop Afterlives: Remembering, Replaying and Retelling the 1990s. I am also currently in the process of writing a number of articles and book chapters on popular culture and the uses of the past in Britain and the US, on topics including the representation of British labour, women’s and gay history in the films Made in Dagenham and Pride, and the 2009 campaign to get Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ to UK Christmas Number One. Furthermore, I am now editing (with Tobias Becker) a book, provisionally entitled Pop Nostalgia? Uses of the Past in Western Popular Culture.
Dion Georgiou is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London, and an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent. He previously completed his PhD in the School of History at Queen Mary University of London. His broader research interests are in: Cities and suburbs; Temporality, lifecycles and the uses of the past; Cultural production, adaptation, dissemination, generification and reception; Organisational structures and cultures in the public, private and voluntary sectors; Domestic, international and global conflict.
- contact: DionGeorgiou(at)hotmail.co.uk
My research interests in the context of memory, history and nostalgia are studying the representation of past events, expressed via participatory media, multi-platform storytelling, practices of cultural memory and the re-use of archival footage, particularly for television, film and digital media. I specifically conduct research on (digitized) audiovisual material as cultural heritage (see for example EUscreen, promoting the use of television content to explore Europe’s diverse cultural history). In my dissertation Doing History, Creating Memory: Representing the Past in Documentary and Archive-Based Television Programmes within a Multi-Platform Landscape, I explored how televised history contributes to cultural memory and how television’s convergence with new media technologies has affected its role as a mediator of the past. Within this context, I study the changes and developments that the multi-media landscape undergoes on social-cultural, institutional and technological levels. Currently, I am researching the power of storytelling strategies of audiovisual media – from television and radio to social media – in representing (disruptive) media events, both in a European comparative context and using digital data research tools.
Berber Hagedoorn is Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen Research Centre for Media and Journalism Studies. She is specialized in Media and Cultural Studies and in 2016-2017 works as a Researcher in Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, studying the impact of audio-visual representations of historical events and the power of narrativization via digital search processes and learning with AV. Her Digital Humanities experience includes (inter-)national projects on digitalized audio-visual heritage and cultural memory such as VideoActive and EUscreen, and the 2017-2018 CLARIAH Research Pilot (together with dr. Sabrina Sauer) “Narrativizing Disruption”, a project on how exploratory search can support media researchers to better interpret ‘disruptive’ media events as lucid narratives. Hagedoorn is the Vice-Chair of the ECREA Television Studies section, organizing cooperation for European research and education into television’s history and future as a multi-platform storytelling practice. She has published in amongst others Media and Communication, Continuum, Studies in Documentary Film, Rundfunk und Geschichte, Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis (Journal of Media History) and VIEW.
- contact: b.hagedoorn (at) rug.nl
My interest in the intersections between nostalgia, media and memory is closely connected to my PhD research project on the cultural dynamics of home movies as a twentieth century memory practice. For more than a century, people have been documenting their family and everyday lives on film, video and digital media. The material carriers and technical equipment used for the recording, screening and saving of these family memories can be regarded as “technologies of memory”. While a connection between home movies and nostalgia usually relates to the images (and sounds) as mediated representations of the past, I am particularly interested in contemporary memory practices and cultures of (re)use which convey a certain longing for or remediation of past media technologies, both in terms of their materiality and aesthetics. In this double mnemonic process, which I have called “technostalgia”, media technologies not only construct or mediate memories but have also become the objects of memory themselves.
Tim van der Heijden is a PhD candidate at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He holds a RMA degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam (cum laude) and a BA in Cultural Studies from Erasmus University Rotterdam/University of Essex, UK. His research interests include media theory & history, cultural memory, visual culture, amateur film, technology and aesthetics. His doctoral research, which is part of the NWO-funded research project Changing Platforms of Ritualized Memory Practices: The Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies, investigates from a long-term historical perspective how changing technologies of memory production (film, video, and digital media) have shaped new memory practices in home moviemaking and screening. Next to his research activities, he is also a board member of the Dutch Foundation for Amateur Film.
- contact: timvanderheijden (at) gmail.com
My interest in nostalgia emerged from a (continued) preoccupation with the forms and functions of repetition in popular culture and, specifically, within the experience of television. Theories of memory and nostalgia offered a framework through which to examine questions of both form and feeling in relation to television and I began to understand television (as visual medium and material object) as a privileged site of nostalgia. I published Television, Memory and Nostalgia (Palgrave) in 2011 but continue to be fascinated by the slipperiness of nostalgia as a mode of engagement with the past, present and future. At the moment I am particularly interested in thinking about nostalgia as a form of homesickness and the relationship this has to television as both a domestic medium but also as a transmitter of so many varied images of ‘home’. Related to this but drawing upon another area of research I am also working on the relationship between nostalgia, childhood and children’s culture.
Amy Holdsworth (born in 1979) is a lecturer in Film and Television Studies in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. She received her PhD from the University of Warwick in 2008 and a Masters in Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds in 2003.
- contact: Amy.Holdsworth (at) glasgow.ac.uk
My interest in nostalgia is grounded in individual and cultural experiences. Being born in Russia in the beginning of the 1980s and belonging to the so-called last generation of the Soviet children who matured during the first presidential terms of Vladimir Putin, I have been observing the development of Post-Soviet nostalgia. My curiosity to this phenomenon resulted in the completed PhD dissertation, called Mediated Post-Soviet Nostalgia (2014). Combining Raymon Williams’ concept of structure of feeling with theories of mediation and nostalgia, the book Mediated Post-Soviet Nostalgia examines the changes that occurred in the representations of the Soviet past in Russian culture from 1991 to 2012, covering a wide range of mediating arenas. Right now I continue my research on nostalgia, albeit with a slightly different focus. What fascinates me the most is agency of nostalgia, political nostalgia and gender nostalgia, as well as nostalgia theory and methodologies of research on nostalgia.
Ekaterina Kalinina (born 1983) earned MA degrees in Art History at the St Petersburg University and in European Studies at Uppsala University. Her PhD project in Media and Communication Studies “Mediated Post-Soviet Nostalgia” was carried out under the auspices of the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS) and the Research Area on Critical and Cultural Theory, Södertörn University. She has also been a visiting researcher at Copenhagen University and Aarhus University. Right now she is a research fellow at Swedish National Defense University and works with the questions of Russian patriotism, biopolitics, nostalgia and national identity. As the Vice-president of the Swedish organisation Nordkonst she also manages cultural projects and conducts research on cross-cultural artistic practices and intercultural communication.
- contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though the sentimental longing that we commonly associate with the term “nostalgia” is probably as old as humankind, I am particularly interested in the idea of nostalgia as a affective mnemonic practice that manifests itself in (or attaches itself to) today’s (digital) media artefacts, aesthetics, and technologies. With an academic background in film studies and art history, my research focuses on (audio-)visual media as means to retrieve and reappropriate the past, or, more precisely, our ideas of an imagined past. The complex relationship between an ever-accelerating digital media culture which permeates our everyday lives and an equally strong, almost omnipresent fascination with former times and places strikes me as a characteristic context for today’s nostalgic reminiscence(s). In my PhD project, I am trying to unravel common myths about (contemporary forms of) nostalgia, and I hope to be able to show how various modes of our affective engagement with the past become relevant to present realities.
Mirjam Kappes is a PhD student in media-cultural studies and scholarship holder at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne (Germany) where she is working on her current research project “Media-nostalgic Reminiscences in Today’s (Post-)Digital Era” (working title). She has studied Media & Communications, German Literature and Art History in Germany, Switzerland and the UK and received her master’s degree with distinction at the University of Hamburg/Germany in 2012. Prior to her graduate studies, Mirjam Kappes has worked at CineGraph, a Hamburg-based Institute for historical film research, as well as in journalism, public relations and communications. Her research interests include digital media and nostalgia, transmedia storytelling, visual discourses in urban space, and media aesthetics with focus on photography and film.
- contact: mirjam.kappes (at) uni-koeln.de
I am interested in the mediatization of nostalgia and the usage of emotions in constructing collective (national and ethnic) identities. I am trying to understand how personal memories are shared in social media and the ambiguous ways the past is interpreted and appropriated. I see these practices of sharing memories as a process of building a virtual archive. It is used as a social capital that reinforces a feeling of belonging to a group on the bases of identification with a common past.
Slavka Karakusheva is a doctoral candidate at the Department of History and Theory of Culture, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. She holds a master degree in Cultural Anthropology and a bachelor of Cultural Studies. Her research focuses on the influence of social media on the processes of construction of ethnic and national identities. Slavka is an assistant editor of Seminar_BG – an online journal for cultural studies and was recently a TUBITAK visiting fellow at the Cultural Policy and Management Research Centre, Istanbul Bilgi University. Her research interests include ethnicity and nationalism studies, memory, migration, anthropology of media.
- contact: slavka.karakusheva (at) gmail.com
My interest in nostalgia emerged from my doctoral research. My research involved spending time talking to women of different generations and social backgrounds about the ways in which they remember in their everyday lives. Nostalgia was a crucial part of their activity. While on the one hand it became apparent that this mode of relating to the past involved complex transactions between past, present and future in which relational temporal valuations were made and remade by women in creative ways, on the other hand the writing about nostalgia at that time (now over a decade ago) seriously undervalued the creative potential of this mode of relating to the past. In my research since then with my colleague Michael Pickering, we have been concerned with redressing what seems to us to be an underestimation of nostalgia and its complexities, and we have tried to make sense of the ways in which a mixture of loss, lack and longing are played out in nostalgic remembering. We have also developed the concept of retrotyping through which we have attempted to explore the ways in which nostalgia can be commodified and commercially appropriated and its creative potential stymied. We continue to be fascinated by this most routinely dismissed dimension of vernacular remembering.
Emily Keightley (born 1981) is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. She received her PhD from Loughborough University in 2007 and has worked in the Department of Social Sciences since that time. She is also Associate Editor on the international journal Media, Culture and Society. Her main research interest is memory, time and its mediation in everyday life. She is particularly concerned with the role of media in the relationship between individual, social and cultural memory and the temporal structures of modernity.
- contact: E.Keightley (at) lboro.ac.uk
My interest on nostalgia emerged while studying the relationship between history, politics and space. I am particularly interested in the uses of nostalgia, especially in relation to the processes of urban modernization and everyday nationalism. For my PhD dissertation, I studied the urban nostalgia on Istanbul in popular culture of ’50s and ’60s Turkey; how this popular Istanbul nostalgia petrified a nationalized history of Istanbul.
She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in American Culture and Literature from Başkent University, Turkey where she also worked as a research assistant. She wrote her MA thesis on the cultural production concerning Generation X, the American youth of 1980s and 1990s. In 2016, she received her PhD degree in Communications from Ankara University, Turkey. In her doctoral dissertation, she studied the urban nostalgia of İstanbul in the mid-20th century. She is working as a lecturer at Kocaeli University and teaching courses such as “American Literature”, “Film and Literature”, and “Cultural Studies”. Her recent research interests include memory studies, popular culture and media history. She is also a member of European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and Association for Cultural Studies.
- contact: gulbin678 (at) gmail.com
My interest in nostalgic media research began when I realized that I was the primary demographic target for so many of the media products being released that were aimed at engendering a longing for the past. Suddenly, everything I loved when I was young, from Transformers to DuckTales to countless remade films from the 1980s, was back in the cultural Zeitgeist as if it had never left. I began to think about what kind of relationship media companies wanted us to have with our own pasts, and the economic benefit of encouraging a kind of perpetual focus on whatever constellation of media texts we personally loved long ago. Turning my researcher eye towards something I personally feel susceptible to has been a common thread in my academic career, and working towards an understanding of what types of nostalgic longing media companies make available on a consistent basis fits right in.
Ryan Lizardi is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Ryan’s primary interest is examining the way media contributes to our understanding of collective and individual histories by presenting consumers with consist messages about our past and present culture. This throughline has informed projects throughout his academic career, such as his book Mediated Nostalgia as well as his published chapters on television remakes, apocalyptic time travel media, and zombie depictions throughout history. The projects he is currently working on include an analysis of Nintendo’s nostalgia-based commodification of characters, as well as an exploration of current modes of engaging the past through contemporary digital sharing means.
- contact: lizardr (at) sunyit.edu
With J.D Salinger´s books, contemplating Joseph Cornell´s boxes, watching a Wes Anderson film or listening to The Smiths. My interest for nostalgia emerged with the aesthetic experience I felt through the art I loved. I am interested in the study of nostalgia as an aesthetic emotion from a narrative account. C.S Lewis wrote that emotions ‘need not a map but a history’, especially nostalgia that has to do with past actions. I undertake this everyday emotion not only as an idealization of the past but as a complex sentiment that has to do with personal identity and biographical memories. My research explores the implications a narrative and visual analysis of ‘New Sincerity Cinema’ has in the aesthetic discussion about the relevance of nostalgia as an emotion accused of sentimentality. My aim is to defend that this quirky cinematographic movement characterized by a precious aesthetic and the representation of ordinary situations, embodies a reflective nostalgic sensibility committed to the portrayal of deep and sincere emotional feelings. Self-knowledge and moral evaluation are some of the aspects that I wish to relate to nostalgic experiences.
Irene Martínez Marín (born 1990) is a Philosophy doctoral candidate at the University of Murcia (Spain). She holds a Masters in History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture from the Autonomous University of Madrid and MNCARS (2014). Her doctoral dissertation “Nostalgia as an aesthetic emotion and its representation in New Sincerity Cinema” focuses on the work of a group of contemporary independent filmmakers (Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, Sofia Coppola) in order to analyze how nostalgia colors this cinematographic movement. Her research interests include philosophy of emotions, cognitive film theory, the paradox of fiction, and the relationship between aesthetic and ethic value in narrative artworks.
- contact: ire.martinezmarin (at) gmail.com
As a communication scholar rooted in social sciences I am interested in media and nostalgia on a societal level. Why do we find nostalgia in societies, what is its purpose for individuals, communities and the society at large? How are media, memory and communication involved? I write my dissertation about media and nostalgia to answer these questions especially under the assumption that nostalgia is a reaction to change and the subsequent feeling of loss experienced by people. Media are included in this approach not only as technologies of mediation but in their interrelation with culture and society and their potential as agents of change. This comprises change in culture and society as well as media change itself. Hence, possibilities and limits of communication emerging through media change contribute to different nostalgic mnemonic practices and influence who is included in the mediated negotiation of the past. In my understanding, it is important to contextualize the nexus of media and nostalgia in past and contemporary societies and go beyond the social science perspective by rooting nostalgia in the established philosophical and historical approaches exploring it.
Manuel Menke (born 1985) is research and teaching assistant at the Department for Media, Knowledge and Communication (imwk) at Augsburg University, Germany. From 2004 to 2011 he studied communication and politics at the Universities of Mainz and Bamberg, Germany. He is young scholar representative for the ECREA Communication History Section and the German Young Scholars Network for Journalism Research (NaJoFo). His research interests are (theories of) social and media change, media and nostalgia, memory and narratives in media and public sphere(s) and journalism research.
- contact: manuel.menke (at) phil.uni-augsburg.de
My academic interest in nostalgia began as a way to cope with, and perhaps understand, the nostalgia I was feeling (and, often, I still feel) for places, times and most of all people lost. My current project deals with nostalgia as a foundational trope of the contemporary Jewish literary imaginary, with particular reference to the Jews of the Arab world and their descendants. I am interested in nostalgia insofar as it emerges in literary and autobiographical writings, but also in other medias like cinema and the Internet. Even though I doubt that this project will cure my own nostalgia, at least I hope it will offer a contribution of some sort to the cultural and historical understanding of this feeling.
I am Lecturer in Modern Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and a Member of the Board of SeSaMO – Italian Society of Middle East Studies. I hold a PhD in History from the European University Institute, Fiesole and before joining Ca’ Foscari I was postdoctoral fellow at IREMAM, Aix-Marseille Université and at the French Research Centre of Jerusalem. I have published two books – Histories of the Jews of Egypt: An Imagined Bourgeoisie, 1880s-1950s (2015) and La letteratura israeliana mizrahi (2016) – and articles dedicated to the cultural history and memory of the Jews of Egypt and North Africa, and to Israeli literature. I am the editor of Memory and Ethnicity: Ethnic Museums in Israel and the Diaspora (with Emanuela Trevisan Semi and Tudor Parfitt, 2013) and Contemporary Sephardic and Mizrahi Literature: A Diaspora (2017).
- contact: dario.miccoli(at)unive(dot)it
I am interested in the dynamics of media and nostalgia as nostalgia have proven to be the immediate affective response of many people when confronted with media technology and content from the recent past. Rather than viewing the nostalgic attitude to the past as something to be overcome, I view nostalgia as an affective investment in the past that can be built upon to facilitate further reflection and a more nuanced understanding of the past.
Christian Hviid Mortensen is a media historian and curator of media heritage at the Media Museum in Odense, Denmark. His research interest sits at the intersection of media studies, popular culture, memory studies, museology and the history of technology. He has curated diverse exhibitions on videogames, comic books, radio sound and reality TV. Christian sits on the editorial board of MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research.
- contact: CHRHM(at)odense.dk
In the winter of 2011, I was sitting with Céline and Olivier in a living room somewhere in Quebec and our conversations were filled with nostalgic thoughts of past and future times and distant places. We began talking about the incredible boom of these longings in the media and in social networks. On that very evening I decided to organise an international conference on the topic. It eventually took place in September of the following year at the University of Geneva under the name ‘Flashbacks-nostalgic media and other mediated forms of nostalgia conference’ and most of the proceedings but also invited papers were then published in the Palgrave Macmillan volume (memory studies series) “Media and Nostalgia“. The idea of the IMNN has emerged during a discussion at the IAMHIST conference in Bloomington 2015 and with Emmanuelle, Ekaterina and Manuel. Being certainly nostalgic myself from time to time, the reflection on media and nostalgia is related to my general research interests that deal with media and communication theory, memory, history as well as with media events their commemorations and their extensions in popular culture and arts.
Katharina Niemeyer is Professor of media theory at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Faculty of communication – Media School. Previous positions:
- guest scholar at Media@McGill (February-June 2017)
- 2012-2017: Associate professor at the French Press Institute and member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Analysis of the Media (CARISM)/ University Paris 2, Sorbonne Universities
- 2006-2012 – PhD and Postdoc at the University of Geneva.
Katharina is a IAMHIST council member and associate editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television and on the editorial board of Memory Studies. Her major areas of research are in the field of media culture, media and communication theory. She is particularly interested in analogue and digital media, (international) media events, media and terrorism, (collective) memories, commemorations and history. Katharina translated texts of Jean Baudrillard and Bernard Miège and is the IMNN webmaster.
personal website: www.kniemeyer.net
- contact: niemeyer.katharina (at) uqam.ca
The language of time is often relied upon to articulate the dissonances and contradictions that typify the post-apartheid South Africa. My research is focussed on post-apartheid nostalgia and the various ways that it intersects with identity and cultural practices. My background is in Art history & Visual Culture; therefore, my research is primarily guided by visual representation. I look into how the violent primal scenes of colonial- apartheid continue to calibrate the psycho-social life in South Africa suggesting a cyclical pattern of one state of unfreedom to the next. Post-apartheid visual culture is saturated by a nostalgia that is in tension with the future. My current research focuses on the role that visual devices play in facilitating perpetual returns and repetitions.
Zamansele Nsele (born in 1986) lectures in Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Post-Apartheid Nostalgia and the Future of the Visual Archive’.
- contact: zamanselensele (at) gmail.com
I am interested in nostalgia and media, particularly in sexual and political contexts, because of the nostalgia’s ability to empower subaltern minorities. As I suggest in Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture (2014), a constructed gay nostalgia, often reflected by the New Queer Cinema in the 2000s and 2010s, redeems not only the film protagonists, but also the gay viewers’ lost youth. It is a nostalgia-in-motion, or what I define as motionostalgia, an ongoing process of change or movement in the perception, cultivation, reevaluation and rearrangement of time. The reimagining of the earlier periods, particularly the crucial stage of gay adolescence and transgressive coming-of-age repositions the subject in his/her interrelations with what happened before. In this respect, motionostalgia is a creative energy that provides an invaluable resource of hope, aspiration, well-being and optimism that empowers the viewers who experienced so much bullying and humiliations in their youth, or still experience daily hardship.
Gilad Padva works for Beit Berl College and the Open University of Israel. He holds a Master (with distinction) in Philosophy (Tel Aviv University). He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy, Cultural Studies and Cinema in 2007 (Tel Aviv University). His major areas of research are in the field of cinema studies, television and media studies, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies and queer theory. He is particularly interested in the interrelations of cinema, popular culture and music, temporalities, spatialities and sexualities; with a focus on (collective) identities and (counter)cultural histories.
- contact: giladpadva (at) gmail.com
My interest in the relationship between media and nostalgia is long abiding and stems from several areas of my academic work. Earlier in my intellectual career there was a focus on the uses of popular song and music as means of expressing nostalgic feelings and values, the various sources of attraction and appeal in popular traditions, and comparative presentations of past and present as a means of critique in working-class writing. More recently, with my colleague Emily Keightley, I have been concerned with two major manifestations of nostalgia in media representations. We refer to these as critical and regressive forms of nostalgia with, in the first case, nostalgia operating as a source of creative renewal or judicious mode of assessment of changed social conditions and arrangements, and in the second, nostalgia resulting in what we call retrotyping, which among other things leads to the foreclosure of imaginative uses of the past in the present as a result of an appeal only to sentimentalist yearnings for the past, especially in mass merchandising, consumerism and promotional culture. Our conceptual approach to nostalgia identifies three components – loss, lack, and longing – with the manifestation of nostalgia in media texts and images in any particular case depending on how these components are, or are not, aligned. Overall, my interest in differential forms of nostalgia is directed towards the development of a more refined understanding of the cross-temporal dynamics they entail both in and across time.
Following posts at Leicester University, Sunderland University (both UK) and Massey University in New Zealand, from 1992 I taught in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University (UK). In March 2015, I moved to an Emeritus Professorship from which I continue to research and write in a number of different fields. My work covers popular music, racism and popular culture, imperialism and theatrical history, Mass Observation, working-class writing, news and documentary, stereotyping and representation, humour and comedy, creativity and cultural production, media and memory, conceptual history and historical hermeneutics. I have also written extensively on research methodology, including a co-edited collection on research methods in memory studies. I have published nineteen books as author or editor, and written over one hundred journal articles and chapters in edited collections.
In an age when nostalgia is omnipresent in the media, entertainment industries, and even in presidential elections, I feel compelled to understand the histories behind it. As a musician and musicologist, I find that music is central to many of those collective, urban, and popular displays of nostalgia. Yet, what constitutes musical nostalgia remains elusive and unstable. At best, “nostalgia” is a vaguely-used term when applied to music, as its meaning can change from ear to ear. My interest is therefore in the political, economic, and social forces that affect the collective reception of some types of sounds and musics as nostalgic in specific historical moments, especially when these forces reveal the discontinuities between various musical, social, and political milieus.
Tristan Paré-Morin is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). He holds a B.Mus. in music history and music theory from McGill University (Canada). His research is centered on the relationships between art music and various genres of popular music and media (especially film, musical theater, and literature) in France and in America, mainly between the two World Wars. His dissertation explores the ways nostalgia was experienced and cultivated collectively in a variety of sonic and musical activities in the Parisian public sphere of 1920, and how these activities intersected with civic life, politics, urbanism, and nationalism.
- contact: tpare (at) sas.upenn.edu
Belonging to the generation who has had the opportunity to see the both worlds, my interest in nostalgia and notably Yugonostalgia comes from the deep personal need of understanding what has happened to Yugoslavia and how are we dealing with the Yugoslav identity today. Wishing the overcome the revisionist narratives of the official politics of memory, and the banalizing public discourse about the “transition losers”, I’ve decided to research a specific generation – the generation of last pioneers and to identify the subersive potential(s) of nostalgia.
Milica Popovic is a PhD student in Balkan studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, under the mentorship of prof. Mitja Velikonja and co-mentorship of prof. Jacques Rupnik at Sciences Po Paris. She has a Master degree in Political Sciences from the University Paris 2 Pantheon Assas, while her bachelor degree in law was obtained at the University of Belgrade. Her research focus are issues of post socialist transitions and memory studies, notably issue of nostalgia in post socialist ex Yugoslav countries. Milica works as a freelance consultant on higher education issues and also is executive editor of the edition of Le Monde Diplomatique in Serbia and regularly publishes scientific articles and essays on the Balkans (Život umjetnosti, Etudes balkaniques, Fondation Jean Jaures, Peščanik, Zarez etc.), She lives between Belgrade, Ljubljana and Paris.
- contact: milica.popovic (at) sciencespo.fr
I am mostly interested in the aesthetics and experience of nostalgia, or what Fred Davis terms “a distinctive aesthetic modality in its own right”. I commenced research on nostalgic style in my Ph.D. dissertation from University of Edinburgh, Towards a Poetics of Nostalgia: The Nostalgic Experience in Modern Fiction (2012). An important aspect of nostalgic aesthetics is how media operate within multimodal and cross-sensorial categories in order to trigger nostalgic impulses in media receivers. I am also elaborating on the very definition and taxonomy of nostalgia, differentiating it from memory, dividing it into emotion and mood, and relating it to existential angst.
Niklas Salmose is Associate Professor of English Literature at Linnaeus University, Sweden, and member of the Linnaeus University Center for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies (IMS). He is currently part of the Nordic project “Nostalgia in Contemporary European Culture” financed by The Swedish Research Council. He is currently editing a special issue on contemporary nostalgia for the journal Humanities.
Linda Hutcheon (2000), writing about nostalgia, felt the need to confess: ‘I am utterly un-nostalgic […] a personality fault to which I must admit’. By contrast, I confess: I am a nostalgic, and I am a daydreamer. Intellectually, it was via an original fascination with utopia that I stumbled upon nostalgia. If utopia was relatively absent in the twenty-first century, as so many of the theorists I was drawn to claimed, nostalgia seemed to be everywhere. More than just a personal predilection, then, I started to engage with nostalgia as a cultural phenomenon. Were my own leanings in fact connected with ‘little daydreams’ (Ernst Bloch) being harboured by film enthusiasts, TV obsessives, readers and bloggers far and wide? Millions of tiny lights flickering to a tune that was just slightly off-kilter, not entirely contemporary with the lived moment? I also wondered how this nostalgic longing that seemed to permeate American popular culture connected with the bigger question that consumed me: where had utopia gone? Was it stuck somewhere in the past, where it could be re-lived only in endless media repetitions? And if so, what did that mean for the future? It was out of an attempt to make sense of some of these questions that my PhD emerged, in which I draw on Ernst Bloch to look anew at what Fredric Jameson calls the ‘nostalgia mode’ in contemporary American literature and culture.
Dr Nicola Sayers recently completed her PhD at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is now working on her first book, The Promise of Nostalgia: Reminiscence, Longing and Hope in Contemporary American Literature and Culture. More broadly, her research is concerned with bringing the work of various Frankfurt School theorists to bear in our understanding of contemporary literature and culture, and is focused especially on questions of nostalgia, memory, hope and utopia.
Besides more theoretical sociological interests, I am ardently interested in contemporary Western retro-culture and its sociological and cultural ramifications and consequences. It is my thesis that nostalgia plays an important part among other salient sensibilities in a contemporary popular culture which seems compulsively occupied with its own recent past. In recent work I have investigated into how nostalgia mixes with ironic or genuine appreciations of past cultural forms.
I am especially attentive to the collective side to nostalgic phenomena. This should be understood in a very concrete sense: Cultivating nostalgic sentiment generates collective bonds; the relation to the nostalgic object is (almost) always animated by collective ritual. I have analyzed these social and ritual aspects with a special regard to the question of mediation: Nostalgic objects may work as collective mediators holding together intimate and interactionist relations or more extended and anonymous collectives.
Bjørn Schiermer currently holds a position as Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at Erfurt University. He gained his PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Department of Sociology in 2010. He has published numerous papers in the area of theoretical sociology and sociology of culture. For recent publications centered wholly or partly on the phenomenon of nostalgia.
- contact: bjornsa(at)gmail(dot)com
Dominik Schrey is a research associate at the German Department of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In the last years, he also held teaching assignments at the University of Usti nad Labem (CZ) and the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. For the fall term 2011, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Harvard University PhD Program in Film and Visual Studies, supported by a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Currently, he is working on finishing his PhD thesis on “Analog Nostalgia in Digital Media Culture” (supervised by Prof. Andreas Böhn, KIT, and Prof. Jens Schröter, Univesität Bonn). His research interests include media theory, media history and the wider field of memory studies.
- contact: dominik.schrey (at) kit.edu
more details coming soon
My interest in nostalgia emerged from my work on issues of seriality and on concepts and cultural practices of memory at the crossroads of cultural studies and the cognitive sciences. Phenomena of nostalgia and processes of memory share a dimension of seriality; that is, both work by ways of repetition and difference. Yet how can we distinguish nostalgia from other modes of memory? This is one of the questions I currently pursue as a member and spokesperson of an interdisciplinary group of scholars collaborating at the Zentrum für Kulturwissenschaft|Cultural Studies, University of Bonn (www.nostalgie-uni-bonn.de). Our research project “Nostalgia: Time-Spaces, Affects, Commodity Culture” aims to account for the history of nostalgia’s shifting forms and functions, to define a clear conceptual framework for the term, and to clarify its relation to ‘retro.’ How do time-spaces we deem ‘nostalgic’ emerge? How do forms and functions of nostalgia transform over time? How do retro aesthetics shape affects? And what role do media of reproduction play for the affinity of nostalgia and consumption? Nostalgic practices, we hold, make analytical inroads into fundamental processes of modernity and into a resistance against modernization – an argument laid out in our forthcoming essay collection Nostalgia: Imagined Time-Spaces in Global Media Cultures (ed. Sielke 2017).
Sabine Sielke is Professor and Chair of North American Literature and Culture, Director of the North American Studies Program and the German-Canadian Centre, as well as spokesperson of the “Zentrum für Kulturwissenschaft/Cultural Studies” at the University of Bonn. Her publications include Fashioning the Female Subject (1997) and Reading Rape (2002), 120 essays and book chapters, and 18 (co-)edited volumes, among them Knowledge Landscapes North America (2016) and American Studies Today: New Research Agendas (2014). Currently, she is working on projects on nostalgia, ecologies of knowledge, and issues at the crossroads of cultural studies and the sciences.
- contact: ssielke (at) nap-uni-bonn.de
Although my primary research focus is more on the side of Television as a medium of (Trans)Cultural Memory, I came to realize over the last few months that nostalgia is, in many aspects, is very closely connected to this larger field. In this context, I am fascinated by the multitude of ways in which nostalgia has been and is used as a particular mode of audience engagement within the medium of televsion. Arguably, such modes of engagement are nothing new, since TV has always offered a window into the past that allowed us to escape the present. I see current TV shows – ranging from HBO’s Stranger Things to Netflix’ Narcos and Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, just to name a few – as continuing in and re-combining elements of this trend. And this is what I’m currently deeply invested in.
Tobias Steiner is a part-time PhD candidate at Universität Hamburg’s Department of English and American Studies. His PhD project (working title: “Complex TV’s (Hi)Stories of Transnational Pasts: U.S. Period Drama as Medium of Cultural Memory”) focuses on an integration of the televisual medium into the context of Cultural Memory Studies through an analysis of US-American television series. Parallel to that, he works as a research fellow at Universität Hamburg’s Universitätskolleg. Tobias currently also acts as postgraduate representative of ECREA’s Television Studies section and is enthusiastic about all things Complex television, both as a fan and a Cultural Studies-focused academic. He has published essays in journals and edited collections, with topics ranging from the discursive construction of authorship in Quality TV, to the transcultural circulation of television format pilots (currently in pre-publication stage).
- contact: steiner.tvstudies (at) gmail.com
Having worked as an archaeologist in Greece for a decade, nostalgia has been one of the core issues that have concerned me. The love for the ruined monuments and the anguish of re-creating an ideal past is part of Greek people’s idiosyncrasy, especially in an era of major worldwide social crisis that fosters the decline of cultural values. Nostalgia also came up during my doctoral research in Holocaust Museums. Initially, as I was researching the transmediation of memory from discourse to architecture, I realised that a common design element of the cases I was studying was the descent to a dark underground space, which constitutes a symbol of the descensus ad inferos (Nekyia), a metaphor of the bowels of the underworld, where, according to Jung, within the belly of the unconscious, the visitor makes contact with his ancestors and retrieves individual and cultural creation myths. As a result, he becomes a pilgrim who moves unrestricted through the boundless time- space continuum and, as Betsy Hall wrote, engages in a threefold meaningful and promising process of descent, dis-memberment and re-membrance. In fact, during the analysis of bodily and emotional reactions to architecture, visitors from Jewish Diaspora countries and Israeli descendants of survivors expressed a sense of restoring continuity and connection with their predecessors, and experienced their fragility. Such results certify the architect’s intensions- like Libeskind stated, he wanted his buildings to evoke a “spiritual and cultural longing”- and, accordingly, ascertain a close relationship between nostalgia and memory construction.
Xenia Tsiftsi (born 1985) is a Greek archaeologist and art historian, with experience both in field archaeology and in monument reconstruction and restoration. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies and a Master of Architecture in Design, Space and Culture. Currently, she is a PhD researcher and Teaching Assistant at the School of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens. Her research interests lie in politics of shaping collective memory and national/ community identity through the bodily experience of space. The particular focus of her research is on Holocaust memory construction through museum architecture across European countries. Her most recent publication is: ‘The Holocaust Metanarrative: from discourse to architecture’ in the “TRANSMEDIATING CULTURE(S)?” Special Issue of the Open Cultural Studies Journal (De Gruyter, 2017). She is also a member of the Memory Studies Association.
- Contact: xeniats85(at)hotmail(dot)com
My interest in nostalgia is part of a broader fascination with the function of visual media in transmitting notions about the past in contemporary Russia. How and to what ends do various societal actors, from political elites and religious organisations to filmmakers and artists, mobilise cultural memory? How are they employing visual materials (photographs, documentary footage, Soviet feature film) to tap into feelings of nostalgia? I explore the relation between intermediaries of memory and the senses in my next research project, provisionally entitled “Sourcing the Past, Mediating Experience: Recording, Recollections, and Relics of the Soviet Past in Post-Soviet Memory Culture”. Adopting a crossmedial, transnational approach, I examine the widespread artistic practice of using “documents” – media that have captured a moment in history in image, memory or material – in works that explore the Soviet past and its lasting impact on society in the Baltics, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Proceeding from the concepts of remediation and affect, I theorise how artists engage with their documentary source material and audiences, including the implicit and explicit ways the senses are engaged to evoke and transfer memory.
Mariëlle Wijermars is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen and, from September 2016, Lecturer in East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She received her Masters in Slavic Languages and Cultures (2012, cum laude) and International Relations (2010) from the University of Groningen. She recently finished her dissertation, entitled “Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia: Television, Cinema and the State”. The research examines the mobilisation of cultural memory to legitimise, question or challenge the political regime in contemporary Russia. It uses the concept of remediation to demonstrate how the state has relied upon memories with rich histories to portray itself as traditional. On the basis of extensive television and cinema analyses, it argues that the accumulated meaning of these memories, however, greatly increases their subversive potential, providing access points for formulating historically framed political critique.
- contact: wijermarsmarielle (at) gmail.com
My research on nostalgia flows from a longstanding interest in self-conscious emotions, in particular their vividness
Tim Wildschut is associate professor of psychology at the University of Southampton. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His main research interest is in self-conscious emotions, in particular nostalgia.
- contact: R.T.Wildschut (at) soton.ac.uk
I’m interested in the intersection between nostalgia and popular culture, particularly in relation to screen and internet cultures. My PhD topic looked at recut film trailers—user-generated trailers that mash together footage from one or more existing sources to create a trailer for a film that won’t exist—through the lenses of anticipation and nostalgia. Since completing my PhD, I’ve been developing this interest in nostalgia in a number of ways. Firstly, through nostalgia for videotape and video stores, and more broadly through a project on media waste and memory. I am also developing my work on nostalgia in relation to online teen communities and publications.
Kathleen Williams is a lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Her research looks at the unintended or unexpected uses of media technologies, including the degradation and reevaluation of media objects.
- contact: kathleen.williams (at) utas.edu.au
Remembering all the things I used to do on a rainy Sunday 15 years ago makes me feel nostalgic. I used to “hang out” with my friends named Super Mario, Link, or Yoshi and if I was not allowed to do so, I decided to hang out with Simba, Son Goku, and Disney’s Gummi Bears. Today, these media heroes remind me of who I was and what was meaningful for me as a person with all the dreams I held back then. In my research I want to investigate how media (content) as some kind of artifact can provide human beings with meaning, reminding them who they were back in the past, and how this is related to the somehow ambivalent feeling of nostalgia.
Tim Wulf (born 1990) is associated researcher at the Professorship for Media- and Communication Psychology at the University of Cologne and research assistant at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the University of Mannheim, Germany. He holds a Master in Media Culture and Media Psychology (University of Cologne). His research interests are the psychological mechanisms and effects of nostalgia in a media context. What media characteristics affect their ability to function as artifact to elicit nostalgia and how do people psychologically benefit of nostalgia being elicited through media consumption?
- contact: wulf.tim (at) googlemail.com