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Commission, Position and Production: An Investigation into the construction of memories through documentary film production - SACI0009

Project Description


Collective memory, a term defined by Hugo Van Hofmannsthal in 1902, is a version of the past, crafted by a community to aid their perceptions of themselves. Not surprisingly, work on collective memory studies acknowledges, and is concerned with the role played by the media in constructing memory. Like film, collective memory is narrational in its construction, and needs to be told as a story, which has resonance to how film makers themselves build versions of an event, or past, and craft it into a story for further dissemination.

Collective memory and television artifacts are similar as: ’in both fields the final outcomes/products that are probed by scholars are the result of processes of selection and construction’ (On Media Memory: Editors’ Introduction, p6). In other words, collective memory construction, and documentary production share common practices in order to ’narrate’ a story or event. This includes including and excluding certain elements/testimony, pacing the delivery, and, commonly, including moral judgments, social comments, and aids to understanding.

Applications from part-time and full-time self-funded students who wish to further consider how documentary constructs a collective memory are welcomed. PhDs by Practice are particularly encouraged.

Academic qualifications:
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in any subject with a good fundamental knowledge of film theory and documentary practice.

English language requirement:
IEL TS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available on line.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental aspects of documentary production
• Competent in textual and cultural analysis
• Knowledge of film theory
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Experience of making a documentary.

When applying for this position please quote project code SACI0009

Funding Notes

This PhD opportunity is for self-funded students only.


Ashuri T (2007) Television tension: national versus cosmopolitan memory in a co-produced television documentary. In: Media, Culture, Society 29 (1): pp. 31-51.
Assmann J (1995) Collective memory and cultural identity. In: New German Critique 65: pp.125-133. Halbwachs M (1992) On Collective Memory. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Martin-Jones D (2010) Islands at the Edge of History: landscape and the past in recent Scottish-Gaelic films. In: lordanova D. Martin-Jones D, Vidal B (eds) Cinema at the Periphery (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Television Series Detroit: US: Wayne State University Press.
Neiger M, Meyers O and Zandbert E (2011) On Media Memory: Collective Memory in a New Media Age. UK, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.

How good is research at Edinburgh Napier University in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 7.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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