History, Heritage and Archives: Media (and) History

Date & Time:

19th May, 16:00


Online event; the link will be emailed to those who sign up.


History, Heritage and Archives: Media (and) history
Eugen Pfister (University of Vienna) &Nick Hall (Royal Holloway University of London)

Eugen Pfister (University of Vienna) Why History in Digital Games Matters // Historical Authenticity as a Language for Ideological Myths

Some of the best-selling digital games of our times have a historical setting. Many of these are advertised with historical authenticity — ’History sells’. There seems to be an ongoing demand for historical content. This realization itself is not new. One question that has rarely been asked so far, however, is the question of the cause for this persistent demand. Why are we looking for accurate and/or authentic accounts of our shared past?

Nick Hall (Royal Holloway University of London) Rigged against them: women camera operators in the BBC during the 1970s and 1980s

In the early 1970s, in response to pressure from trade unions and women’s groups, and a damning report that exposed ingrained occupational sex segregation and discriminatory attitudes and practices towards female employees and job applicants, the BBC announced it would accept the employment of women in occupations previously reserved for men.

This paper examines the experiences of women working as BBC film and television camera operators following the removal of the gender barrier. It draws upon public and private archives, and new oral history interviews with three former BBC women camera operators, to assess the extent to which the Corporation’s commitment to equality brought about sustained change to women’s opportunities in technical areas of television.

The paper will demonstrate that during the 1970s and 1980s, women’s employment in camera roles continued to be restricted through changes to the minimum education requirements. In addition, a traditionally masculinist work culture, and structural constraints that inhibited the careers of working mothers, had the effect of further entrenching the equation of technical skill with masculine labour. This paper is based on work carried out jointly with Dr Jeannine Baker (University of Woollongong).

About the speakers:

Eugen Pfister is a historian and political scientist. He leads the SNF-Ambizione research project “Horror – Game – Politics” at the Hochschule der Künste Bern – HKB (hgp.hypotheses.org). Born 1980 in Vienna, he studied History and Political Sciences at the University of Vienna and the Université Paris IV – Sorbonne. He wrote his PhD thesis in co-tutelle at the Universita degli studi di Trento and at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. He is a founding Member of the research group “Geschichtswissenschaft und Digitale Spiele” (gespielt.hypotheses.org).

Nick Hall is lecturer in film and television studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. His books include The Zoom: Drama at the Touch of a Lever (Rutgers University Press, 2018) and Hands on Media History: A New Methodology in the Arts and Social Sciences (Routledge, 2019 – co-edited with John Ellis). He has also published on the history of documentary film production in regional television and the television work of Robert Altman.