FAVz028 Globalizing Postsocialist Media and Cultural Politics

Filozofická fakulta
podzim 2011
0/0/0. 5 kr. Doporučované ukončení: k. Jiná možná ukončení: zk.
Aniko Imre (přednášející)
Mgr. et Mgr. Marie Barešová, Ph.D. (pomocník)
Mgr. Šimon Bauer (pomocník)
doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D. (náhr. zkoušející)
doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D.
Ústav filmu a audiovizuální kultury - Filozofická fakulta
Kontaktní osoba: doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D.
Omezení zápisu do předmětu
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Předmět si smí zapsat nejvýše 120 stud.
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Mateřské obory/plány
předmět má 15 mateřských oborů, zobrazit
Cíle předmětu
Understand and explain key principles of East-European media culture.
  • This lecture series tracks the “New Europe’s” transition from state-controlled, relatively isolated national media systems to a progressively integrated European media sphere permeated by processes of globalization and media convergence. Such a transition, characterized by geographically uneven processes of democratization, marketization, the transformation of state institutions and civic nation-building within the region, has also been fuelled by the staggered enlargement of the European Union. Consequently, the nations of Eastern Europe provide prime opportunities to examine the complex interactions among economic and funding systems, regulatory policies, globalization, imperialism, popular culture, and cultural identity.
  • 1. TV studies vis-a-vis Eastern Europe Television’s transformation has been especially spectacular, shifting from a state-controlled broadcast system delivering national, regional, and heavily filtered Western programming to a deregulated, multi-platform, transnational system delivering predominantly American and Western European entertainment programming. These changes have channeled the study of media in what used to be Eastern Europe in two main directions: One continues to focus on art films made by auteurs that represent specific national cultures on the festival circuit. While this approach has recently broadened to include issues of industry and popular films, it still carries the legacy of the Cold War and remains to be circumscribed by a cinema, language and area-studies framework that legitimates national high culture. The other one is a communications studies approach that tracks institutional changes and regulation patterns but is fixated on the postsocialist transformations and occludes older historical formations. As we will discuss, the two directions converge in that both are informed by normative perspectives that continue to regard popular television entertainment by definition inferior to national public service broadcasting and hold a homogenizing view of national viewing publics. The session examines how Eastern European television studies has begun to emerge in the intersections and cracks between these two main approaches.
  • 2. Genre cinema during and after socialism (e.g. Westerns) This session considers the popular register of socialist and postsocialist East European film cultures, which has received little attention so far. It explores the complex and often contradictory functions that media entertainment performed for and within socialist nationalisms. We will look at both imported and domestically produced Westerns, comedies, horrors, historical epics and even science fiction films produced in the post-1950s period of ideological thawing. The session will demonstrate that media entertainment, while intended to support top-down, nationalistic pedagogies of the state, often gave expression to officially unspeakable or illegitimate identifications. Furthermore, rather than art films, which have been confined to and confirmed the “national cinema” approach in studies of East European film, genre films make visible extensive cross-border routes of production, distribution and aesthetic expression, which necessitate a thorough revision of Cold War historiographies of film and television.
  • 3. Children's media and postsocialist nostalgia If there is a single dominant structure of feeling that has characterized the second decade of the postsocialist transition, it is nostalgia. Throughout the region, nostalgia has become a crucial vehicle of releasing long-suppressed emotions and fantasies and processing communist memories, which mingle and interact with consumerist fantasies introduced by global media culture, creating what Appadurai famously called “communities of sentiment.” This session will examine how children’s media has become the preferred carrier of postsocialist nostalgia, and the model of an alternative to a fully commercialized media ecology. The session will zoom in on the connections between socialist media culture and animation, the production, aesthetic features and regional circulation of specific series (such as, most famously, Krtek) during both socialism and postsocialism, and the effects of media globalization on children’s media industries.
  • 4. Postcoloniality and regional media This session makes a case for the indispensability of postcolonial discourses in order to understand the role of nationalism and the nation state in shaping Eastern European media cultures and infrastructures. The greatest potential advantage of this encounter is postcolonial theories’ thorough and systematic interlacing of the experience of external oppression with internal repression; that is, of the political-economic and the subjective-psychological experiences of colonialism. Conversely, Eastern Europe has much to contribute to postcolonial thinking in this regard, not despite but because of its oblique and complex participation in the racist and heterosexist paradigms of imperialism and colonization (as it has taken on the roles of both colonizer and colonized). We will discuss how films and other audiovisual media have been crucial means of representation and mediation on these fronts, both in support of nationalism and, more importantly, in weaving regional patterns of exchange that contest national divisions.
  • 5. Popular socialist television edutainment Television in socialist countries necessarily had an educational purpose since its inception in the late 1950s, and particularly after television became widely accessible in the 1960s. TV’s pedagogical mission, driven as much by communist ideology as by a nationalistic investment in high modernist culture, manifested itself across a range of programming, from “school TV” in the classrooms and homes through an abundance of cultural and political magazines and news shows to educational game and quiz shows. The tension between the state’s paternalistic, top-down imperative to educate a docile and homogeneous national audience and television’s positioning as a home-based medium of family entertainment resulted in curious hybrid edutainment programs specific to the socialist period. We will take a closer look at a cluster of programs from the 1960s-80s that successfully reconciled television’s double bind. The discussion will set in relief the specificities of socialist edutainment in comparison with Western European public service broadcasting and American commercial television.
  • 6. LGTB media activism and popular media Global popular media have played an increasingly crucial role in disseminating non-normative models of gender and sexuality. American premium cable programs such as The L Word, Gossip Girl and Sex and the City, along with network shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Desperate Housewives, have allowed for queer identifications within the mainstream and broadened the social and political platform for the legitimization of homosexuality. While these shows are available in the postsocialist region, they have generally failed to undermine the heteronormative status quo and remained disconnected from emerging feminist and LGTB activism. Postsocialist television still tends to feature LGTB people as freaks. Feature films from the region that have also taken up the “gay theme” are almost always ambivalent affairs, in which homosexuality is featured as a sensationalist spectacle. Particularly in films about lesbians such as the Romanian hit Love Sick (Tudor Giorghiu, 2006), the Slovenian film Guardian of the Frontier (Maja Weiss, 2002), and the Hungarian Paper Planes (Simon Szabó, 2009), young, beautiful girls who are led astray are typically punished at the end; and lesbianism is sublimated into an allegorical message about the nation. In films such as these, female-to-female eroticism is fetishized and isolated from LGTB theorizing and organizing – although this ghostly possibility is always inadvertently evoked. The twofold goal of this session is to assess how emerging pockets of LGTB activism draw on global popular media and to test the transferability of models of LGTB politics outside of the Anglo-American context.
  • Hartley, John. “Democratainment.” In The Television Studies Reader, edited by Robert C. Allen and Annette Hill, pp. 524-533. London: Routledge, 2004.
  • Bhabha, Homi K. “DissemiNation: Time, Narrative and the Margins of the Modern Nation.” In The Location of Culture, by Bhabha, pp. 139-170. New York: Routledge, 1994.
  • Mihelj, Sabina. “Television Entertainment in Socialist Eastern Europe: Between Cold War Politics and Global Developments.” Forthcoming in Imre, Havens and Lustyik, Television Entertainment in Eastern and Southern Europe. Routledge, 2012.
  • Lustyik, Katalin. 2006. “Going Global? Children’s Television in Transition in Central-Eastern Europe.” In European Film and Media Culture. Edited by Hojbjerg, Lennard and Henrik Sondergaard. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen.
  • Václav Štětka, “Globalization, Reality TV and Cultural Inclusion: The Case of the 2005 Czech Search for Superstar,” EastBound 2009, no. 1 (2009): 1-20. http://eastbound.eu/2009/stetka
  • Waisbord, Silvio. “McTV: Understanding the global popularity of television formats.” Television and New Media, 5 (4): 359-383, 2004.
  • Bach, Jonathan. “The Taste Remains: Consumption, (N)ostalgia, and the Production of East Germany.” Public Culture 14.3 (2002)
  • Huyssen, Andreas. “Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia.” Public Culture 12.1 (Winter 2000): 21-38.
  • Imre, Aniko. “Lesbian Nationalism.” Signs 33.2, 2008.
  • Wolff, Larry. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994.
    doporučená literatura
  • Imre, Aniko. Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 2009.
Výukové metody
Metody hodnocení
Written test.
Vyučovací jazyk
Informace učitele

room C34
Nov. 14-16
Mo 14.10 – 17.25 (with a break in the middle)
Tu 12.30–15.45 (with a break in the middle)
We 12.30–15.45 (with a break in the middle)
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Studijní materiály
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