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Transnational Radio Encounters

September 10, 2013

I am delighted to announce that as of September 1, 2013 I am now officially once more connected to Utrecht University, as a partner in an international consortium that has been awarded funding by HERA for a three-year, Eur 1m, collaborative research project, Transnational Radio Encounters (TRE) submitted under the support and guidance of Professor Sonja de Leeuw in Utrecht.

The consortium is led by Prof. Dr. Golo Föllmer, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and includes researchers from the Universities of Århus and Copenhagen in Denmark, Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the University of Sunderland and London Metropolitan University.

TRE aims to investigate, from both a historical and contemporary perspective, the social, political and aesthetic dimensions of radio’s role in constructing national, European and minority identities through trans-border communication and transnational encounters. Six independent projects will share a dialogue that brings together a range of approaches to media studies from different national backgrounds.

Co-ordinating with scholars in Germany and Denmark, and drawing of course on links in France, I will undertake a project exploring the role of international radio services in the transnational construction of European identities.  Paying specific attention to the shifting role and imagined audiences of international radio services, the project will explore the technological, personal, and sonic strategies involved in creating transnational spaces on the world stage.

An important theme will be Archive & Cultural Memory, investigating how broadcasting archives have been used in transnational radio encounters and have become central to the practice of national cultural memory. To this end, seven leading European institutions of radio broadcasting and archiving, including the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, are supporting TRE as Associated Partners.

TRE’s outcomes will contribute to

–       Broadcasting policy, providing a catalogue of suggestions and scenarios for the future development of radio/auditory services within a framework of public service media and community radio.

–       Research practice, offering an open access web resource for researchers including knowledge base and a set of tested conceptual and technological tools for aesthetic analysis of radio, involving comparative, experimental and digital paradigms

–       Software development, creating a platform for handling exchange of archival radio material and metadata between archives and researchers

–       Archive practice: suggestions for best practice for transnational collaborations in archiving and dissemination of radio

–       Rights management, mapping local situations concerning research access to written material and archived sound and experimenting with these in a transnational setting.

Summing up the project’s contribution Professor Föllmer says: “TRE will place radio research within contemporary discussions about migration, cultural identities, encounters and memories, generating new knowledge about the meaning of radio in the age of globalization and digitization. We hope the project will sustain the development of radio for stronger and more inclusive civil societies, and contribute to the ongoing investigation of cultural heritage and rights in a digital age.”

Utrecht will be responsible for IP4: International Services between expatriates, empire and education, which focuses on radio services of nations designed for reception beyond national boundaries. The IP will compare international services of European nations from a range of sizes, as well as varying positions as (former) colonial and geopolitical powers, and examine how they interact with each other in constructing concepts such as European-ness and ‘whiteness’ (Arrow 2007) in addition to national identity. These will include the the Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, as well as Denmark’s Greenlandic Radio Corporation, Kalaallit Nunaata Radio.

A project website will be coming soon – and of course stay tuned here for details…

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