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Att projicera det förflutna: Historiebruk och historieförmedling i svensk skolfilm 1970–2000 utifrån de regionala AV-centralernas utbud
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Projecting the past : Use and mediation of history in Swedish educational films 1970-2000 (English)
Abstract [en]

Karlsson, Martin; Att projicera det förflutna. Historiebruk och historieförmedling i svensk skolfilm 1970–2000 utifrån de regionala AV-centralernas utbud

[Projecting the past: Use and mediation of history in Swedish educational films 1970-2000]

Department of Humanities, Mid Sweden University, SE-871 88 Härnösand, Sweden

ISBN 978-91-974902-8-8

Swedish text with a summary in English

 

This dissertation analyses a significant element of Swedish historical culture, namely how history was used, communicated and (re)constructed in films with historical themes, available to Swedish schools from 1970 to 2000. Another important purpose is to analyze the debate among teachers and educators that preceded the large scale use of film in Swedish schools in the 1970s that followed the establishment of the large regional audio-visual centers (Läns AV-centraler). The main material for this thesis consists of   historical films of Swedish film centers, tasked with supplying schools with educational films, the majority of which are educational or documentary films. At this time these film centers, in particular the larger regional ones, were the main legitimate suppliers of educational films to Swedish schools, which make these films vital to study, considering their potential impact on Swedish school pupils as well as their role in historical culture in general. How history is depicted in these films is also contrasted against the in which teachers and educators envisaged that films would be used in schools before the establishment of the large regional film centers in the 1970s. How these visions of the potential of the medium contrast with actuality, here represented by how history is portrayed in the analyzed historical films, constitutes an important part of the study.

 

On a theoretical level, I regard these educational films as products (or artifacts) of a historical culture that should be viewed as related to various institutional and societal frameworks or contexts, including the way in which history is used and communicated for various individual and societal purposes. The main focus of this dissertation is centered on four different themes or areas, namely the Holocaust, the Roman Empire, the Industrial Revolution (and, to a lesser extent, industrialization and modern industrialized society in general) and the portrayal of the early modern Swedish King (and national father figure) Gustavus Vasa. The shifting portrayal of these subjects during the 30-year-period is analyzed in detail and contrasted against the portrayal of history in the analyzed educational films as a whole during the time period in question. This qualitative analysis is complemented by a quantitative overview of the material, primarily focusing on what themes, time periods and geographical areas that are emphasized (or deemphasized) in the material as a whole.

 

One important conclusion is that the portrayal of the past shifts from a seemingly objective one that focuses on large societal structures and movements to a more ideologically colored depiction, to a great extent is centered on individuals. The type of historical films available to teachers goes through a substantial change during the examined time period. For the first twenty years, almost all the examined films are produced with an expressly educational intent, but during the final decade of the 20th century however, an increasing number of films, originally produced for other purposes, such as television, become available from the regional film centers.

Another important conclusion is thus that historical culture and historical artifacts cannot necessarily be understood and analyzed merely in a narrow chronological perspective that does not take into account that old artifacts may live on in a historical culture well beyond the year they were produced. Organizations that mediate history may function as agents of change (by introducing or distributing new artifacts of historical culture) while simultaneously encouraging stability and continuity concerning how history is conveyed in the long term.

 

Keywords: Historical culture, uses of history, history and film, history didactics, historical consciousness, 1970–2000, history and media, the Holocaust, the Industrial revolution, educational history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Sisyfos förlag , 2011. , 331 p.
Keyword [en]
Historical culture, uses of history, history and film, history didactics, historical consciousness, 1970–2000, history and media, the Holocaust, the Industrial revolution, educational history.
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-13735ISBN: 978-91-974902-8-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-13735DiVA: diva2:414482
Public defence
2011-05-28, Olof Högberg-salen, Härnösand, 12:54 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-05-04 Created: 2011-05-03 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved

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