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Project Paletschek/Rüdiger

Representations of the 1950s in the Television of the Federal Republic of Germany between 1959 and 2009


The project examines the representation of the lifeworld of the 1950s in different German television formats from the 1970s until today. It analyses the (changing) image of the 1950s constructed by mass medium television through documentaries and semi-documentaries. This also entails an examination of how history is mediated through television in comparison to and in interaction with other media such as magazines, books, radio, exhibitions, museums, etc. Thus, an analysis of the importance of television for the mediation of popular history knowledge and the construction of conceptions of history will serve as a case study. The examination will also cover recent semi-documentary and semi-fictional formats - such as historical docu-soaps. The history broadcasts on television can be seen as part of the wavelike revivals of the 1950s which have been apparent since the 1970s. The project therefore examines the function this revival had in terms of identity formation and the role television has taken on in this process.

Project Director: Sylvia Paletschek (Modern History)
Assistants: Mark Rüdiger (Modern History); Student Assistants: Christa Klein and Melanie Fritscher

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