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Research News

Re-Connecting Children with Water Histories: Memory And Media Archives

On the 22nd of March, the Centre hosted Joanne Garde-Hansen (University of Warwick) and Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham), who shared early results of their new research project on the intersections between broadcasting and flood histories.

The project explores how the history of water events can be mapped onto the history of broadcasting in the UK, and what this might offer our understanding of the relationship between broadcasting and an environmental consciousness, or a “watery sense of place.” In particular, the project is interested in how children are situated and addressed within these discourses, and how material from media archives might help us understand how children have historically been positioned as environmental agents, and how this relates to current sustainability communication and education.

The workshop was designed to share the early results of scoping research and to identify priorities, questions and potential impacts of a future research project on children and flood/drought/water histories. Participants at the workshop included Owain Jones (Bath Spa University), Lindsey McEwen (University of the West of England), Joao Porto De Albuquerque (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, Warwick), Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick), Ifor Duncan (Goldsmiths), Amanda Bingley (Lancaster University), Laura Gottelier (Environmental Agency), and Zoë Shacklock (University of Warwick).

Early scoping research undertaken at the BBC written archives has found a rich array of material on the relationship between children, floods, and broadcasting, pertaining to programming, correspondence and media governance. The group discussed these findings with relation to questions of temporality, national identity, storytelling, and children’s sense of an environmental consciousness. The workshop raised a number of interesting research questions with regard to communicating risk to children, questions of intergenerational memory and community, and how archival material might be a tool to empower children (and adults) in contemporary flood discourses.

The Centre goes to the Warwick Words festival
Warwick Words Audience
Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley spoke on their research into the history of children's television in Britain at the Warwick Words festival at the Friends Meeting House on Saturday 7th of November. Helen gave an overview of the early history of children's television in Britain and the Centre's collaboration with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, whilst Rachel previewed work from her new book Handmade Television: Stop-Frame Animation for Children in Britain, 1961-1974. They greatly enjoyed discussing people's memories of children's television with the audience and the lively discussion that followed about the importance of protecing children's culture at a time of BBC Charter renewal.

The Centre holds the Story of Children's Television International Conference, July 6-7 2015

Accompanying the major exhibition ‘The Story of Children’s Television, 1946 to the Present Day’, this conference (organised by the Centre's Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley, and Amy Holdsworth of the University of Glasgow) combined discussion of the history of children’s programming with analysis and reflection on the current landscape of children’s television and its future. Papers at the conference acknowledged and analysed the significance of children’s programming in the broader context of television production, discussed its production as both a creative process and a business enterprise, and reflected on the place of children’s television in the broader history of the medium. Panels and papers also discussed the genre in relation to notions of cultural heritage, collective remembering and nostalgia, and considered the impact of change on the production and circulation of children’s television, and viewing practices and the particular issues raised by studying the child viewer. Our keynote speakers were Dafna Lemish (Southern Illinois University) and Karen Lury (University of Glasgow). Members of our industry round table were: Sara Harkins (Head of Children's, BBC Scotland), Jenny Buckland (Australian Children's Media Foundation), Estelle Hughes (Roobydoo Media), and Jenny Buckland (Children's Media Foundation). A full timetable can be found here.

The Story of Children's Television, 1946 to the Present Day opens at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

The exhibition The Story of Children's Television, 1946 to the Present Day opened at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry on the 22nd May and runs until the 15th of September. Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley have collaborated with curators Ali Wells and Huw Jones at the Herbert on the exhibition which traces the history of children’s television, bringing together seven decades of iconic objects, memorabilia, merchandise, clips and images. From puppetry to CGI and live shows to dramas and fantasy, the exhibition encourages visitors to share their memories of children's TV. Rachel and Helen are working with Dr. Amy Holdsworth of the University of Glasgow on a research project at the exhibition which looks at how children’s television culture is a privileged site of memory and nostalgia, and what the role of the museum is in producing narratives of and public engagement with media history. Following its opening stint at the Herbert in Coventry, the exhibition will tour the UK until 2018. The exhibition has attracted unprecedented crowds to the Herbert.

Click here for further information from the Herbert's website about the exhibition and accompanying events, and here for a visual tour of the exhibition. BBC Breakfast's coverage of the exhibition can be found here. The exhibition is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC, Ragdoll Productions, ITV, Kaleidoscope and the Children’s Media Foundation.

Helen and Rachel win the University of Warwick's 'Community Contribution' Award at the Staff Awards 2016!!

 RM, HW, Ken Sloan 

We're really thrilled to get this award for building a partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum around the extremely successful exhibition we pitched and consulted on, The Story of Children's Television, 1946 to Today. Curators Ali Wells and Huw Jones did an amazing job; the exhibition showed at the Herbert from May to September 2015, breaking the museum's previous records for attendance by a very long way, and will tour the UK until 2018. See above.