Richardson2018_Article_MediatingNationalHistoryAndPer.pdf (4 MB)

Mediating national history and personal catastrophe: Televising Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration

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journal contribution
posted on 15.12.2017, 14:20 by John Richardson
This article explores the rhetoric, and mass-mediation, of the national Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemoration ceremony, as broadcast on British television. Following the recommendation of the Stockholm International Forum (2000), since 2001, Britain has commemorated victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides on 27 January. The national commemoration has been broadcast on television five times: in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2015 and 2016. These programmes both reflect and illuminate the complex processes of (national) histories, individual memory and collective remembrance, and the ways that they mediate and interact with each other in social and historic contexts. I argue that these televised ceremonies orientate to four communicative meta-functions, the combination of which is particular to this media genre. They aim to simultaneously achieve four things: to Communicate History (‘what happened’); to Communicate Values (‘why we commemorate’); to Communicate Solemnity (‘how we commemorate’); and to Communicate Hope (‘that we are not defined by this catastrophic past’). In this article, I examine: the ways that these metafunctions are communicated through words, music and images; and some of the ways that these metafunctions can rhetorically derail, undermining their communication.

Funding

Funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Citation

RICHARDSON, J.E., 2018. Mediating national history and personal catastrophe: Televising Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 11(4), pp 465–485.

Publisher

Springer © The Author

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

12/12/2017

Publication date

2018

Notes

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

ISSN

1674-0750

eISSN

2198-2600

Language

en

Licence

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Keywords

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