Advertisement

Revolution as Memory: The “History Boom” on Late Socialist Television

  • Sabina Mihelj
  • Simon Huxtable
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)

Abstract

Historical events and narratives, especially those linked to foundational myths of the communist revolution, were among the central themes of state socialist media and culture, and they assumed a particularly prominent role in the last two decades of the Cold War. As this chapter shows, the “history boom” in late socialist media was stimulated by domestic developments, but also formed part of a transnational growth of popular historical fiction that spanned the Cold War divide, stimulated by new forms of popular cultural expression and the challenge of “postmemory” (Hirsch, The Generation of Postmemory, 2012) linked with the coming of age of the first postwar generation. To demonstrate this, the chapter examines historical serial fiction and its reception in two state socialist countries—Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

References

  1. Balina, M., and E. Dobrenko, eds. 2011. Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, T., S. Boyd-Bowman, C. Mercer, and J. Woollacott, eds. 1981. Popular Television and Film. London: British Film Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Borisova, N. 1976. “Pamiat nashego detstva” [Memory of Our Childhood]. Sovetskoe radio i televidenie 6: 33–34.Google Scholar
  4. Creeber, G. 2004. Serial Television: Big Drama on the Small Screen. London: British Film Institute.Google Scholar
  5. Dillon, R. 2010. History on British Television: Constructing Nation, Nationality and Collective Memory. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Edgerton, G. R. 2001. “Introduction: Television as Historian.” In Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age, edited by G. R. Edgerton and P. Rollins, 1–17. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  7. Gorsuch, A. E., and D. P. Koenker, eds. 2013. The Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gray, A., and E. Bell. 2013. History on Television. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Hérnandez Corchete, S. 2008. La historia contada en televisión. El documental televisivo de divulgación histórica en España [Historical Narratives of Television: Television Documentary and Representations of History in Spain]. Barcelona: Gedisa.Google Scholar
  10. Hirsch, M. 2012. The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jakiša, M., and N. Gilić. 2015. Partisans in Yugoslavia: Literature, Film and Visual Culture. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
  12. Jambrešić Kirin, R. 2006. “Politika sjećanja na Drugi svjetski rat u doba medijske reprodukcije socijalističke kulture” [The Politics of World War Two Memory in the Era of Media Reproduction of Socialist Culture]. In Devijacije i promašaji [Deviations and Failures], edited by L. Č. Feldman and I. Prica, 149–178. Zagreb: Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research.Google Scholar
  13. Kaes, A. 1989. From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kaganovsky, L. 2013. “Postmemory, Countermemory: Soviet Cinema of the 1960s.” In The Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World, edited by A. E. Gorsuch and D. P. Koenker, 235–250. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kansteiner, W. 2006. In Pursuit of German Memory: History, Television, and Politics After Auschwitz. Athens: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Keightley, E., and M. Pickering. 2012. The Mnemonic Imagination: Remembering as Creative Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Keilbach, J. 2010. Geschichtsbilder und Zeitzeugen. Zur Darstellung des Nationalsozialismus im bundesdeutschen Fernsehen [Images of History and Witnesses. On the Depiction of National Socialism on West German Television]. Münster, Hamburg, Berlin, and London: Lit Verlag.Google Scholar
  18. Kirschenbaum, L. 2006. The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1941–1995: Myth, Memories, and Monuments. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Klumbytė, N., and G. Sharafutdinova. 2013. Introduction to Soviet Society in the Era of Late Socialism, 19641985, edited by N. Klumbytė and G. Sharafutdinova. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  20. Kommunist. 1975. TsK KPSS prinial postanovlenie ‘O 70-letii revoliutsii 1905–1907 godov v Rossii’ [The Central Committee of the CPSU has adopted the resolution ‘On the 70th Anniversary of the 1905–1907 revolution in Russia’] 2: 3–6.Google Scholar
  21. Lovell, S. 2013. “In Search of an Ending: Seventeen Moments of Spring and the Seventies.” In The Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World, edited by A. E. Gorsuch and D. P. Koenker, 303–321. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mares’ev, A. 1979. “Malaia Zemlia. Podvig” [Little Land. A Great Feat]. Sovetskoe radio i televidenie 7: 10.Google Scholar
  23. McArthur, C. 1978. Television and History. London: British Film Institute Educational Advisory Service.Google Scholar
  24. Mihelj, S. 2012. “Television Entertainment in Socialist Eastern Europe: Between Cold War Politics and Global Developments.” In Popular Television in Eastern Europe During and Since Socialism, edited by A. Imre, T. Havens, and K. Lustyk. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 2013. “The Politics of Privatization: Television Entertainment and the Yugoslav Sixties.” In The Socialist Sixties Crossing Borders in the Second World, edited by A. E. Gorsuch and D. P. Koenker, 251–267. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mihelj, S., and S. Huxtable. 2017. “Television and the Shaping of Transnational Memories.” Image & Narrative 18, no. 1: 33–44.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2018. From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Mikhailov, V. 1980. “Mech i vesy” [Sword and Scales]. Sovetskoe radio i televidenie 2: 27–31.Google Scholar
  29. Postman, N. 1985. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  30. Prokhorova, E. 2003. “Fragmented Mythologies: Soviet TV Mini-Series of the 1970s.” PhD diss., University of Pittsburgh. Accessed on 2 July 2015. http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/8019/.
  31. Raleigh, D. J. 2012. Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia’s Cold War Generation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. RTZ. 1982. Narodna revolucija u igranim programima Televizije Zagreb: Rezultati istraživanja javnog mnijenja in pregled sadržaja [People’s Revolution in Drama Programs on Television Zagreb: Results of Popular Opinion Research and Content Analysis]. Zagreb: Radio-televizija Zagreb, Centar za studij programa.Google Scholar
  33. Shlapentokh V. 1988. Soviet Ideologies in the Period of Glasnost: Responses to Brezhnev’s Stagnation. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  34. Stanković, P. 2015. “1970s Partisan Epics as Western Films: The Question of Genre and Myth in Yugoslav Partisan Film.” In Partisans in Yugoslavia: Literature, Film and Visual Culture, edited by M. Jakiša and N. Gilić, 245–264. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
  35. Studio. 1975. “Pišite i crtajte kresove” [Write and Draw the Bonfires], no. 611: 7.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 1976. “Klinci za klice” [Kids for kids], no. 621: 2–5.Google Scholar
  37. Thornham, S., and T. Purvis. 2005. Television Drama: Theories and Identities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tumarkin, N. 1994. The Living and the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  39. TV Novosti. 1974. “Petorica za specijalne zadatke” [The Five for Special Tasks], 6 December, 5.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1975a. “Otpisani” [The Outcasts], 3 January, 3.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 1975b. “Na kraju serije” [At the End of the Series], 28 March, 2.Google Scholar
  42. TV Revija. 1975. “Junaci Gorskog Kotara” [Heroes of Gorski Kotar], 1 October, 2–3.Google Scholar
  43. Weiner, A. 1996. “The Making of a Dominant Myth: The Second World War and the Construction of Political Identities Within the Soviet Polity.” Russian Review 55, no. 4 (October): 638–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Youngblood, D. 2006. Russian War Films: On the Cinema Front, 1914–2005. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

Personalised recommendations