A passion for popular media drives research in the school of Film, Television and Media Studies, with 82% of its research rated world leading or internationally excellent according to REF2014 results.
Research in the school focuses on how media products emerge, circulate and operate, enhancing and challenging existing scholarship.
Case study: Preserving the region through media
With a range of rare and unique film footage, the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) is a treasure trove of the last century’s historical moments, from the grand and ceremonial to the poetic and everyday.
The EAFA collection, which comprises 12,000 hours of film and 30,000 hours of videotape, is owned and maintained by the University of East Anglia (UEA), providing a valuable resource for students, academics, cultural heritage organisations, broadcasters and the general public.
Created in 1976 as the first regional film archive in England, and part of UEA since 1984, the collection includes unique material from Anglia Television, BBC East, the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers, and thousands of filmmakers.
While the scope of the collection includes trips to Egypt, images of 1930s Isle of Wight, or 1960s London, there is a strong focus on regional material: Fenland eel-catchers; Lotus cars; Cambridge undergraduates in the 1940s; developing Welwyn Garden City; civil defence in Luton; Alfred Hitchcock visiting Cambridge; or Muhammad Ali in Norwich.
In 2011 a major cataloguing and digitisation programme was completed, giving wider access to the footage. This process has encouraged broadcasters, educational and events organisations and film distribution companies such as Picturehouse Cinemas to more easily share the footage, ensuring a deeper understanding and appreciation of the region’s rich history.
Dr Keith Johnston, director of EAFA said: “As well as contributing to policy debates and public engagement and discourse, the EAFA collection of films has directly influenced the working practices of commercial media companies.
“More importantly, these vivid snapshots of the past that would otherwise disappear can now be maintained and shared for generations to come, which creates an important link to our shared history.”
The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Dr Keith M Johnston
Senior Lecturer in Film and Television, School of Art, Media and American Studies
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