The past in the present and the present in the past : representing history and performing memory on television and in everyday life

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Title: The past in the present and the present in the past : representing history and performing memory on television and in everyday life
Author: Rosenheck, Mabel Meigs
Abstract: Moving from the basic assumption that media and television are vital sites of memory , pivotal spaces in which we learn about the past , this thesis argues that the most productive and progressive representations of the past are those that allow the past to interact with the present . Yet the past is not simply a representation in the present , it is also performed as cultural memory . One of the key concepts here is the idea that if we do indeed find historical knowledge on television and in everyday life as well as in museums and textbooks , then we might apply the concepts , roles and institutions of the museum , concepts like the archive and the curator , to television and historical consciousness in everyday life . Through this logic television programs are archives and audiences are curators , selecting music and fashions from the representation of the past and using them , performing them in everyday life . To explore this , I begin with textual analyses of the television shows American Dreams and Mad Men . Examinations of music and fashion in each show then gives way to inquiries into how the musical and sartorial artifacts contained in each program are brought out into everyday life . While these chapters primarily consider gendered histories and feminist cultural memories , I conclude with a consideration of racial histories , silenced memories and how unique juxtapositions can point to alternative archives and repertoires .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1181
Date: 2010-10-26

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The past in the present and the present in the past : representing history and performing memory on television and in everyday life. Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1181 .

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