SCREEN CULTURE AND THE SOCIAL QUESTION
Poverty on Screen 1880 – 1914
Conference at the
German Historical Institute (London)
in cooperation with the
Screen1900 Project (University of Trier)
London 1 – 3 December 2011
Funded by German Research Foundation
Convenors: Prof. Dr. Andreas Gestrich (GHIL), Dr. Ludwig Vogl-Bienek (University of Trier)
This conference brought together different international research approaches looking at how the optical lantern (‘art of projection’) and cinematography were used in the context of the Social Question around 1900.
Published in the German Historical Institute London Bulletin, Vol 34 (2012), No. 1
The media history relevance of the Social Question to the establishment of these new visual media has hardly so far been examined. Nor have these media been critically investigated as social history sources. The conference aims to make a fundamental contribution towards establishing an innovative field of research in the area where social history and media history overlap.
The rapid success of ‘cinematography’ at the beginning of the twentieth century owed much to what was known as the ‘art of projection’. The screen became firmly established as a part of international cultural life in the second half of the nineteenth century by the ‘art of projection’. The enormous creative potential of these new visual media in public performances was used not only for commercial purposes, but also for events in areas such as education, religion, and social policy.
The interdisciplinary comparison will discuss the state of research on the motifs, production, dissemination, and reception of the projection media in the field of poor relief and social policy. Different methodological concepts will be introduced for researching the performative potential of existing scripts and artefacts (glass slides, films, projectors). In addition, projects editing sources will be presented, and new processes for digitally reproducing and documenting historical sources and artefacts will be discussed.