Arts and Humanities Research Council Funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (DTP SWW)
Professor Vike Martina Plock, University of Exeter, email@example.com
Professor Simon Potter, University of Bristol, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Seatter, BBC, email@example.com
Using an extensive amount of previously unexamined archival holdings in the BBC Written Archives Centre, the British Library, as Radio Broadcast Recording Collection and the BBC, as Monitoring Archive, the CDA will investigate how BBC German-language programmes were used to project positive images of Britain in post-war Germany. When the war in Europe ended in 1945, the BBC German Service already had a dedicated following among listeners who had turned to the British broadcaster for accurate information about current events that had been deliberately distorted by Nazi media outlets. As new political alliances were forged on the European continent and Britain entered a period of imperial decline, the BBC became an important instrument through which the country wielded soft power abroad. Examining surviving recordings, programme scripts, staff files, newspaper articles, governmental directives and other historical documents, the CDA will be the first study to analyse how the BBCas German-language programmes presented democratic Britain as a role model for designing a new, non-militaristic German nation in the post-war period. Britainas recent exit from the European Union and the countryas efforts to re-position itself in a rapidly changing global economy make this research extremely timely. Commencing in the year of the BBCas centenary, the CDA will allow the doctoral researcher to develop specialist knowledge relevant for academics, heritage institutions, policy makers and the general public.
Research questions cluster around a series of issues relating to transnational broadcasting, Anglo-German relations, media history and European political history, but will be shaped by the interests and research expertise of the postgraduate research in consultation with supervisors. They might include:
Between them, members of the supervision team cover all areas relevant to this cross-disciplinary project. Professor Vike Martina Plock (Exeter) has published a monograph on the BBC German Service during the Second World War that was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Professor Simon Potter (Bristol) has published books on global news flows, the BBC and empire and on British broadcasting and internationalist thinking, and he has led a Leverhulme international research network on global radio history. Both HEI supervisors have worked extensively with the UK National Archives, the BBC Written Archives Centre and other radio-related archives around the world. Both have a track record of supervising PhDs to completion and have previously acted successfully as co-supervisors for a SWW DTP-funded PhD student working on the BBC. Further subject expertise is provided by the Non-HEI supervisor Robert Seatter, who isain his role as Head of BBC Historyaideally placed to create a dialogue between the academic side of the project and current BBC priorities. Leading on commissioning, managing and co-ordinating the wider interpretation of BBC history, his role on the supervisory team is central in facilitating access to further training opportunities and to other divisions within the BBC.
Contact: Professor Vike Martina Plock (firstname.lastname@example.org)