Imagining the Past through Film and Cultural Studies

Elliott, Andrew B.R. (2019) Imagining the Past through Film and Cultural Studies. In: Researching the Archaeological Past through imagined Narratives. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 263-272. ISBN 9781138303638

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Imagining the Past through Film and Cultural Studies
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Errors in popular cultural depictions of the past are often seized upon with alacrity, and held up as demonstrations of the impossibility for popular culture to say anything worthwhile about history. In the most egregious cases, they can find themselves used as convincing demonstrations that pop culture simply cannot ‘do’ history.
Adopting a different approach, however, film and cultural studies scholars have lately begun to ask different questions. What if popular-cultural pasts were not attempts to ‘do’ history, but were nevertheless able to make contributions to it? What if films which depict different kinds of pastness were able to encourage historiography by offering contrasting notions of the past and encouraging viewers to choose the most resonant? And what if they were able to serve as a stepping-stone to encourage more formal study of history?
This essay, then, looks at the methods of studying the past using the theoretical frameworks offered by film studies in particular, and cultural studies in general, to explore the ways in which different theoretical and conceptual lines of questioning can fundamentally challenge core assumptions about imaginary narratives.

Keywords:history, medievalism, historiography, historiographic metafiction, cultural studies
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
ID Code:39579
Deposited On:17 Jan 2020 15:58

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