Call for submissions special issue - The history of 20th century video culture

Call for submissions special issue -

The history of 20th century video culture

Since its arrival as (semi-) professional and consumer media technology in the 1960s, video has had a profound influence on many media practices and the media landscape. As much contemporary research investigates the history of video culture from the perspective of the digital age, it often lacks a more broad historical reflection on the arrival of video in pre-digital media culture of the late twentieth century. This special issue seeks contributions that will shed their light on the moment when video entered the electronic media landscape of Europe and the Netherlands/Flanders in particular.

The last three decades of the twentieth century can be seen as a period in which the possibilities and constraints of video have been explored extensively. Video provided a framework for new and emerging media practices, or challenged and altered the dynamics of existing ones. Whereas much has been written on avant-gardist discourses that surrounded video, their exists a relative lack of scholarship devoted to video’s influence on, for instance, commercial, artistic, political, social or more quotidian consumer practices. It is time to explore historically the aforementioned developments, as well as the expectations and hopes that surrounded video’s communicative, remediating or archival potential.

An excellent example aiming to fill this gap comes from media historian Bert Hogenkamp, who recently made insightful how the arrival of video in the 1970s and 1980s had spurred a new industry of professional audio-visual production in the Netherlands. Besides this particular case, media historians still have ample ground to cover in order to understand the manner in which video shaped the contours of new and emerging practices, or changed the dynamics of existing media cultures. The arrival of the video store and video piracy, video’s archival potential, or video’s promise as a successor to amateur film’s function as a ‘technology of memory’ might be some among many avenues to take.

In order to gain more insight into the arrival of video within the multifaceted media landscape of the last four decades of the twentieth century, TMG—Journal for Media History therefore seeks contributions that depart from, but are certainly not limited to, three possible perspectives: 1) video as new medium; 2) the arrival of video and its repercussions for media theories at that time; and 3) video as ‘format’ for (illegal and legal) cultural production, distribution, archiving and consumption.

Contributions are preferably related to Dutch and Flemish media and communication history, but TMG also welcomes international submissions. Possible themes, topics, perspectives and approaches are listed below and are considered to be indicative and not exhaustive:

-           Video and political/artistic avant-gardes

-           Video and broadcasting

-           The history of (emancipatory) media theories and video

-           The arrival of industrial video or video’s commercial possibilities

-           History of subcultures and video

-           The relationship between video and existing media practices and technologies

-           The history of video as an opportunity to innovate or challenge (regional) journalism

-           Home video and changing notions of cultural dissemination and media consumption

-           The emergence of the video store

-           Video piracy

-           The history of the debate concerning copyright in relation to the arrival of video

-           DIY cultures and video

-           The history of amateur video

-           The influence of video on documentary practices

-           Anti-video

-           Analogue video as ‘entre act’ format between film en digital


Proposals (approximately 300 words) for peer-reviewed articles (6000 - 8000 words) may be submitted to the editors via Susan Aasman ( or Tom Slootweg ( no later than March 30, 2016. Authors are invited to submit a proposal for a (non-peer reviewed) video–essay.  A final version of the article is expected in October 2016. The special issue will be published in 2017.

TMG — Journal for Media History is a Dutch peer-reviewed, open access and online academic journal that appears twice a year. The journal accepts contributions in Dutch and English. For author guidelines, see the website:

For more information concerning this Call for Submissions please contact Susan Aasman or Tom Slootweg.

ISSN: 2213-7653