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Promoting Europe: From Films and Newsreels to Streaming Media 1945-2020

April 14, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

After Brexit and in the middle of pandemic borders being raised, this presentation offers a historic review of the moving images of the European Project. Even as the German troops were withdrawing from occupied countries, the resistance started to produce newsreels, and this postwar media generally presented Europe as a project of hope for the future. As the 50s began the European project gained momentum and the work of promoting Europe extended into short film, documentary and even feature film. With the establishment of the European Community new resources for media production emerged along with a more organized European information policy. Nevertheless national, regional and private production contributed visual material to the European project. And in the critical spirit of the 1960s and 1970s media projects started to explore the more difficult aspects of European open markets like unemployment and labor migration.

From surrealist Italian bureaucrats, to radioactive French scientists, to Churchill’s pro-Europeanism, these projects offer often surprising insights. Reviewing this work we not only see the struggles of the European project, but we follow changes in format and technology. Newsreels gave way to television style reporting give way to the satellite and streaming distribution of the European Commission’s Audiovisual Services.

This presentation reviews the history of the moving images of Europe from those early postwar days to the present. It relies on clips to provide the audience a chance to see for themselves. And it offers a set of links to foster further viewing and exploration.

Event Recording


Randall Halle is the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also Director of the Film and Media Studies Program.

His books include The Europeanization of Cinema, German Film after Germany, Queer Readings in Social Philosophy and the co-edited volumes After the Avant-Garde and Light Motives. His essays have appeared in journals such as New German Critique, Screen, Camera Obscura, German Quarterly, and Film-Philosophy. Halle works primarily on film and visual culture. His next book Visual Alterity is forthcoming and he is turning his attention to European Dis/Union.

Halle has received grants from the NEH, the DAAD, and the SSRC. For the academic year 2004-5 he was a Senior Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Free University. In 2006 he was offered the honor of being the first occupant of the newly endowed Jonas Chair at the University of Pittsburgh. Academic year 2009-2010 he was a Senior Fulbright Researcher in Berlin.

This event is part of UNC CES’ Europe Week 2021. It is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh European Studies Center, the UNC Curriculum in Global Studies, the UNC Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, the UNC Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, the UNC Department of Romance Studies, UNC Global, and the UNC Russian Flagship Program.


April 14, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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