I am very much looking forward to going the Archaeologies of Media and Film conference in Bradford this September.
I have organised, with some colleagues, the workshop 'Current Research into Video Cultures'. As part of this workshop, I will be presenting a short talk 'Rewind and playback: re-examining the video boom in Britain', which will represent my first forays into my next big research project: Britain and the Video Boom: Tracking Popular Culture in the 1970s and 80s. My findings will be developed into a monograph over the next few years which is under contract with Intellect Books/University of Exeter Press.
The workshop will take place betwee 15.30 and 17.30 on the Friday (5 Sept). Here is the full lineup:
JOHNNY WALKER ABSTRACT
Following the ‘industrial turn’ in film and media studies, ‘Video Studies’ has emerged as a fresh line of academic inquiry, with scholars striving to look beyond ‘the text’ and ‘beyond the multiplex’ (Klinger 2007), to examine the ways that films have been distributed and consumed across a host of video platforms (Labato 2012). Other scholars have sought to historicise the emergence and longevity of the video industry (Wasser 2001; McDonald 2007) or have assessed the cultural experience that video has afforded its consumers from Betamax, to Blockbuster, and beyond (Greenburg 2007; Herbert 2014).
Britain’s place within such research has mostly been linked to the video nasties panic and its cultural legacy (Egan 2007; Petely 2011). Therefore, it is the purpose of this paper to introduce my next research project: an investigation into the impact that home video had on British society and popular culture during the 1970s and 1980s beyond the video nasties, considering those people who used and consumed the technology, as well as the video shop owners
and independent distributors who made a living from it. This talk will focus primarily on the cultural specificities of early video shop culture and will also reflect on my methodological concerns moving forward.