Thesis Title: Domesticating Television in Britain 1946-1976
The central question my thesis is asking is how was television domesticated in Britain. The time frame encompasses television's arrival into the home in the postwar period, the mass proliferation of television in the 1950s and 1960s and the arrival of colour television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. How was the arrival of the television into the home negotiated by the millions of new owners/viewers over these three decades? How was the process of television's domestication mediated by other cultural forces? What versions of "television lifestyles" were being created and how did this form part of the wider imaginary of domesticity across this period?
In order to answer these questions my research will consider television as a material object and cultural medium that is doubly-articulated into the home. My thesis will use an interdisciplinary approach that combines research from across a variety of academic fields, including media studies, cultural history, social history and sociology. In this way, it will offer a cultural history of television's arrival into the British home and the relationship television forms with the material and social cultures of domesticity, especially in terms of gender, class and taste.
From October 2016 to January 2017 I undertook a placement with the National Media Museum. This involved cataloguing a collection within the Museum's archive. I spent two months at the Museum's storage facility listing the contents of this collection. After this, I spent time at the Media Museum curating an exhibition inspired by my findings from the archives. This exhibition should go on display later in 2017.
This was a unique opportunity to learn about how national collections are managed, stored and preserved. I was given privileged access to these collections and learnt how archives are processed, listed and catalogued. Further to this, I gained insight into how collections are used by the curating and collection teams to communicate with the public through exhibitions. I was able to use my own research in conjunction with the Museum's collections to produce an exhibition, which will be accessible to the public, alongside three blog posts which will be put on the Museum's website.