Dr. Malin Wahlberg is a Professor in Cinema Studies at the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. Wahlberg received her PhD at Stockholm University in 2003 and have since then published work in the fields of classical film theory, documentary cinema, experimental work in film and media and early television. She is the author of Documentary Time. Film and Phenomenology (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and the co-editor of a book on documentary filmmaking in the context of early public television, Tv-pionjärer och fria filmare (Stockholm: SLBA, 2008).

Show more

Research Interests

Wahlberg's fields of interests include film and philosophy; film archives and cultures of commemoration; documentary film and media; experimental cinema and film in contemporary art. Wahlberg is currently working on a book on solidarity film and radical programming, in relation to her archive project on public television and documentary agency in Swedish broadcasting culture. Inspired by more general problems of film, historiography and memory work, she is also aiming at a theoretical follow-up of her 2008 book Documentary Time, now with special attention to sound, audiovisuality, and the impact of silence and speaking bodies for the documentary enactment of testimonies and oral history in moving images.

Show more

Ongoing Research

Soundscapes of Recollection: Filmed Testimony and Memory Work in Documentary Cinema. A project financed by the Swedish Research Council (2016-02504. “Att ge röst åt det förflutna: Vittnesmål och minnesarbete I dokumentärfilmen”)

The project aims at a film theory of sound and audiovisuality, with special attention to the aesthetics and agency of voice and filmed testimony in documentary cinema. Providing a critical reassessment of cinema, trauma and film as memory work, the proposed study will account for overlooked aspects of mediated voice and documentary soundscapes. The analysis will address problems of historiography, cultural memory and ethics in documentary cinema, while conceptualizing the affective impact of voice and sound in film narratives of loss and trauma; a context where scholarly attention has primarily been paid to a poetics of visual traces or visible evidence. What is often at stake in the experienced realm of filmed speech is, as Jean Epstein suggested, “a certain degree of contradiction between image and speech, of falsehood between the eye and the ear”, and, we may add, between what the person says and her gestures, between the words and, to paraphrase Barthes, “the grain of the voice” (Barthes, 1977). This has always been at the core of filmed speech, and particularly so in the case of the filmed testimony. In the wake of historical traumas, documentary approaches to history, memory, and forgetting bring attention to the politics of cultural memory and the cultural functions and social rituals of commemoration culture in moving images.

Show more