From Business Commodities to Revered Cultural Heritage: Global Media, Vernacular Strategies, and Cultural Negotiations


Duration: 2010 – 2013

Research Areas
Cinema Studies


The project aims to apply a wide range of research strategies on the field of early cinema, giving particular attention to film as cultural heritage and its shifting cultural prestige and placement within Swedish memory institutions. The breakthrough for a culture of moving images is a key driving force of the processes of globalization in the 20th century. We examine how this came about, partly from an American horizon, but also by analyzing how local markets such as the Scandinavian negotiated Hollywood ́s hegemony, resulting in interactive forms of film cultural vernacular. Based on a dynamic model for understanding cultural change, the project will offer in-depth monographic studies and case studies of an industry and an audience finding its way to Hollywood. These processes are identified as cultural negotiations involving a range of agents and institutions—audiences, press, film industry, government agencies, progressive reformers and memory institutions—locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The project involves three scholars and an international reference group of leading scholars. The research is clearly linked to ongoing accentual shifts within the memory institutions, brought on by the advent of digital media. Understanding the transformations of early film in the context of globalization is of paramount relevance for understanding today ́s media market, and provides a crucial focal point in the interface between scholarship and memory institutions.

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About the Members

Joel Frykholm

I'm Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Section for Cinema Studies, Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University. My primary research interest is early American cinema, including issues of industrial and cultural change, historic reception... Read more

Jan Olsson

Jan Olsson (born 1952 in Helsingborg) is a Swedish film scholar, professor of cinema studies and former head of department at Stockholm University. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, UCLA, Northwestern Unive... Read more