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Loughborough organises landmark international symposium for the BBC’s centenary

This month, 150 academics and archivists from six continents will participate in 30 roundtables in a landmark symposium on a century of broadcasting.

The BBC at 100 symposium has been organised by Dr Marcus Collins, Reader in Contemporary History at Loughborough University and AHRC BBC 100 Fellow. It will be held at the National Science and Media Museum and Norcroft Centre in Bradford, as well as online, on 13-15 September 2022.

The symposium is interdisciplinary, inclusive and free to attend in-person or online.

It aims to:

  • act as a gathering, encompassing everyone from established scholars to postgraduates
  • take stock of research about the past century of British broadcasting by scholars in history, media and cultural studies, literary criticism, music, technology and related fields
  • explore what conceptual and logistical changes are needed to foster new directions in research and teaching
  • bring together archivists and researchers to discuss how to expand access to BBC archival resources, especially audiovisual ones.

The roundtables encompass a huge range of topics including digital broadcasting, diversity, local and regional radio, and global broadcasting. The programme also includes:

  • plenary roundtables about archives and the history of broadcasting history
  • a tour of the NSMM’s special exhibition
  • a joint book launch for twenty books on broadcasting history
  • a gala screening of This Is The BBC (1960)
  • a symposium dinner
  • a performance of Paul Kerensa’s one-man play The First Broadcast.

Dr Collins, who has been commissioned by the AHRC to organise a host of centenary events in collaboration with the BBC commented: “A century since the BBC’s foundation is as good a time as any to take stock of the impact of broadcasting upon almost every facet of human experience.

“This symposium will have achieved its goals if it helps to make television and radio programmes take their place alongside newspapers, books and manuscripts as routine sources for anyone wishing to understand culture, society and politics over the previous hundred years.”

Browse the symposium programme and book your place.