Europe Un-Imagined: Nation and Culture at a French-German Television Channel

Europe Un-Imagined: Nation and Culture at a French-German Television Channel

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By Damien Stankiewicz
Anthropological Horizons
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
304 Pages
ISBN 9781442628793
Published Aug 2017
Online discount: 25%
 $34.95    $26.21
ISBN 9781442637160
Published Aug 2017
Online discount: 25%
 $90.00    $67.50

Europe Un-Imagined examines one of the world’s first and only trans nationally produced television channels, Association relative à la télévision européenne (ARTE). ARTE calls itself the "European culture channel" and was launched in 1991 with a French-German intergovernmental mandate to produce television and other media that promoted pan-European community and culture.

Damien Stankiewicz’s ground-breaking ethnographic study of the various contexts of media production work at ARTE (the newsroom, the editing studio, the screening room), reveals how ideas about French, German, and European culture coalesce and circulate at the channel. He argues that the reproduction of nationalism often goes unacknowledged and unremarked upon, and questions whether something like a European "imagination" can be produced. Stankiewicz describes the challenges that ARTE staff face, including rapidly changing media technologies and audiences, unreflective national stereotyping, and unwieldy bureaucratic infrastructure, which ultimately limit the channel’s abilities to cultivate a transnational, "European" public. Europe Un-Imagined challenges its readers to find new ways of thinking about how people belong in the world beyond the problematic logics of national categorization.

Damien Stankiewicz is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University.


Chapter 1: Bienvenue à ARTE / Wilkommen bei ARTE

Chapter 2: Producing trans/national media

Chapter 3: Trans/national belonging

Chapter 4: Re-presenting history on and at ARTE

Chapter 5: culture, "culture," Culture

Chapter 6: Trans/national audiences

Conclusions and Provocations

"Europe Un-Imagined is a major contribution to European studies. With ​a combination of sophisticated theory and rich ethnography, it advances understandings of the relationship between media and both national and supranational projects."

Deborah Reed-Danahay, Department of Anthropology, SUNY Buffalo

"Damien Stankiewicz has written an exciting, theoretically innovative, and accessiblee work that tackles some of the important topics in anthropology."

Jillian Cavanaugh, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Brooklyn College, and Anthropology Program, CUNYGraduate Center

"Damien Stankiewicz offers us a rich ethnographic plunge into ARTE, a cross-national French-German television (and now multi-platform) channel. Europe Un-Imagined is especially timely, coming out just as the EU is re-examining the future of its own fracturing "imagined community." It is essential reading in contemporary media anthropology."

Faye Ginsburg, Department of Anthropology, and Director, Center for Media, Culture and History, New York University