Beginning with a consideration of recent discussions on the state of film history this essay explores some aspects of the relationship between the historiography of cinema and broader currents of contemporary historiography including the poststructuralist critique of history as a realist fiction. It engages with what Colin MacCabe has recently called 'the weaknesses and insularity' of contemporary film studies by advocating the development of histories of cinema that place audiences rather than films at their centre and integrate the quantitative methods of social history with the concrete and particular conditions of experience that are the predominant concern of micro-history.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Maltby, Richard. (2006). On the prospect of writing cinema history from below. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 9(2), 74–96. doi:10.18146/tmg.550