This article discusses the pedagogy and outcome of a new assignment we introduced in the course ‘Television History Online’ at Utrecht University. We assigned the students the task to build a canon of a genre of Dutch television and create a video poster on the EUscreen portal consisting of clips that represent part of their canon. In our pedagogy, we argue that it is important to draw students’ attention to what is missing in the archive. Therefore, we offered the students the possibility to replace illegal clips with blue videos and clips of non-digital or lost television programmes with black videos in their video poster. We found evidence for an availability paradox: students let not only their selection of programmes and clips, but also the demarcation of their entire canon, be reliant on the digital, online availability of audiovisual material. At the same time, they explicitly did not want to be restricted by unavailability. In this article we stress the need for more open data and the importance of training digital literacy skills.

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Sound & Vision
VIEW Journal

Van Gorp, Jasmijn, & Kiewik, Rosita. (2018). What is Not in the Archive: Teaching Television History in the Digital Humanities Era. VIEW Journal, (. 13), 129–141. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2018.jethc147