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Title: Making sense of Holocaust representations: a reception study of audience responses to recent films
Authors: Rauch, Stefanie Gudrun
Supervisors: Jensen, Olaf
Chapman, James
Award date: 1-Dec-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis provides a complex and in-depth analysis of the reception, by actual audiences, of recent films about the Holocaust. Drawing on approaches from cultural studies, and using an original methodology developed for this project, the analysis of film text and context was combined with an empirical, qualitative reception study. Using Britain as a case study, it is demonstrated that the reception process of feature films and docu-dramas about the Holocaust is multi-faceted and cannot be fully understood through textual analysis alone. The thesis challenges the widespread generalisations about films’ alleged impact on ‘the public’ in the literature about Holocaust representations. By analysing the data, the ways in which a select number of films are made sense of immediately after the film viewing are explored, and how the Holocaust is understood through these films. It is demonstrated that the reading of films is simultaneously multiple and emanating from the text, which triggers and facilitates a range of interpretations. The process of making sense of Holocaust representations is an active process, which is influenced, guided and at times constrained by preconceptions, emotions, and the extent to which films are considered as authentic. As such, the thesis makes a long overdue contribution to the study of the representation of the Holocaust.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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