The dynamics of cultural remembrance: an intermedial perspective

Laura Basu (MA)

project: Trans-mediation: the case of ‘Ned Kelly’ (PhD project)
Supervisors: Prof. Ann Rigney, dr. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth


Laura Basu graduated from the University of Sussex with a BA in American Studies (Literature). She obtained an MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis was How does “teen tv” construct teenagers as objects of knowledge?

Trans-mediation: the case of ‘Ned Kelly’

This particular project focuses on the ‘trans-mediation’ of a site of memory – looking at what happens to a memory site as it is repeated in different media over time. It seems that when a story is told and retold using the various media technologies that are available to us, it transforms or morphs over a span of several generations, potentially yielding important insights into the workings of cultural memory in our highly mediatised society.

The case study is that of ‘Ned Kelly’, the Australian outlaw executed in 1880, whose Robin Hood style exploits led to a dramatic showdown with the police, with Kelly dressed in homemade armour. The figure of Ned Kelly has become a memory site in Australian historical culture, its status as such being linked to the enormous amount of media attention it has received over more than 100 years. This body of material provides an opportunity to investigate the re-shapings of a story at different historical moments and in a modern context, and to deepen our understanding of the relationship between cultural memory and media.