Public history

CfP: Radio beyond Boundaries. Themed issue of 'The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television'

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CfP: Radio beyond Boundaries. Themed issue of 'The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television'

© Armin Kübelbeck, CC-BY-SA 3.0Wikimedia Commons

Radio – like broadcasting in general – has always been quintessentially shaped by specific regions or nation states. Most radio services and channels, in fact, not only explicitly refer to a geolocation through their names, but also their remit is more often than not linked to a particular country, a region or a city. Whereas Hollywood cinema and other forms of media could be characterised by their global aspiration and appeal, radio seems rather limited in its impact beyond borders. Wherever we are from, little do we know about other countries’ or regions’ radio cultures.

The limited accessibility of radio beyond borders is less a question of technology. It is rather the outcome of linguistic, cultural, legal, and economical factors. Yet, there are exceptions. Some radio channels and services are popular far beyond their place of origin. Others were able to broadcast outside legal frameworks to challenge the established networks and corporations.

The themed issue of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television looks at the institutional, socio-political and cultural history of radio across boundaries. We are interested in historical investigations of radio that does travel across nations and regions. Transnational perspectives are particularly welcome.

We especially, but not exclusively, encourage contributions on the following topics and approaches:

  • radio shows or channels that have an impact beyond their deliberate target audience, often because of their attractive otherness
  • pirate, underground and clandestine radio channels and programmes
  • military radio channels such as AFN or BFBS that provide services for personnel abroad but are also listed to by expatriates and foreign audiences
  • attempts to use radio as a means of persuasion, information policy and propaganda in peace and wartime. Such efforts could be characterized by subliminal or brazen attempts to assert cultural leverage through journalism, music and lifestyle
  • the role of radio to establish oppositional groups and cultures across legal, geographical, social and political boundaries, including radio shows aimed at oppositional networks, groups or parties
  • transnational and/or multilingual radio channels (including internet livestreams) that reach out to different audience groups, including foreign listeners
  • public access radio stations as a form of non-commercial broadcasting where the general public is responsible for content production and programming.


Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words before 1 June 2018 to the guest editors, Tobias Hochscherf (, Hedwig Wagner ( and Richard Legay (, together with a brief biography. Final submissions (5000-6000 words) are due on 1 December 2018. Only submissions that follow Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television notes for contributors will be considered. All submissions are subject to approval by the blind peer-review process of the journal.