Department of Culture and Learning

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Gunhild Agger

The historical perspective: from research for the people to research for the industry

The 1970s were characterized by a vigorous movement in the arts and humanities embracing especially the social sciences. Cross disciplinary studies were launched, a dominant motto was ‘Research for the people, not for the profit’, and new universities with new agendas were started – among them Aalborg University. Today cross disciplinary studies are still considered important, but the dominant agenda has been the object of fundamental change. In terms of contact to society, interests of business and industry seem to prevail. Taking production studies in media research as a case, I shall discuss how, why and with which consequences this change happened.


Gunhild Agger, Professor, Dep. of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University. Her research areas include television drama, the history of media and genres, national and transnational film, bestsellers and blockbusters. Director of the collaborative, cross-disciplinary research programme Crime fiction and Crime journalism in Scandinavia (2007-10). Currently member of the research team in the programme What makes Danish Television Drama Series Travel? Both programmes were funded by the Danish Arts and Humanities Research Council. Co-editor of Northern Lights. She has published/edited a number of books and articles within her research areas, among them The Aesthetics of Television (2001), Dansk TV-drama (2005), ‘Histoire et culture médiatique: le roman policier historique en Scandinavie’ (2010),”Lidenskab og lidelse – Lars von Trier’s Antichrist” (2012), “Nordic Noir on Television – The Killing I-III” (2013), “The Role of History in Bestseller and Blockbuster culture” (2013), Mord til tiden (2013), “Strategies in Danish Film culture – and the case of Susanne Bier” (2015). Contact:



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