||This project will generate a series of collaborative accounts of television's role in Australia's cultural history. Despite its importance to our everyday lives since the 1950s, there is no history of television's role in Australian popular culture. This project will develop a series of collaborative histories that focus upon the popular experience of television and in particular its role in forming national culture.
The project has historiographical ambitions; to open the writing of national and cultural history to those who live it, developing an open-system (web/wiki) resource to encourage an iterative, self-correcting and self-directed encyclopedia of Australian television made by its users. The five-year project has two stages; accumulation and synthesis. The first stage is to establish a unique archive of research materials derived from both scholarly and non-canonical sources and interviews, oral histories, memorabilia, published materials, cultural institutions, fans and online sources. These form the basis for an open and linked online encyclopedia. In the synthesis phase the project goes on to construct histories of Australian television from the point of view of those who have made and consume it, in order to describe and understand the part that television has played in the popular experience of a national culture. The aim is to show how the media's construction of an Australian national imaginary as experienced by producers, consumers, fans and commentators and contributes both to the building of a national culture and to social change within it.