Visiting Fellows from Sydney at the Research Centre Media History


From November 12th to November 29th Dr Virginia Madsen and Dr Tom Murray from Macquarie University in Sydney (Australia) are Visting Fellows at the Research Centre Media History. The invitation to Hamburg is enabled by the MQ-FU-HAM Trilateral Strategic Partnership, a network program of the Universität Hamburg with Macquarie University (Australia) and Fudan University (China). Their stay is part of the research programm “Transnational Media Histories” established by Dr Hans-Ulrich Wagner (Hamburg) and Prof Dr Bridget Griffen-Foley (Sydney).

Dr Virgina Madsen

“My research in Hamburg is concerned with the first history of the ‘documentary imagination’ in radio. This book is charting an international history of radio and audio documentary forms that have evolved since the 1920s. Almost nothing has been written about this field and the extraordinary work produced by so many often under-recognised authors and producers around the world. Hamburg in particular is of great interest to me, because here was founded a new and revitalised tradition of documentary and ‘feature’ making which brought together some of the finest authors in Germany after the second world war, and which would ultimately lead to German leadership in this field. I hope to increase my understanding of the role and impact of this work at the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) (now NDR) and explore the role of the BBC here in influencing a new direction in the art of the documentary after 1945. During my visit, I hope to also connect with some contemporary producers and leaders in the 'cultural radio' program at NDR in Hamburg.”

Dr Madsen is a Senior Lecturer in radio/audio production and documentary history, and a member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Media History (CMH). She has published widely in the fields of public broadcasting, radio history, radio documentary, experimental forms of radio, podcasting and sound design and ecology. She is also an established radio writer and producer, beginning her career in radio as one of the founding producers of the ABC (Australian) program, The Listening Room. Her work has been heard on radio stations worldwide, at international competitions and has been adapted for broadcast in several languages.


Details of publications: -

Links to some of my radio programs: ABC:; ARD:; USA Third Coast Festival:

Dr Tom Murray

“Most of my research is published in screen-media forms and investigates the historical aesthetics of colonialism, memory, and place. I am particularly interested in the possibility of reconciling colonial injustices, and mostly work in collaboration with contemporary individuals and communities. As a Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre Media History I am looking at the role of German state-sponsored social science and creative arts studies in WW1 POW camps, particularly in regard to representations of Indigenous Australians and Pacific Islanders.”

Dr Murray is a writer, broadcaster, filmmaker, and academic, currently employed as an Australian Research Council Fellow and Senior Lecturer in screen media at Macquarie University. His films have been screened at many of the world’s most significant film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and IDFA Amsterdam, and his work has won numerous prizes including the NSW Premier’s Prize for History, and the Max Crawford Medal, Australia’s most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities.

A video describing some of his work can be seen at:
His staff profile is here:
Websites for some of his work are here:;; Dhakiyarr vs the King; 2014 Max Crawford Medal