Transmitting across borders and institutions

In its early beginning radio was envisioned as a transnational medium allowing radio amateurs to connect across national borders. Even as the institutionalization of radio in Europe took shape in the mid-twenties, the idea of transnationalism remained, yet dominantly in the form of collaborations between national broadcasters. This IP investigates how transnationalism took shape within and between established broadcasting organizations, and takes particular interest in the role of cultural programming and the arts in facilitating transnational radio encounters. 

Thanks to the efforts of IBU, of independent relay networks and other international collaborations, transmission soon became a prominent technical instrument of transnationalism in radio. With the introduction of sound storage media, program exchanges took on other forms as well, but the collaborative transmission of a unifying event remained central to the idea of transnational radio. This IP takes particular interest in the role of co-transmission in radio, but also includes other kinds of collaborations between broadcasters in order to map radiophonic forms of transnationalism on a more general level.

This interest in the intersections between radio and transnationalism is inspired by a recent growth in studies of transnational cultural studies, broadcast history and sound studies. Radio was the dominant national medium for a long time and thus had profound influence on the ways in which national and transnational identities were performed, constructed and projected. Today radio tends to receive less attention than before the introduction of TV, yet radio remains intimately connected to the everyday lives of populations and communities. Radio’s depth and reach is well documented, but the aesthetic consequences of radio less so. Not only did radio establish new types and functions for well-known artistic forms like music and drama, it also introduced new forms like the radiophonic city portrait, children’s programmes, the radio feature and radio art. Furthermore radio, in order to communicate efficiently in sound only, developed specific vocabularies, specific syntaxes and specific rhetoric forms. This IP investigates how such aesthetic formations are related to territorial formations of national, regional and international broadcast spaces.

The IP will address questions like these: 

  • How have the collaborations between national broadcasters in Europe been organized?
  • How are such collaborations framed discursively in national and transnational fora? 
  • What do the specific programmes reveal about the mutual national stereotypes of the countries involved? 
  • What are the artistic and sonic forms of such collaborations?
  • How are such frames and forms related to territorial broadcast spaces?
  • How can we conceptualise the radiophonic encounter between several nations?

The IP will map transnational broadcasting organizations and program collaborations in Europe. This will be achieved through studies of research literature in the field, historical radio magazines, archive documents and program archives. Furthermore the IP will make case studies of particular transnational radio collaborations. To capture the dynamics of institutional, technological and aesthetic transformations in a comparative perspective, the cases are selected mainly from the pre-WWII years and from the early years of digital radio that saw a revival in the idea of co-transmissions. Cases representing regional collaborations (between the Nordic countries) and more pan-European collaborations will be studied, and forms like music, drama, feature, radio art and other types of cultural programming will be covered. 

The methodological focus of the IP lies on the program aesthetics, rather than the reception aesthetics. This means that institutional sources, and particularly the program material itself will have prominence. 

In the light of the present intensification of archival collaborations between broadcasters and other archival institutions, for example in Europeana Sounds and in EBU’s Eurovision archive, the IP furthermore seeks to articulate the possibilities and challenges in building a repository for transnational radio histories. The IP delivers a digital platform for sharing audio files and metadata between TRE partners: TREAP.

The IP is organized into a number of sub projects, focused on case studies (see links below).

Latest activities for this project:

(Friday, November 6, 2015 - 16:26)

The University of Copenhagen, 19-20 January 2016


This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners engaged in research on transnational aspects of national broadcasting, notably direct collaborations, program exchanges and competitions. It explores how the “beyond nation” has been framed in artistic collaborations, how art has been contextualized as carrying national or transnational connotations, and how artists and editors have attempted to undermine and reinterpret such connotations.

(Monday, September 21, 2015 - 09:35)

PI from IP3 Jacob Kreutzfeldt together with Sandra Lori Petersen produced and presented the paper Site/No-site: The Materiality of the radio studio at the PSi sub-conference: FLUID SOUNDS in Copenhagen 18-21 June 2015. 

The conference program is avalible here:

The workshop and audio paper program here:

(Monday, September 21, 2015 - 09:25)

PI from IP3 presented the Transnational Radio Encounters Knowledge Platform at the CAPCHA Close up-conference: Future Memories of Community Media in Halle 5-6 June 2015.

The full program of the conference and sound recordings from the presentations are avalible here:


(Monday, September 21, 2015 - 09:18)

IP of IP3 Jacob Kreutzfeldt presented TRE and LARM at the IASA Nordic Meeting in Copanhagen 26-27 May in the presentation: (Transnational) Radio Encounters archivers, researchers and broadcasters

The full program from the meeting and slides from the presentations are avalible at the IASA website:


(Monday, September 21, 2015 - 09:02)

18-19 September, Copenhagen


Europeana Research ( ) aims to support humanities research on the digitized content of Europe’s galleries, museums, libraries and archives by addressing issues such as licencing, interoperability and access.

Although much of Europeana’s dataset is already available for reuse via its API , portal and linked data set, research in the field of the Humanities requires specific sets of tools and services, and further access to disparate collections.

(Monday, June 22, 2015 - 00:00)

What we learned from asking researchers about their use of radio archives... 

(Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:17)

TRE Workshop: Archives and Cultural Memory – Outline Program Copenhagen 28-30 May 2015

(Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:01)

TRE researchers from IP3 appeared at a panel on Transnational radio and the construction of regionality in interwar Europe at the NordMedia Conference in Copenhagen August 13.-15.. See the abstract for the panel and the individual papers below.