Iratxe Fresneda is a professor and researcher in the Audiovisual Communication and Advertising Department of UPV/EHU. She devotes much of her research time to collaborating with different media outlets and organising informative talks about the subjects that she is researching. She also believes that these activities are essential for performing her work as a teacher.
Iratxe specialises in Nordic Noir and the Scandinavian audiovisual system. Her doctoral dissertation focused on “Female stereotypes in the cinematographic works of Lars von Trier”. She has studied the televisual framework that has emerged in Nordic countries around television series (like The Bridge, The Killing, Borgen, Wallander etc.) which have become popular and then been exported to other countries. She has analysed the content, studied the production systems, classified the stereotypes that appear, before going on to study many other subjects that relate to this: the work of specific authors, the crime novel, female stereotypes that appear in film, international film festivals… “I have been going to festivals for 18 years and devoted a lot of time to research”, she remarked, “for me, this job only makes sense if I can go on to share it with society through the media and informative talks."
The professor at UPV/EHU regularly collaborates with several media outlets from the EiTB group, such as Euskadi Irratia, Radio Euskadi and ETB1, in spaces such as Azpimarra, Faktoria, Arratsaldekoa, Hiri Gorrian, Iflandia etc. There, she translates the findings of her research into an informative language, intended for the general public. The aim is to make the content entertaining for all audiences, but also to bring the culture of film.
Another area where she carries out dissemination activities are the “master classes” or information sessions, focusing on a specific subject. For example, in this area, she held the “Dialogues with literature” session, which was presented in April 2016. Iratxe presented and chaired a session organised by Bidebarrieta Kulturgunea, bringing together Jon Alonso and Jon Arretxe to talk about the evolution of the crime novel, a subject at the very heart of the professor's lines of research.
In addition to this kind of work, Iratxe has also provided advice to institutions such as Vitoria City Council on preparing internal communication protocols. The public use of images by institutions requires a certain amount of forethought, especially for anything relating to equality. At the university, it is possible to offer a more academic and reflective perspective which enables action protocols to be developed, to facilitate the work of anyone who has to make decisions on a daily basis.
“I like to see how what we do at the university is of interest to a wide audience, to society as a whole,” remarked Iratxe, “because I see my work reaching the public, not just appearing in academic journals.” She also commented that dissemination activities are not always compatible with busy periods of teaching and research and that they are not valued as highly as they should be in the university curriculum, but “no matter how little you are paid for the contribution, when it is arranged through Euskoiker, at least some record is kept of what you have been doing over this time. Over the course of the year, all of these small activities add up to many hours of work.”