THE rather off-kilter topic of British television’s portrayal of ethnic minorities was debated at QUB yesterday. The lecture was an examination of the cultural politics of representation….principally that of ‘Irishness’ within British popular culture.
Visiting Professor Sally Munt entitled her talk ‘Shameless’ and examined the Channel 4 Television serial drama of the same name.
Irish stereotypes have (of course) featured in many of the popular British television soaps over the years and the lecture at Queen’s is part of Sally Munt’s new project: Queer Feelings-The Cultural Politics of Shame.
Whilst some would say Sally should get a real job, I - Whacked Paddy McDougal - disagree. The lecture throws up some very serious questions….how, for example, does the British media really portray Irishness? Do they denigrate Irish culture or simply laugh at ‘us’ (in English / Scottish / Welsh opinion we’re really all the same don’t you know) as nothing more than stew-eating Guinness-drinking Paddies? Alternatively, what do you make of Northern Ireland’s representation in the ‘British / Mainland / Colonial forces of Occupation’s’ media scene – sensationalist or just ignorant?
MY FRIEND’S, ANSWERS ARE NEEDED!