Irish Identity in America with Diane Negra

Professor Diane Negra discusses her most recent scholarship which investigates Irish identity in the United States. She begins with the election of John F. Kennedy with a sense of hopefulness which progressed through the 1980s and 1990s with an explosion of interest in all things Irish. But beginning in the 2000s, Professor Negra locates a growing sense of dread as images of skulls and death begin to dominate Irish American pride. An outgrowth of shirking economic opportunity and a destabilized racial climate, white identity politics began to co-opt Irishness for conservative and polarizing aims. Exploring these cultural trends and beginning a conversation around them, is an important step in making conscious the troubling shift in what it means to be Irish in America.

Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture at University College Dublin. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, she has served or will serve as Guest Professor at Brown University, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Reims and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is the author, editor or co-editor of ten books including What a Girl Wants?: The Reclamation of Self in Postfeminism (2008), The Irish in Us: Irishness, Performativity and Popular Culture (2006) and Extreme Weather and Global Media (with Julia Leyda, 2015). Her work in media, gender and cultural studies has been widely influential and recognized with a range of research awards and fellowships, including an award from the Government of Japan that led to a lecture tour in that country. She serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Television and New Media.