Book review: The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and TelevisionPosted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive on 2013-11-29 15:26Z by Steven
Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
Zélie Asava, The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television (Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang, 2013)
Sarah Griffin welcomes Zélie Asava‘s book that applies divergent theoretical concepts of Irishness, whiteness, gender and the particular place of the ‘other’ to the ‘conceptual whiteness of Irishness itself’.
While the intricacies of white and non-white filmic representation has been a subject of much study, most particularly in relation to Hollywood’s output, there has been less focused investigation into the particular relationship Ireland has to its own ‘whiteness’ and how that translates on our big and little screens. Zélie Asava does so here, bringing together theorists and researchers from disparate decades and tying their ideas to a particularly Irish situation—a country that has only begun to integrate the multicultural nature of a relatively recently expanded populace. From Sigmund Freud’s ‘return of the repressed’, Julie Kristeva’s abjection, Richard Dyer’s seminal contributions to the study of whiteness, and Judith Butler’s performativity, to the more recent work of Diane Negra on ‘off-white Hollywood’ and a compendium of Irish contributors, Asava blends theorists and personal experience (as an Irish/Kenyan actor) to position herself at the front line. This book provides a welcome opportunity to apply divergent theoretical concepts of Irishness, whiteness, gender and the particular place of the ‘other’ to, as she calls it, “the conceptual whiteness of Irishness itself”…
Read the entire review here.