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Author to present ‘Irish Catholics on the American Screen’ lecture at St. Thomas

Posted by: $author Updated: January 25, 2012 - 10:46 AM

Calling all Twin Cities Irish Catholics, film buffs and anyone else interested in the history of the religious group’s presence on film.

Author and historian Christopher Shannon of Christendom College in Virginia is scheduled to discuss “Irish Catholics on the American Screen” at the University of St. Thomas on Feb. 13.

Sponsored by the university’s Center for Irish Studies and Center for Catholic Studies, Shannon’s lecture (which is free and open to the public) will delve into American Irish representations on film.

Here’s more information from a released statement issued by St. Thomas about the lecture:
 

“Shannon is the author of 'From Bowery to Broadway: The Irish in American Film,' a 2011 volume that describes an extensive film history in which the American Irish were ‘the most represented ethnic group in American film.’” 
 
“Shannon looks at varying sorts of Irish presences in Hollywood productions from the late 1920s to the early 1950s.  He argues that the 1931 Jimmy Cagney gangster film 'Angels with Dirty Faces,' often reviled as 'cornball,' was a turning point in the history of cinematic images of the Irish. The hugely successful Cagney film was one of the first to present the American Irish as citizens of an urban village that was poised between tradition and modernity."
 
“Shannon contends that the values in these films were strongly oppositional to those of mainstream American culture. The basic tension in the films, he says, was between the impulses to get ahead and move up the social ladder in the land of opportunity, and on the other hand, an almost tribal loyalty to community and family.”
 

For more information about the lecture, contact the St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies.

 

 

 

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