Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.4 SOCIOLOGY, 5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, Media and socio-cultural communication, 6. HUMANITIES, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES

Publication Details

Brennan, E. 2016. 'Television in Ireland before Irish Television: Nationalist Rhetoric and International Programming'. ECREA Conference, Prague. 11 November 2016.


Typical of an international tendency, the history of television in Ireland has been framed by national boundaries. This paper argues that viewing the history of television solely through institutional sources and a nation state-bound perspective obscures transnational influences and homogenises diverse audience experiences. Moreover, such histories may serve to reproduce a limited range of types of nationalist rhetoric. The research presented here explores the history of television in Ireland through life story interviews. This reveals views of the nation, its global context and processes of social change quite different to those discussed in orthodox histories. Arguably, this shift in historical sourcing can transform the relationship between media histories and nation states. De-focusing the national may serve to separate media history scholarship from an unannounced but persistent attachment to state-nationalism.