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Sport and Film: Examining the relationship from the United States to Ireland (Dr. Seán Crosson, Huston School of Film & Digital Media)

September 10, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


September 10, 2019
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Room 1001, the Bridge, Hardiman Research Building


Dr. Sean Crosson

This lecture by Dr. Seán Crosson will consider the topic of Sport and Film, drawing on the research he has undertaken of the subject internationally (evident in his monograph Sport and Film (2013)) and in the Irish context (where he will draw in particular on the work he did towards his recent book Gaelic Games on Film: From silent films to Hollywood hurling, horror and the emergence of Irish cinema (Cork University Press, 2019)). In the lecture Dr. Crosson will chart the history of sport cinema and examine the important role the genre has played in the United States in popularising and affirming a key ideology in American life, the American Dream. In the second part of his talk he will move to the Irish context,  where Gaelic games have repeatedly provided filmmakers and producers with a resonant motif through which they have represented perceived aspects of Irish identity, perceived as this representation has been neither straightforward nor unproblematic: in international productions in particular, Gaelic games have been employed on occasion as a short hand for regressive stereotypes associated with Irish people, including their alleged propensity for violence. For indigenous producers, on the other hand, Gaelic games afforded distinctive Irish cultural practices and as such were featured to promote and affirm the Irish nation, particularly as an indigenous film culture began to emerge in the aftermath of World War II.


Dr.  Seán Crosson is the Leader of the Sport & Exercise Research Group within the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies and Co-Director of the MA Sports Journalism and Communication programme. His research projects include an examination of the representation of sport in film, the subject of a conference and several symposia held in the Huston School over the past seven years, his award-winning monograph,  Sport and Film (Routledge, 2013) and his recent book Gaelic Games on Film: From silent films to Hollywood hurling, horror and the emergence of Irish cinema (Cork University Press, 2019). He has also uncovered important depictions of sport in film, in particular of Gaelic games, and his research has been featured in national and international media, including El País, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Business PostThe Irish ExaminerThe Irish Times, the TV channels ITV, and several items on TG4, RTÉ News and Off the Ball. To date he has contributed to ten documentary projects, including a 6-part documentary series on newsreels in Ireland to be broadcast by TG4 in 2018. His research in this area has also resulted in contributions to several major collections, including the award-winning volume The Gaelic Athletic Association 1884-2009 and Screening Irish-America: Representing Irish-America in Film and Television. In addition, he has co-edited a special number of the peer-reviewed journal Media History on Sport and the Media in Ireland (Vol. 17, Issue 2). He also did the research towards, and provided the liner notes for GAA Gold – All Ireland Hurling Championship Finals 1948-1959 (Irish Film Institute, 2010) and GAA Football Gold: All-Ireland Final Highlights: 1947-1959 (Irish Film Institute, 2011), DVDs which made available rarely seen footage of hurling and football all-Ireland finals in these years.