British Cultural Identities: Representations in Fiction and Media

The Representation of British Cultural Identities is a primary focus in my research and concerns three main areas:

  • Constructions of British multiculturalism
  • The development of postwar British society and its reflection in media texts from the 1950s to the present
  • The representation of British politics in the media

As part of my work on British media and multiculturalism I contributed to the symposium Multicultural Narratives and Narrative Theory organized by Ohio State University’s Project Narrative in October 2007 with a paper on ”Narrating Multiculturalism in British Media”. The paper reviews key stages in the historical development of the representation of Britain’s ethnic minorities in television texts and focuses on a selection of recent media narratives in the form of television drama, documentaries, current affairs/news programmes, and reality TV. The aim of this analysis is not to devise a single definition of British multiculturalism; it is founded on the premise that, while they share some features, in practice multiculturalism/s are the specific creations and constructions, of the multiple cultures and discourses of individual nations. In Britain, for example, narratives of empire, and of the end of empire, still play a key role in constructions and representations of multiculturalism. It is therefore possible to perceive and analyse the multiple layers of voices in media texts and thus come to a better understanding of the competing discourses affecting and constructing multiculturalism.


  • "Narrating Multiculturalism in British Media: Voice and Cultural Identity in Television Documentary and Comedy.” Analyzing World Fiction: New Horizons in Narrative Theory. Ed. Frederick Aldama. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011. 75-90.
  • "Hybrid Genres and Crosscultural Dialogues in Contemporary British Television Comedy: The Kumars at No 42 and Ali G." Medialised Britain: Essays on Media, Culture and Society. Ed. Jürgen Kamm. Passau: Stutz, 2006. 185-200.
  • “Marketing the British Situation Comedy: The Success of the BBC Brand on the British and Global Comedy Markets.” Journal for the Study of British Cultures 10.2 (2004): 169-181.
  • “Representing British Politics, Media and Class in the early 1990s: David Hare’s play The Absence of War and the television drama House of Cards.” ZAA (Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik) 51.3 (2003): 296-312.

Sections of my book in progress, “Multiculturalism and Postcolonialism: Narrative Strategies in Fiction, Film and Television” (see further below), also focus on narratives of the African and South Asian diasporas in Britain.