UCI News

UCI professor explores myth of American 'Heartland' in television

Minority, gay and lesbian and urban images are erased from TV depictions of the American Midwest to reinforce its image…

December 11, 2007

Minority, gay and lesbian and urban images are erased from TV depictions of the American Midwest to reinforce its image as white and straight, according to Heartland TV, a new book by UC Irvine professor Victoria Johnson. An assistant professor of film and media studies and of African American studies, Johnson explores the cultural function of the Midwest in television programming and marketing by analyzing media industry policies and case studies. From television shows in the 1950s to the present, the image of the Midwest is that of a timeless, pastoral heartland representing America’s ideals in regards to race, sexuality and citizenship. Johnson’s research interests include critical history and theory of U.S. television and film, cultural studies, and critical race theory in film and TV.