On BBC Mini-Series, Dr. Dwyer Talks About America’s Self-image in the 1980s

By Caitlin Burns | March 12, 2019

Dr. Michael Dwyer, associate professor of Media and Communication, appeared in the BBC Four documentary mini-series “American History’s Biggest Fibs” on Feb. 1. On the show, Dwyer discussed the importance of the 1950s to America’s self-image in the 1980s.

The mini-series is hosted by the British historian Lucy Worsley, and it revolves around debunking the myths and manipulations behind American history. Dr. Dwyer appears in episode “Supremacy,” discussing the way the 1950s in the U.S. is often a romanticized, “Hollywood version” of the decade, which purposefully ignores social disparity and inequalities.

Last year, Dr. Dwyer was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to pursue research for his next book about the relationship between Hollywood film and Rust Belt cities. His project focuses on how cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago are represented in popular films, and how these cities have attempted to attract film productions to rejuvenate the communities. Dr. Dwyer published his first book, Back to the Fifties in 2015, which explores the nostalgia for the 1950s in film and music from 1973 to 1988.