"From demographics to politics to very private memory making, this volume covers the ‘grounds’ of Irishness as no other I have seen. Considering the variety of topics and the different interests among the contributors, it is remarkable that [the book] is so consistently accessible, jargon-free, and graceful."--Mary Lowe-Evans, University of West Florida
"A wide-ranging and important collection of essays on the intersections of social class, gender, national identity, and aesthetics in Irish literature and culture. It is a timely and significant contribution to Irish studies."--Jonathan Allison, University of Kentucky
In one of the first books to bring contemporary critical theory to bear on Irish studies, contributors--eminent Irish and American scholars--provide insightful and timely essays on Ireland’s changing identity by looking at representations of Ireland in history, film, literature, and political science.
Contributors explore the role of language in identity construction, modern efforts to reconstruct Irish identity after the Great Famine, and the impact of gender and class on nationality. Ultimately, the Ireland that emerges from these theoretical, multidisciplinary snapshots is complex, diverse, and largely unmapped. Long defined by others, it is also an Ireland ready and eager to define itself.
Introduction: Representation: Responsibility/Ideology/Power/Difference, by Susan Shaw Sailer
Part I. Constructing Irish Identities: Nationality, Gender, Language
1. From Nationalism to Liberation, by Declan Kiberd
2. "The Stone Recalls Its Quarry": An Interview with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
3. Why I Choose to Write in Irish, The Corpse That Sits Up and Talks Back, by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Part II. Reconstructing Irish Identities
4. Irish Identity and the Illustrated London News 1846-1851: Famine to Depopulation, by Leslie Williams
5. Studying a New Science: Yeats, Irishness, and the East, by John Rickard
6. The Changing Social Bases of Political Identity in Ireland, by Timothy J. White
Part III. Interweavings: Gender, Class, Nationality
7. Class, Gender, and the Forms of Narrative: The Autobiographies of Anglo-Irish Women, by Elizabeth Grubgeld
8. Irish Working-Class Women and World War I, by Claire A. Culleton
9. First Principles and Last Things: Death and the Poetry of Eavan Boland and Audre Lorde, by Margaret Mills Harper
10. Women, "Queers," Love, and Politics: The Crying Game as a Corrective Adaptation of / Reply to The Hostage, by Maureen S. G. Hawkins
Susan Shaw Sailer is associate professor of English at West Virginia University and the author of On the Void of To Be: Incoherence and Trope in Finnegans Wake (1993).