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Memory Ireland Vol. 2

Diaspora and Memory Practices

edited by Oona Frawley

Publication Year: 2012

In the second volume of a series that will ultimately include four, the authors consider Irish diasporic memory and memory practices. While the Irish diaspora has become the subject of a wide range of scholar­ship, there has been little work focused on its relationship to memory. The first half of the volume asks how diasporic memory functions in dif­ferent places and times, and what forms it takes on. As an island nation with a history of emigration, Ireland has developed a rich diasporic cultural memory, one that draws on multiple traditions and his­toriographies of both “home” and “away.” Native traditions are not imported wholesale, but instead develop their own curious hybridity, reflecting the nature of emigrant memory that absorbs new ways of thinking about home. How do immigrants remember their homeland? How do descendants of immigrants “remem­ber” a land they rarely visit? How does diasporic memory pass through families, and how is it represented in cultural forms such as literature, festivals, and souvenirs? In its second half, this volume shifts its attention to the concept of “memory practices,” ways of cultural remembering that result from and are shaped by particular cultural forms. Many of these cultural forms embody memory materially through language, music, and photography and, because of their distinc­tive expressions of culture, give rise to distinctive memory practices. Gath­ering the leading voices in Irish studies, this volume opens new pathways into the body of Irish cultural memory, demonstrating time and again the ways in which memory is supported by the negotiations of individuals within wider cultural contexts.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

I continue to be grateful to a number of people whose support for this project has been most valuable. My colleagues in the English Department at the National University of Ireland Maynooth provide much intellectual stimulus as well as lovely...


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pp. xi-xvii

Memory and the Irish Diaspora

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pp. 1-126

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pp. 3-11

A striking aspect of Irish studies has been its success beyond Ireland’s geographical boundaries. Indeed, much of the initial impetus for Irish studies as a field seemed to come from outside of Ireland, and it is now usual to hear of Irish...

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1. Imaginary Connections? Postmemory and Irish Diaspora Writing

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pp. 12-23

In 2004, Clint Eastwood’s film Million Dollar Baby became the latest in a line of Hollywood movies to present Irishness as a metaphor for home, belonging, and connectedness—all the values perceived to be missing in an early-twenty-first-century world dominated...

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2. Roots and Rhizomes in Irish-Australian Ancestral Memory

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pp. 24-35

The terrain of Irish memory in Australia is diverse and uneven, but Australian authors have done much to map this territory in the past few decades, beginning with Vincent Buckley’s Memory Ireland and reaching a new height in the 1990s in the work...

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3. Chronotopic Memory in Contemporary Irish-Canadian Literature

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pp. 36-48

In contemporary Irish-Canadian literature, memory of Ireland is a site of careful negotiation because memory is such a powerful instrument: it is an agent that both constructs and constitutes the Irish ethnie, and, eventually...

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4. Cultural Memory, Identity, and Irish-American Nostalgia

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pp. 49-60

On 2 March 1895, in Chicago’s Saturday Evening Post, Martin Dooley— publican and sage advisor to Bridgeport’s immigrant Irish community, the creation of writer Finley Peter Dunne—discussed a lecture on “th’ origin iv th’ people...

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5. Race and Irish Cultural Memory

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pp. 61-74

Early in 2008, when Barack Obama’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States began to look like it might succeed, some Irish people began to claim him as their own, tracing his maternal roots to a...

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6. The Kitsch of the Dispossessed

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pp. 75-87

Since the mid–nineteenth century at least, Ireland has appeared in American culture somewhat as it does on “The Surrealist Map of the World”— larger than life and severely distorted. Most imported Irish cultural elements have...

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7. Private Memories, Public Display: Jewelry, Souvenirs, and Tattoos as Icons of Irishness

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pp. 88-100

In 1850, Waterhouse & Co., Jewelers of Dame Street, Dublin, acquired a fabulous golden brooch that had recently washed up on a Drogheda beach, like a message in a bottle from the ancient Irish past (Whitfield 1976, 106). Made of gilt silver...

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8. Remembering the Homeland: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in New Zealand to 1910

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pp. 101-113

The wearing of the green on St. Patrick’s Day, commented a reporter in the Otago Witness, “shows no sign of wearing out . . . everywhere the colour—green scarves and ties about the neck, green trimmings about the hat, and at the breast...

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9. Lancashire Shasana

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pp. 114-126

There is a huge Before and After in the middle of my childhood that has to do with two different countries, England and Ireland. This is not so unusual, as such. Many children move about internationally with their parents, but in my mind...

Memory Practices

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pp. 127

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pp. 129-136

Cultural memory, as the project Memory Ireland demonstrates, has an array of milieus. Irish cultural memory can be located at heritage sites, embodied by memorials and museums, found in landscapes inscribed with place names that have changed over...

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10. Memory Transfer

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pp. 137-148

One of the words that is buzzing though Molly and Leopold Bloom’s heads on 16 June 1904 is metempsychosis. As we can gather from the repeated references (including the garbled “met him pike hoses”), Molly comes...

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11. “The Tone of Defiance”: Music, Memory, and Irish Nationalism

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pp. 149-160

Ireland, with its reputation as the “Land of Song,” is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as its national symbol. It is thus not surprising that music is so intimately involved in the collective remembering of events...

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12. “Nonsynchronism,” Traditional Music, and Memory in Ireland

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pp. 161-170

"Sound,” the American composer Morton Feldman wrote, “does not know its history” (2000, 22). Feldman’s statement captures a particularly modernist approach to the material aspect of art: in the case of music, sound is to be encountered as a thing in itself...

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13. The Eviction Photograph as Shifting Trace

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pp. 171-184

It has been noted that “the language of memory does seem to be above all a language of images” (Kuhn 2000, 188). Susan Sontag argues that photography’s preeminence within the “language” of memory stems from the mechanics of how memory...

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14. Reconfiguring the Traveller Self: Cultural Memory and Belonging

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pp. 185-196

That Travellers and other “outsiders” have never felt “at home” in the literature and visual culture of the Irish mainstream is, by now, an acknowledged truism. The long-established quintessential “outsider,” the figure of the Traveller...

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15. Gaelic Games and the Construction of Memory and Identity

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pp. 197-208

"Irish” spaces in the United States are constructions of memory, tradition, and identity that can inhabit both physical and psychic realms. The New York–based Irish Echo newspaper, for example, invites readers to “Visit Ireland every week of the year...

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16. Food, Immigrants, and the Irish Diaspora

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pp. 209-223

Mary Butler played a small part in the early-twentieth-century crusade to revive authentic Irish culture, as imagined by the nationalist movement. In a pamphlet addressed to the women of Ireland, she crafted a list of fifteen ways that they might...

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17. Cooking at the Hearth: The “Irish Cottage” and Women’s Lived Experience

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pp. 224-241

The traditional Irish cottage is an enduring icon that represents varieties of Irishness to varieties of observers. The subject of poems and travelogues, postcards and photographs, it has been monumentalized in such commemorations as the Hunger...

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18. Getting the Measure of Treasure Island

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pp. 242-249

One “measure” of which I’m thinking is an Imperial measure, a gill or noggin, the quarter-pint of rum I’d be sent into the Eagle Bar in Charlemont to buy each mid-November. The rum wasn’t meant for drinking, needless to say, since our house...

Works Cited

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pp. 251-272


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pp. 273-285

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815651710
E-ISBN-10: 0815651716
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632979
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632975

Page Count: 312
Illustrations: 6 black & white
Publication Year: 2012