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EDITORS’ INTRODUCTION Two years ago, in the introduction to our first joint issue of ÉIRE-IRELAND, we announced that the journal would work to promote multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarly work in Irish Studies. Examining the contents of the issues we have worked on together, we are cautiously pleased that we have followed that rather ambitious agenda. We are grateful to all of the current and past contributors who have permitted us to move toward accomplishing our goals. As editors, we plan to continue to publish original scholarship that will be useful and interesting to academics within Irish Studies, but we must reach out to explore other fields as well. In other words, we encourage submissions that position Irish Studies into key theoretical discourses that cross disciplinary and traditional area boundaries. In keeping with the subtitle we added to ÉIRE-IRELAND two years ago— “An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies”—we believe that at its very core Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary field that requires real dialogue and exchange rather than simply a sampling of scholarship from various academic discourses; it requires both theoretical engagement and a multidisciplinary grounding. Thus we especially welcome submissions that incorporate conceptual and methodological approaches, transcending specific disciplines and addressing a wide scholarly audience. In the past two years, we have published work, for example, by Declan Kiberd, exploring similarities between African Negritude and pan-Celticism; by Christopher Morash, examining the recurring Holocaust/Famine comparison; by Peter Gray, explicating the differences between mid-nineteenth-century famine relief in Ireland and European countries that were similarly devastated by famine. In the current issue, literary critic Susan Harris contextualizes Yeats’s “The Herne’s Egg” in a 1930s political discourse about eugenics, fascism , and the proper role of the Irish woman. And sociologist Bill Rolston reads the contemporary visual imagery of Belfast wall murals through an analysis of political and cultural changes in Northern Ireland surrounding the peace process. Irish Studies has traditionally been much concerned with exploring identity; the more we problematize identity, the more we can contribute EDITORS’ INTRODUCTION 3 to those explorations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationalism, and postcolonialism that are central to other academic disciplines. Laura Lyons’ review essay on recent work in gender studies, which also appears in this issue, suggests promising directions that Irish Studies scholars have taken in a crucial area that crosses disciplinary lines. As we appreciate that which is unique and particular to the Irish experience, we must also be willing to venture into comparative studies to widen our audience and alert other scholars to the fact that Irish Studies embraces research and criticism that they would be irresponsible to neglect. To avoid the cacophony of a multidisciplinary Tower of Babel, we ask that articles we publish, no matter how theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, be accessible and interesting to nonspecialist readers. Considerable demands are placed on interdisciplinary scholars: they must be conversant in many theoretical discourses, comfortable with more than one set of disciplinary formalities, empirically grounded, and, above all, remain able to present their conclusions in jargon-free and engaging English. All prospective articles for ÉIRE-IRELAND are reviewed by at least one reader outside the author’s discipline, as well as by the customary disciplinary referees. Our goal, not yet consistently realized, is to challenge our contributors to transcend private disciplinary language and to hone their skills as public intellectuals addressing not only scholars, but also the many educated , general readers of the journal. We regard this request for accessible prose as an essential means of breaking down the barriers between scholarly areas. If an interdisciplinary approach is to be truly useful, it must also be widely accessible. Although ÉIRE-IRELAND continues to publish significant work in literature and history, the disciplines that have traditionally dominated Irish Studies, we seek a greater inclusiveness. Thus we encourage submissions in areas such as music, dance, film, the visual arts, sociology, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies; in addition, we have published personal and reflective poems and essays by distinguished Irish and Irish American creative writers such as Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Peter Quinn. In the current issue, we broaden our definition of Irish-related material by offering...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
pp. 3-5
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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