A Student of History

April 9, 2007

“Irish Question” Conference

Filed under: Ireland,The Academy — John Maass @ 11:05 pm
The Radical History Review seeks submissions for an issue that will explore the intellectual, historical and political implications of the “Irish Question” over the past eight centuries.

We depart from the premise that the national question and its resolution (or not) in Ireland is not only a major topic in Irish and British Imperial history, but one with fundamental implications for the evolution of the modern world, and the histories of colonialism and postcolonialism. We envision contributions focused on Ireland, first as a colony and then partitioned into two states after 1922, and the attendant “Irish diaspora” in England, Canada, the United States, and beyond. However, the editors do not assume that the Irish Question is restricted to people of Irish descent or the countries they inhabit: we are equally interested in the relationship of Ireland’s national struggle to Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The issue will seek to explore a series of interlocking questions, including but not limited to:

1. Is Ireland a founding site of European imperialism and anti-imperial resistance, as well as post-colonialism? What are the implications for European or world history of moving the Third back into the First World?

2. How has the rise of a Revisionist historiography challenging the nationalist narrative paralleled Ireland’s move away from postcolonial dependency since the 1970s? What is its significance for historians outside of Ireland? What does it mean to deny the existence of a national revolution in Ireland?

3. What are the implications of the process beginning in the mid-nineteenth century whereby Ireland and Irishness was configured as exclusively Catholic? How has that identity played out on the world stage-is it equally relevant in all cases?

4. Why is “race” so rarely mentioned inside Irish history when the Irish as immigrants are so emphatically raced once they leave Ireland, whether as “becoming white” or not-quite-white? Does Ireland occupy a distinctive place in whiteness studies, or should it?

5. Is it useful or accurate to assert an “Irish Diaspora?” What are the implications of this particular form of diasporic studies?

6. How have the Irish, whether in Ireland or abroad, appropriated transnational forms of popular culture like soul and later hip-hop?

7. How influential has the Irish version of cultural nationalism been in the larger world? Can we link De Valera with Garvey and Ben Gurion, or is the Ireland sui generis, given the role of the Catholic Church?

8. How has Irish Republicanism been represented in popular and mass culture, in different parts of the world? Are these tropes and images similar to those assigned to other movements committed to armed struggle by any means necessary, or distinctively different?

9. What is the Irish Left, alongside or outside of Irish republicanism? Are its problems relevant to the problem of class politics in other national liberation struggles?

10. How has Irish women’s history and Irish feminism recast the National Question?

11. Are there distinctive Irish and/or Irish American discourses of sexuality and queerness-are they similar or different, and what role does demography play in Ireland’s distinctive history of sexual repression?

Though the RHR continues to publish monographic articles, we also invite Reflections, Interventions, roundtables, interviews, and reviews that go beyond books to look at popular historical representations, whether visual, cinematic, or textual. Potential contributors are encouraged to look at recent issues for examples of these non-traditional forms of scholarship.

Submissions are due by March 15, 2008 and should be submitted electronically, as an attachment, to rhr@igc.org with “Issue 104 submission” in the subject line. For artwork, please send images as high resolution digital files (each image as a separate file). For preliminary e-mail inquiries, please include “Issue 104” in the subject line. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 104 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in Spring 2009.

Radical History Review
Tamiment Library, 10th Floor
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012Email: rhr@igc.org
Visit the website at http://chnm.gmu.edu/rhr/rhr.htm

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