Place and diaspora
in Imperial spaces
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This chapter describes how the competing ideas of diaspora might inform the understanding of Irish and Scottish overseas settlement within the Empire and elsewhere. It also investigates recent representations of Irish and Scottish settlement in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. The changing narratives of place constructed by Irish and Scottish emigrants and their descendants reflected the strength of each individual's continuing sense of origin as part of their evolving diasporic selfhood. Recent scholarship has emphasised the limited sense of ethnic solidarity displayed by Irish communities. The image of the enterprising, pioneering Scot may well have been a necessary myth of empire. Patrick O'Farrell's emphasis on the importance of place in the construction of human identity closely resembles our own, save in its overwhelming essentialism. The flows of ideas, information, people, goods and capital which articulated the Empire continuously transformed the geographical contexts within which places were imagined and enacted.

Imperial spaces

Placing the Irish and Scots in Colonial Australia


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