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The immigrant in contemporary Irish literature

Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland is the first full-length monograph in the market to address the impact that Celtic-Tiger immigration has exerted on the poetry, drama and fiction of contemporary Irish writers. The book opens with a lively, challenging preface by Prof. Declan Kiberd and is followed by 18 essays by leading and prestigious scholars in the field of Irish studies from both sides of the Atlantic who address, in pioneering, differing and thus enriching ways, the emerging multiethnic character of Irish literature. Key areas of discussion are: What does it mean to be ‘multicultural,’ and what are the implications of this condition for contemporary Irish writers? How has literature in Ireland responded to inward migration? Have Irish writers reflected in their work (either explicitly or implicitly) the existence of migrant communities in Ireland? If so, are elements of Irish traditional culture and community maintained or transformed? What is the social and political efficacy of these intercultural artistic visions? While these issues have received sustained academic attention in literary contexts with longer traditions of migration, they have yet to be extensively addressed in Ireland today. The collection will thus be of interest to students and academics of contemporary literature as well as the general reader willing to learn more about Ireland and Irish culture. Overall, this book will become most useful to scholars working in Irish studies, contemporary Irish literature, multiculturalism, migration, globalisation and transculturality. Writers discussed include Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Dermot Bolger, Chris Binchy, Michael O'Loughlin, Emer Martin, and Kate O'Riordan, amongst others.

Modernity and the recuperation of migrant memory in the writing of Hugo Hamilton
Jason King

12 Irish multicultural epiphanies: modernity and the recuperation of ­migrant memory in the writing of Hugo Hamilton Jason King At the height of the Irish economic boom on St. Patrick’s Day 2007, the Irish Times editorialised that ‘we are all the speckled people today. Confident, wealthy, forward-looking, internationalist, we can afford to define our identity in terms that celebrate our overlapping multiplicity of allegiances and diversity’ (Anon., 2007). In its allusion to Hugo Hamilton’s memoir The Speckled People (2003), the newspaper envisioned the author as

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Seglow

Introduction 1 Multiculturalism can be acknowledged, championed, challenged or rejected, but it cannot be ignored because it describes a central feature of the world in which we live. Oddly, however, for many years it was ignored, despite decades of struggle by black Americans for full political inclusion, the confederalism adopted by several European states to accommodate linguistic and religious

in Political concepts
Bryan Fanning

8 Multicultualism in Ireland Introduction This chapter examines efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism. These include those by the state to oppose racism and discrimination, those which have emerged ‘bottom up’ at the instigation of activists from minority communities, notably from Travellers, and responses by the state to these. Current state practices, legislation and voluntary initiatives are described as amounting to a ‘weak’ multiculturalism. This multiculturalism is characterised by a

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Kader Asmal

15 Peace, multiculturalism and development Professor Kader Asmal Introduction Professor Kader Asmal spoke on the 4 February 2008 about the preoccupation of a lifetime of academic study, activism, work on constitutional ideals and public service – which was a passion for and commitment to human rights, equality, justice and development. He spoke from his own experience of life in a system that had lacked basic justice and equality: apartheid South Africa; he spoke as one who had been obliged to leave in order to find opportunity and where he worked diligently to

in Peacemaking in the twenty-first century
Integration policy in Britain and France after the SecondWorld War
Eleanor Passmore and Andrew S. Thompson

Multiculturalism is widely considered to be a defining feature of Britain’s response to post-war immigration and remains the most important – if contested – idea underpinning the British approach to integration. This chapter explores the origins of the concept of multiculturalism by comparing official rhetoric about ‘new’ Commonwealth immigration during the 1950s and 1960s

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world
The new Irish multicultural fiction
Amanda Tucker

3 Strangers in a strange land?: the new Irish multicultural fiction Amanda Tucker In his seminal essay ‘Imaginary Homelands’, Salman Rushdie describes how, at a conference on modern writing, novelists struggled to articulate the purpose of their artform. After these (unnamed) fiction writers outlined the need for ‘new ways of describing the world’, another participant suggested that this objective might be limited. Rushdie argues that description is in fact political and, moreover, that ‘redescribing the world is the necessary first step in changing it’ (Rushdie

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
The immigrant in contemporary Irish poetry
Pilar Villar-Argáiz

marginalised. This chapter examines this aspect by analysing depictions of interethnic encounters between the Irish host and the foreign ‘guest’ in the recent poetry produced by Colette Bryce, Mary O’Donnell, and Michael O’Loughlin. It has been regularly asserted that Ireland can be considered a truly multicultural country, as a consequence of the unprecedented immigration of the last decades. The poems selected for analysis by Bryce, O’Donnell, and O’Loughlin challenge this idealisation of Irish multiculturalism by revealing the various ways in which newcomers are

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
The poetry of Sinéad Morrissey, Leontia Flynn, Mary O’Malley, and Michael Hayes
Katarzyna Poloczek

throat full of a foreign language’ compassionately signifies the alien Other, both feared and misunderstood (ibid.). Considering the above, the poets’ perception of modern, multicultural Ireland – composed of people of different backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures – is shaped, to a large extent, by their own migratory experiences. This affects their empathetic understanding of the immigrant Other, in both aspects of this phenomenon: as subjects and objects of the bilateral multicultural interactions. On her return to Ireland, Sinéad Morrissey captures her

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Black Baby’s revision of Irish motherhood
Maureen T. Reddy

were, had the salubrious effect of making clear that one crucial task of Irish writers and cultural theorists in the twenty-first century is to rethink Irishness in a multiracial and multicultural context. Boylan’s specifically feminist engagement with and revisions of dominant constructions of race and motherhood in Black Baby offers an especially useful roadmap for that necessary work. Boylan’s novel makes a case not for multiculturalism or interculturalism per se, but instead for a thoroughgoing reassessment of Irishness and womanhood themselves, separately and

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland