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Placing the Irish and Scots in Colonial Australia

This book takes two of the most influential minority groups of white settlers in the British Empire—the Irish and the Scots—and explores how they imagined themselves within the landscapes of its farthest reaches, the Australian colonies of Victoria and New South Wales. Using letters and diaries as well as records of collective activities such as committee meetings, parades and dinners, it examines how the Irish and Scots built new identities as settlers in the unknown spaces of Empire. Utilizing critical geographical theories of ‘place’ as the site of memory and agency, the book considers how Irish and Scots settlers grounded their sense of belonging in the imagined landscapes of south-east Australia. Emphasizing the complexity of colonial identity formation and the ways in which this was spatially constructed, it challenges conventional understandings of the Irish and Scottish presence in Australia. The opening chapters locate the book's themes and perspectives within a survey of the existing historical and geographical literature on empire and diaspora. These pay particular attention to the ‘new’ imperial history and to alternative transnational and ‘located’ understandings of diasporic consciousness. Subsequent chapters work within these frames and examine the constructions of place evinced by Irish and Scottish emigrants during the outward voyage and subsequent processes of pastoral and urban settlement, and in religious observance.

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diasporic consciousness, it denies the latter’s constructive nature. 12 Nevertheless, Akenson’s demographically bounded and territorially rooted understanding of diaspora resonated with the work of other scholars in the 1990s, even as they sought to extend its meaning beyond the original Jewish paradigm. In Global Diasporas. An Introduction , for example, Robin Cohen offered a typology of

in Imperial spaces
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‘institutionally, ideologically, and even emotionally, to a community that spanned the vast ocean’.41 INTRODUCTION9 This book demonstrates that Orangewomen also thought diasporically and that this gendered diasporic consciousness extended well into the twentieth century and beyond the Atlantic world. While during the earlier Victorian period examined by MacRaild it is clear that Orange diasporic thinking was largely a male preserve, this book demonstrates that during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries women also shared this diasporic consciousness with their Orange

in Women and the Orange Order
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lodge and its members were part of these Orangewomen’s network of family and friends and were integrated into the return migrant’s process of ‘homecoming as pilgrimage’, highlighting the important social and emotional support function of female Orange lodges.195 Empire Lodge meetings at which migrants were given an appropriate send-off and the return visits of former lodge members were only component parts, however, of Scottish Orangewomen’s diasporic consciousness. Through the extensive visits of Orange men and women to Scotland (other than the return migrants

in Women and the Orange Order
Orangewomen in Canada, c. 1890–1930

connection back to Ireland hard to establish. However, it is possible to argue that the LOBA lodges in Canada had a role to play in the migration process, not just as ‘a club at the end of the road’ but also as a means of maintaining what for many of these women was a heartfelt connection back to their Orange roots in the ‘old homeland’ of Ireland or Scotland.47 Members of the LOBA in Canada also made visits back to England, Scotland and Ireland, indicating how a diasporic consciousness could also be forged through return visits to the ‘old country’. Recent research has

in Women and Irish diaspora identities
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The conclusions to be drawn

oral-history evidence suggests that little or no diasporic consciousness was transmitted down the surviving Irish-descended families.8 Stafford’s nineteenth-century Irish families therefore demonstrate conformity to Cohen’s criteria for a diasporic people to only a limited degree.9 Many did experience traumatic dispersal but the families that integrated largely lost any collective memory, myth or idealisation of the homeland. They did not retain a strong ethnic consciousness. The picture amongst the terminal and transient families is less clear. One family, the

in Divergent paths
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Irish diaspora studies and women: theories, concepts and new perspectives

physical process of migration and return, helped to create a diasporic consciousness among both the Orangewomen in Canada and those who remained in Scotland and Ireland, demonstrating how diaspora strategies can incorporate a dynamic interaction between ‘home’ and migrant destination. Much as Mary Hickman’s chapter demonstrates that gender is important for coalescence rather than difference in the context of the London St Patrick’s Day parades, this final chapter also emphasises the varying ways in which gender features in the articulation of social relations within the

in Women and Irish diaspora identities
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, been able to accommodate the divergent tropes which have characterised recent studies of emigrant experience as diaspora, and which are germane to Irish and Scottish experience within the Empire and beyond. By emphasising the non-essentialist though materialised character of place as a contingent site of agency, memory and meaning, we can resolve the tension between understandings of diasporic consciousness as

in Imperial spaces
Temporal and spatial articulations

Africa are made meaningful in ideologies of struggle and resistance forged in a crucible of exile.” Hence the idea of the return might work as a symbolic structure, without any need for actual realization. The multi-centered model is, secondly, concerned with the equal importance of multiple relationships and movements within the diaspora, as opposed to the primacy of the relationship to the center. Gilroy (1993) argues that what matters in diasporic consciousness are both the roots of the group—that is, its origin—and the routes it has taken—that is, its shared

in Time and memory in reggae music
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British and Irish diasporas: societies, cultures and ideologies

’ makes it clear, however, that the ‘global colour line’ was drawn between white Europeans and indigenous peoples, not between whites themselves.13 While the Irish clearly had more challenging entry 4 british and irish diasporas points and access ways into US life than the English, diasporic consciousness (i.e. English sense of being part of their own global community) is no longer viewed simply as a synonym for migration nor as restricted to suffering, though the term has been used most expressly to describe exile and victimhood, principally for the Jewish people

in British and Irish diasporas