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Irish Diasporic Narratives in Argentina

A Reconsideration of Home, Identity and Belonging


Sinéad Wall

Departure from Ireland has long occupied a contradictory position in Irish national discourse, alternately viewed as exile or betrayal. This book analyses how departure, as well as notions of home, identity and return, is articulated in the narratives of three members of the Irish diaspora community in Argentina: John Brabazon’s journal The Customs and Habits of the Country of Buenos Ayres from the year 1845 by John Brabazon and His Own Adventures; William Bulfin’s series of sketches for The Southern Cross newspaper, later published as Tales of the Pampas (1900) and Rambles in Eirinn (1907); and Kathleen Nevin’s fictional memoir, You’ll Never Go Back (1946). The book examines the extent to which each writer upholds or contests hegemonic constructions of Irishness, as well as exploring how they negotiate the dual identity of emigrant and potential returnee. Each of the three writers, to varying degrees, challenges the orthodox positionings of the Irish diaspora subject as backward-looking and the Irish emigrant as bound to the national territory. Furthermore, they construct multiple subject positions and contradictory notions of Irishness: national, essentialist and homogeneous versus transnational, diverse and plural. Ultimately, their writings contribute to a rich and nuanced reimagining of the Irish emigrant identity.

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Series index


Reimagining Ireland

Series Editor: Dr Eamon Maher, Institute of Technology, Tallaght

The concepts of Ireland and ‘Irishness’ are in constant flux in the wake of an ever-increasing reappraisal of the notion of cultural and national specificity in a world assailed from all angles by the forces of globalisation and uniformity. Reimagining Ireland interrogates Ireland’s past and present and suggests possibilities for the future by looking at Ireland’s literature, culture and history and subjecting them to the most up-to-date critical appraisals associated with sociology, literary theory, historiography, political science and theology.

Some of the pertinent issues include, but are not confined to, Irish writing in English and Irish, Nationalism, Unionism, the Northern ‘Troubles’, the Peace Process, economic development in Ireland, the impact and decline of the Celtic Tiger, Irish spirituality, the rise and fall of organised religion, the visual arts, popular cultures, sport, Irish music and dance, emigration and the Irish diaspora, immigration and multiculturalism, marginalisation, globalisation, modernity/postmodernity and postcolonialism. The series publishes monographs, comparative studies, interdisciplinary projects, conference proceedings and edited books.

Proposals should be sent either to Dr Eamon Maher at or to

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