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Celtic Connections

Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture


Edited By Willy Maley and Alison O'Malley-Younger

While a number of published works approach the shared concerns of Ireland and Scotland, no major volume has offered a sustained and up-to-date analysis of the cultural connections between the two, despite the fact that these border crossings continue to be politically suggestive. The current collection addresses this area of comparative critical neglect, focusing on writers, from Charles Robert Maturin to Liam McIlvanney, whose work offers insights into debates about identity and politics in these two neighbour nations, too often overwhelmed by connections with their larger neighbour, England.
The essays in this collection are distinct yet connected, and are designed to come together like the intricate cross-bars and precise patterning of the plaid to capture the complexity of the Celtic connections they address. They move from pre-history to postmodernism, from Gothic to Gaelic and from Macbeth to Marxism, incorporating gender and genre, and providing a detailed survey of responses to the Irish-Scottish paradigm.


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Many of the papers collected here originated in the North East Irish Culture Network (NEICN) ‘Celtic Connections’ conference held at the University of Sunderland, 12–14 November 2010. We would like to thank all those who participated in that event, and we would particularly like to thank the contributors to this volume, and also colleagues at the Department of Culture at the University of Sunderland, for their support. Special thanks go to Steve Watts for his unfailing encouragement and enthusiasm, and to Robert Finnigan for his assistance with the indexing. We would also like to thank Eamon Maher, series editor for Reimagining Ireland, for his help with this project, and Commissioning Editor Christabel Scaife for her patience and guidance. Finally, this publication was part-funded by the Culture Research Beacon at the University of Sunderland. We would like to extend our thanks to them for this, in particular Professor John Strachan, and Dr Susan Mandala, without whose assistance this project would not have been possible. Finally, we would like to thank Mary Critchley for bringing the final manuscript safely into harbour.

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