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Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine

Transnational and Interdisciplinary Perspectives


Edited By Marguerite Corporaal, Christopher Cusack, Lindsay Janssen and Ruud van den Beuken

The 150 th anniversary of Ireland’s Great Famine in the 1990s generated a significant increase in scholarship on the history of the crisis and its social and cultural aftermath. Two decades later, interest in the Irish Famine – both scholarly and popular – has soared once again. A key event in Irish cultural memory, the crisis still crops up regularly in public discourse within Ireland and among the Irish diaspora. This volume, containing essays by distinguished scholars such as Peter Gray, Margaret Kelleher and Chris Morash, offers new perspectives on the Famine and its contexts. Addressing the challenges and opportunities for Irish Famine studies today, the book presents a stimulating dialogue between a wide range of disciplinary approaches to the Famine and its legacies.
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Gordon Bigelow: Anthony Trollope’s Famine Economics


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Anthony Trollope’s Famine Economics

The essays in this volume by Margaret Kelleher and Chris Morash were presented during the opening session of our meeting, and together they frame what has become for me the central interpretive problem relating to the literature of the Famine. This problem involves the relation between the devastating events of the late 1840s in Ireland and the aesthetic forms or generic conventions available to represent them. As Morash’s essay emphasizes, this is a question whose central importance has been explored in the work of David Lloyd since the 1980s. Lloyd’s book on James Clarence Mangan’s poetry and his provocative essay on the novel in early nineteenth-century Ireland invited scholars in Irish Studies to rethink the ‘minor’ status typically assigned to these works.1 For Lloyd, this minor status within the received classification of the canon can be most usefully read not as a marker of aesthetic quality, but as a sign that can bring the limitations of ‘major’ or dominant genres into focus. In relation to the literature of the Famine, this approach posits that these horrific events – in scope, in proportion, in the sheer physicality of the human suffering – strain or shatter the conventions of the lyric poem, the historical novel, or the Bildungsroman, with the result of various kinds of formal tension within the text.

What emerges is a way of reading that can help us understand a text that stands in some way...

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