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Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine

Transnational and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

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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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Mark G. Mcgowan: Contemporary Links between Canadian and Irish Famine Commemoration

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MARK G. MCGOWAN

Contemporary Links between Canadian and Irish Famine Commemoration

The sesquicentenary of the Great Irish Famine, in 1995, brought a flurry of commemorative activity to both sides of the Atlantic. It has been well documented how in Ireland local and national communities were formed which established a variety of artistic and historical sites to honour the dead and the emigrants of an Gorta Mór of 1845–52.1 These commemorative efforts found contemporary echoes in the diverse Irish communities of the diaspora, as monuments to the Famine were erected in cities in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. Canada, which at the time of the Famine was a collection of colonies known as British North America, had received over 200,000 Irish immigrants during an Gorta Mór. While Canadians in several of its provinces, most notably Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, had commemorated the arrival of Famine immigrants in the century following the tragedy, the Irish Famine, although the most recognized event in Irish-Canadian history, had never become part of the formal mainstream national narrative in Canadian history ← 267 | 268 → texts. The coming of the Famine sesquicentenary and the emergence and growing prominence of a large Irish expatriate community in Canada, combined with the federal government’s plan to reconfigure a historic space at the former quarantine station of Grosse Île, reawakened interest in Canada’s role in the Famine and reignited controversy about the place of the Famine in...

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