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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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David Lloyd: Afterword: The Afterlife of the Untimely Dead


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Afterword: The Afterlife of the Untimely Dead

Now, over a decade since the Great Famine’s 150-year anniversary concluded, scholarly historical research on the crisis continues to appear. So too do historical narratives aimed at lay audiences and the adult, genre and even teen fiction that draws from the event. This is a telling phenomenon. One might have thought that the spate of publications – both academic and popular – that appeared in the years of the sesquicentenary would have led to something like commemoration fatigue. Yet, as the essays in this volume by Margaret Kelleher and Melissa Fegan so amply show, that expectation has proven at the least premature. By the same token, as Jason King and Mark McGowan demonstrate in the context of Canada and Ireland, the process of memorialization – in public art, in documentary and in museums or interpretive centres – equally continues apace. Quite evidently, neither professional nor public interest in the Great Hunger shows any sign of waning.

This volume itself adds to this continuing output and does so, as the editors explain in the Introduction, by ‘taking stock’ both of where research on the Famine has taken us over the last two decades or so and of where the continuing growth points and new directions of research seem to be emerging. As their economical and exhaustive summary of recent research indicates, along with Kelleher’s essay on recent historiography, the fact that interest in the Famine remains unabated...

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