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Non-Violent Resistance

Irreverence in Irish Culture

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Edited By Agnès Maillot, Jennifer Bruen and Jean-Philippe Imbert

Humour, by its very nature controversial, plays an important role in social interaction. With its power to question assumptions, it can be used a weapon of subversion, and its meaning and interpretation are embedded within the culture that generates them in complex ways. The scrutiny of Irish culture through the lens of humour is highly revealing, contributing to an alternative, and sometimes irreverent, reading of events. As John Updike wrote of Raymond Queneau’s witty re-imagining of the Easter Rising, humour can effectively expose «casual ambivalence».

This volume investigates the many ways in which writers, playwrights, politicians, historians, filmmakers, artists and activists have used irreverence and humour to look at aspects of Irish culture and explore the contradictions and shortcomings of the society in which they live.

Agnès Maillot is Associate Professor in the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. Her main area of research is the Northern Irish conflict, particularly Sinn Féin and the IRA, on which she has published widely. She is also interested in multiculturalism in France and Ireland and is currently working on issues of refugees and asylum seekers in the French and Irish contexts.

Jennifer Bruen is Associate Professor in the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. Her research interests include many aspects of applied linguistics as well as political and citizenship education. She has published widely in these and related fields and is currently a member of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Language, Literature, Culture and Communication.

Jean-Philippe Imbert lectures in Comparative Literature and Sexuality Studies in the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. He researches and publishes on literary and artistic representations of the Mexican, Irish and French twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the relationship between sexuality, gender and the aesthetic treatment of evil, trauma, angst and perversion.