Metropolitan Anxieties: On the Meaning of the Irish Catholic Adventure in Scotland

Metropolitan Anxieties: On the Meaning of the Irish Catholic Adventure in Scotland


By (author) Mark Boyle


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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 230 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 240mm x 24mm | 699g
  • Publication date: 11 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754633799
  • ISBN 13: 9780754633792
  • Illustrations note: includes c. 10 b&w illustrations & c. 6 line drawings

Product description

In a lecture entitled 'Scotland's shame', delivered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1999, Scotland's leading musical composer James MacMillan sought in an explosive way to expose the continuing pervasiveness of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sectarianism and bigotry in contemporary Scotland. A decade of heated public debate has followed. Drawing upon post-colonial critiques of the provincial nature of metropolitan theory, this book approaches Scotland's shame debate as, in many ways, itself a classic metrocentric cultural struggle over the true and essential telos of a once colonised population. It argues that the most interesting question the debate has provoked, a question which thus far has failed to generate a worthy answer: is the Irish Catholic encounter with Scotland intelligible and if so, what is the nature of this intelligibility? The purpose of this book is to harness the complex and rich theory of colonialism which French philosopher, political activist and novelist Jean-Paul Sartre developed and struggled over, to venture a qualified and partial interpretation of the Irish Catholic experience of Scotland. Nevertheless, in so doing, this book takes seriously the charge of metrocentricism as it bears on the search for the meaning of the Irish Catholic adventure in Scotland and refuses to permit any simplistic interpretation of this adventure. Presenting findings from a new oral history archive consisting of 67 interviews members of the Irish Catholic community in Scotland, attention is given to the themes of national identity, estrangement and belonging; diasporic imaginings of Ireland; anti-imperial activism, agitation, and advocacy; culture, faith and family; and, poverty, work education, and equality.

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Author information

Mark Boyle is Chair and Head of the Department of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland.

Table of contents

Liberating nausea; Provincialising the Scotland's secret shame debate: an enquiry into the meaning of the Irish Catholic adventure in Scotland.; Part I Topographical Mappings anf Their Limits: Metropolitan anxieties: a critical appraisal of Sartre's theory of colonialism (with Audrey Kobayashi); The Scotland's secret shame debate: approach and method.; Part II Topographical Mappings of the Irish Catholic Adventure in Scotland: The oral history archive; National identity, estrangement and belonging: who are the Irish Catholics in Scotland?; Imagining home: holidays, the farm, and the craic; The politics of anti-imperialism: activists, agitators, and advocates; Ways of life and the life of ways: culture, faith and family; Immigrant advancement: poverty, education and equality.; Part III Cartographical Reflection: Method and Dialogue Under Scrutiny: Masses, spontaneity and tribe: in search of the intelligibility of the Irish Catholic adventure in Scotland; Index,.