Commemorating the Irish Famine

Commemorating the Irish Famine : Memory and the Monument

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Commemorating the Irish Famine: Memory and the Monument presents for the first time a visual cultural history of the 1840s Irish Famine, tracing its representation and commemoration from the 19th century up to its 150th anniversary in the 1990s and beyond.

As the watershed event of 19th century Ireland, the Famine's political and social impacts profoundly shaped modern Ireland and the nations of its diaspora. Yet up until the 1990s, the memory of the Famine remained relatively muted and neglected, attracting little public attention. Thus the Famine commemorative boom of the mid-1990s was unprecedented in scale and output, with close to one hundred monuments newly constructed across Ireland, Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia. Drawing on an extensive global survey of recent community and national responses to the Famine's anniversary, and by outlining why these memories matter and to whom, this book argues how the phenomenon of Famine commemoration may be understood in the context of a growing memorial culture worldwide. It offers an innovative look at a well-known migration history whilst exploring how a now-global ethnic community redefines itself through acts of public memory and representation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 757.5g
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 45 colour illustrations, 15 black & white illustrations
  • 1781381690
  • 9781781381694
  • 882,759

Table of contents

List of illustrations
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Visualizing the Famine: Nineteenth-Century Image, Reception and Legacy
The Famine in fine art
Newspaper illustration and the figure of Famine
Chapter 3: Commemorating the Famine: 1940s-1990s
Commemoration and historiography
The 1990s sesquicentenary
Trauma, genocide and Famine memory
Chapter 4: Constructing Famine Spaces in Ireland
Site: the workhouse and graveyard
Presence: embodying Famine
Performance: commemorative ritual and process
Chapter 5: Community Famine Commemoration in Northern Ireland and the Diaspora
Commemoration in contested spaces: Northern Ireland and Britain
The high cross and Celtic Canada
Imaging genealogy in the United States
Chapter 6: Major Famine Memorials
Dublin and Boston
Murrisk, Co Mayo and Philadelphia
New York City
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Appendix: Famine Monuments - a Global Survey
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Review quote

A timely and engaging look at the memory and public memorialisation of the Famine. As we progress through the decade of commemorations, many of the issues discussed in relation to the Famine will take on a fresh significance, and the issues and questions that Mark-Fitzgerald raises will provide some solid insights and lessons. * The Irish Times * In this superb book about a complex subject, Emily Mark-Fitzgerald cogently charts the complicated history of how the Famine has been visually represented, especially since the 150th commemorations. Emily Mark-Fitzgerald commands a challenging literature with great facility. It is a landmark study, which will stand the test of time. * Irish Arts Review * Commemorating the Irish Famine: Memory and Monument is an engaging look at the memory and memorialization of the Famine. * Irish Central * 'Emily Mark-Fitzgerald's book will have certainly paved the way for and influenced the debate [on the Irish Famine]. It is a remarkable study which crosses several disciplines and which will be of interest to many.'
Irish Literary Supplement 'Mark-Fitzgerald's excellent book will have an important position as questions arise around the relationship between the high-profile memory practices relating to the Irish Famine, so centred on creating a usable narrative of the past and of Irish identity, and the more recent traumatic memories which were being actively suppressed and silenced during the same period. Commemorating the Irish Famine: Memory and the Monument is sure to enrich several disciplines, from social and visual histories to the study of Irish culture, both in Ireland and throughout the diaspora.'
Niamh NicGhabhann, Irish Studies Review Reviews
'Fresh and perceptive ... a compelling and incisive study of famine monuments which offers valuable and timely insights into the practices and processes of memorialization.'

Margaret Kelleher
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About Emily Mark Fitzgerald

Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald is a Lecturer in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy at University College Dublin.
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