With few exceptions, the picture drawn of the Irish-American community in the postwar era has presumed its deliquescence. Received wisdom suggests that postwar suburbanization and upward mobility eroded the distinctiveness of Irish-American ethnicity, accelerating the homogenizing effects of “ethnic fade.”
We propose a collection of essays that examines and challenges these assumptions. The story of Irish America at mid-century possesses a unique significance. The proliferation of labor-saving mechanization in Ireland produced one last exodus from Ireland that briefly restored transatlantic networks after a generation of disuse. Anticommunist rhetoric bestowed new status on Irish Americans as champions of ethnic patriotism (“A Nation of Immigrants”), reversing longstanding insinuations about hyphenated identities. On the eve of mass tourism and affordable transatlantic travel, Irish experiences and images still retained an exoticism, at the same time as novels, motion pictures and television programs took up Irish-American storylines and characters as a means stepping outside, the mainstream of popular culture.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to: immigration; nostalgia; tourism; suburbanization; interethnic relations; labor history; religious history; music and dance; Gaelic sports; the Irish language in America; Irish authors’ relations with American publishers and audiences; and individual artists and works, including television.
A major Irish publisher has expressed strong interest in this project.
Please e-mail an abstract of 250-300 words to both Dr. Matthew O’Brien, The Franciscan University of Steubenville (email@example.com ) and James Rogers, University of St Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) before September 30, 2007. The editors will select proposals and provide further guidelines shortly after that date. We anticipate the deadline for completed chapters to be approximately April, 2008
1026 Devonshire Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
James S. Rogers
Managing Director/Center for Irish Studies
Editor/New Hibernia Review
University of St Thomas #5008
2115 Summit Ave
St Paul , MN 55105-1096
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