Race in Modern Irish Literature and Culture


John Brannigan radically rereads the cultural history of the Irish state, demonstrating through original historical research and insightful new readings of literary and artistic works that race is central to modern Ireland's definition of itself. Brannigan examines the tropes of racial identity and racist distinction that underpin modern expressions of Irishness and traces a persistent concern with racial ideologies in twentieth-century Irish culture. Ulysses is read against the Irish Race Congress in Paris and the making of the Irish Free State in 1922. The works of Liam O'Flaherty, Samuel Beckett, W. B. Yeats, and Jack Yeats engage critically with anthropological representations of "the Irish face." Brannigan reads a wide range of mid-century fiction against a public discourse on "foreign bodies" and examines critical conversations on figurations of blackness in Irish culture. A provocative revision of modern Irish cultural history.