Irish and World Histories

Irish and World Histories
Issue number 143 (May 2022)
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2020
Co-Edited by Aidan Beatty, Peter Hession, and Van Gosse

Over a century ago, James Connolly described Ireland as a “land of contradictions,” rife with subversion and collaboration, alterity and conformity, exploitation and integration—all on an island located at the periphery of British state power, the core of empire, the edge of Europe, and the heart of a global diaspora. Today, new scholarship is emerging which approaches Ireland’s complex hybridity as an object of comparative analysis. Drawing on theoretical insights from many fields, this work is reinterpreting the Irish experience, and asking: how might Ireland reframe other histories, especially the history of the Global South? Amidst an official “decade of centenaries” (2012-2023) commemorating the founding of an Irish state, this issue of Radical History Review will develop this outward-looking focus by considering Ireland’s role in the world. We seek to provide a platform where new approaches to the Irish historical experience can serve to enrich broader histories of capitalism, colonialism, race, and gender. As Declan Kiberd has argued, bringing Irish Studies into larger global frames has the capacity to “complicate, extend and in some cases expose the limits of current models of postcoloniality.”[1] This collection embraces the multifacetedness of Kiberd’s observation; Irish history-writing can only benefit from engaged analyses with the rest of the world. Just as centrally, “Ireland” and “Irishness” raise important questions beyond their own confines:

  • a long-time model of dependent under-development turned posterchild of neoliberal globalization;
  • a postcolonial EU-member state with experiences of territorial partition and protracted conflict;
  • a colonized people also implicated in settler colonialism in places like Australia;
  • a history of emancipatory politics connected to anti-colonial movements that was consciously deployed by others, from the Koreans to the Basques;
  • a country with an indigenous nomadic population – Irish Travellers or Mincéirí;
  • and a Diasporic nation far transcending state boundaries.

In all contributions, we seek work that challenges pre-existing conceptions about Irish historiography and that will provide new roadmaps for how we do the history of Ireland.  Where Irish history-writing has largely been an inward-looking endeavor, this theoretically oriented issue aims to show how the Irish experience at home and abroad can illuminate global history, the history of capitalism, the history of the postcolonial world, and much else. We welcome work on any time period, but are particularly interested in post-1800 research focused on the island of Ireland or on the Irish diasporas (broadly defined).

Possible topics include the following:

  • Placing Ireland within the New History of Capitalism
  • Nationalism, Empire, and Postcolonialism
  • The Irish Diaspora and the Comparative Histories of Migration, Dispersion and Exile
  • Irish Travellers and the Global History of Indigeneity
  • Critical Political Economies of Colonial and Postcolonial Development
  • Ireland and the PIIGS of the European Union
  • Ireland as a Laboratory for the Transnational History of Governmentality
  • Technology and Science Within and Beyond Borders
  • Race, Ireland, and the Histories of Whiteness
  • Irish and Peripheral Ecologies in the Anthropocene/Capitolocene
  • New Approaches to the Histories of Gender and Sexuality

We encourage contributions from historically under-represented groups. Procedures for submission of articles: By September 1, 2020, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing the article you wish as an attachment to with “Issue 143 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By October 15, 2020, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for full-length article submissions will be February 1, 2021.

Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to supply high-resolution image files (jpg or TIFF files at a minimum of 300 dpi) and secure permission to reprint the images. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 143 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in May, 2022.

[1] Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (Cambridge MA: 1996) p. 5.

Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2020