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Race in Modern Irish Literature and Culture

John Brannigan

Hardback (Printed to Order)

For decades Ireland presented itself as the land of hospitality, until the 1990s, when the 'Celtic Tiger' exposed its racist underbelly. In Race in Modern Irish Literature and Culture, John Brannigan argues that race and racism have longer histories in the Irish state, histories which have often been exposed and critiqued by Irish writers and artists. He revisits the role of racial ideologies in the foundation and development of the state, offering original historical insights, and inspired new readings of literary and cultural works ranging from Ulysses to The Commitments.

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List of Illustrations
1. 1922, Ulysses, and the Irish Race Congress
2. Face Value: Racial Typology and Irish Modernism
3. 'Aliens in Ireland': Nation-Building and the Ethics of Hospitality
4. 'Ireland, and Black!': The Cultural Politics of Racial Figuration
Conclusion: Imagining the 'New Hibernia'

About the Author

John Brannigan is senior lecturer in the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. His books include Race in Modern Irish Literature and Culture (2009), Pat Barker (2005), Orwell to the Present: Literature in England, 1945-2000 (2003), Literature, Culture and Society in Postwar England, 1945-1965 (2002), and Brendan Behan: Cultural Nationalism and the Revisionist Writer (2002). He is the current editor of the Irish University Review.


Complex processes have constructed white Irishness, and we are only beginning to understand these. This excellent book is a welcome addition to the slowly growing literature on this subject.

- Prof Patricia Coughlan, University College, Cork, Estudiosirlandeses