Monday, 20 November 2017

Visiting Scholar, New York University, 2017-18

Friday, 7 April 2017

FREE ONLINE Irish Literary Supplement March 1982 - September 2016

Another new, free resource...

Go to...


You will find a link there to the Irish Literary Supplement, and the full archive of issues from 1982 onwards...

'Title: Irish Literary Supplement
Available online: 1 March 1982 - 1 September 2016 (70 issues) The Irish Literary Supplement is a twice-yearly publication of reviews of books of Irish interest and occasional articles and poetry. Founded in 1982 and edited by Robert G. Lowery, the ILS has been published in association with Boston College’s Irish Studies Program since 1986. Digitization of issues through 2016 was funded by the Brian P. Burns endowment, John J. Burns Library.'

There is more detailed information about the project in 'Irish Studies', the newsletter of the Center for Irish Programs, Boston College - and a web search will find more online discussion, no doubt...

So, there we have the discourse of Irish Studies, from 1982 onwards, in an archive, in a database - we should be able to find a way to ask it questions.  Like, I wonder when the word 'diaspora' was first used in its pages?

Patrick O'Sullivan

FREE BOOK Briody, The Irish Folklore Commission 1935-1970: History, ideology, methodology

The link, below, should take you to Mícheál Briody's lovely and important book about The Irish Folklore Commission, and Séamus Ó Duilearga (James Hamilton Delargy) - now freely available on OAPEN...

The Irish Folklore Commission 1935-1970: History, ideology, methodology Briody, Mícheál Finnish Literature Society / SKS, Helsinki
2008


The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences.  Mícheál Briody's book has heretofore been a little difficult to get hold of, but - now - there it is, freely available online at OAPEN.

The blurb on the web site has clearly been written by someone who knows the book, and knows the background.

The Irish Folklore Commission was always underfunded.  Nevertheless it shaped how Irish folk cultures should be studied, collected and preserved - very important, in my view, was the decision to seek mentors and methodology, not in the USA or in England, but in northern Europe, especially in Sweden, but also in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Germany.  There was also in that time, in those disciplines, in those countries, an understandable privileging of the oral - which is of interest to those of us who study the orality/literacy interface...

In something that I drafted recently, thinking about Irish Emigrant Letters, I wrote this...

"The approach of the Irish Folklore Commission privileged the study of the people of rural Ireland, mostly the rural poor. This focus on the ‘ideal peasant’ seems to come from at least three directions. First, there is Ireland’s use of the ‘ideal peasant’ for political and literary purposes (Hirsch 1991 and Markey 2006). Second, there is the guidance, philosophical and methodological, given to the founder of the Irish Folklore Commission, J. H. Delargy (Séamus Ó Duilearga) by wider European scholarship, especially by ethnography, and especially by his mentors in Sweden, Finland and Estonia (Briody 2007). And third, there is that curious imbalance within scholarship, especially within European scholarship, which privileges the oral above the written. There are many ways to unpack that imbalance – but the simplest might be to cite Derrida’s critique of Levi Strauss (Petrovi 2004). (We are not the first to have brought Derrida to a crux within Irish scholarship. See Duddy (1996). The exception to this pattern is of course the privileging of writings in the Irish language by representatives of the rural Irish, notably the Blasket Islands autobiographies (Quigley 2003 and Ross 2003).  It remains a strange imbalance – a privileging of ‘the people’, or the ‘peasantry’, which ignores the people’s own writings, and when, as Arnold Schrier points out, the vast majority of the people were literate (Schrier 1958, 22). And all these methodologies involve the creating of secondary texts, notes taken by interviewers, transcriptions of tape recordings..."

Arnold Schrier is not mentioned in Mícheál Briody's book, but the Irish Folklore Commission were helpful partners in his study of Irish Emigrant Letters, and his rescue of the letters themselves, the material letter.  See Schrier, A. (1997). Ireland and the American Emigration, 1850-1900. Dufour Editions.
Originally 1958, but my copy is the reprint.

And Arnold Schrier's pioneering work was developed further, and expanded, by Kerby Miller, in books and many articles - and many acts of kindness to younger scholars.  We have a tradition.

Patrick O'Sullivan