Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies

ISBN 9780367694524
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
518 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies begins with the reversal in Irish fortunes after the 2008 global economic crash. The chapters included address not only changes in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland but also changes in disciplinary approaches to Irish Studies that the last decade of political, economic, and cultural unrest have stimulated.

Since 2008, Irish Studies has been directly and indirectly influenced by the crash and its reverberations through the economy, political landscape, and social framework of Ireland and beyond. Approaching Irish pasts, presents, and futures through interdisciplinary and theoretically capacious lenses, the chapters in this volume reflect the myriad ways Irish Studies has responded to the economic precarity in the Republic, renewed instability in the North, the complex European politics of Brexit, global climate and pandemic crises, and the intense social change in Ireland catalyzed by all of these.

Just as Irish society has had to dramatically reconceive its economic and global identity after the crash, Irish Studies has had to shift its theoretical modes and its objects of analysis in order to keep pace with these changes and upheavals. This book captures the dynamic ways the discipline has evolved since 2008, exploring how the age of austerity and renewal has transformed both Ireland and scholarly approaches to understanding Ireland. It will appeal to students and scholars of Irish studies, sociology, cultural studies, history, literature, economics, and political science.

Chapter 3, 5 and 15 of this book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access from the individual product page at It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Irish Studies from austerity to pandemic
    Renée Fox, Mike Cronin, and Brian Ó Conchubhair
  2. Towards a history of Irish Studies in the United States
    John Waters
  3. Irish Studies in the non-Anglophone world
    Michael Cronin

  5. Irish Historical Studies Avant la Lettre: the antiquarian genealogy of interdisciplinary scholarship
    Guy Beiner
  6. Separate and together: state histories in the twentieth century
    Timothy G. McMahon
  7. Beyond the tale: folkloristics and folklore studies
    Kelly Fitzgerald
  8. The Irish Language and the Gaeltachtaí: illiberalism and neoliberalism
    Brian Ó Conchubhair
  9. The great normalisation: success, failure and change in contemporary Ireland
    Eoin O’Malley
  10. Northern Ireland: more shared and more divided
    Dominic Bryan and Gordon Gillespie

  12. Connections and capital: the diaspora and Ireland’s global networks
    Mike Cronin
  13. Irish-America
    Liam Kennedy
  14. Irish Britain
    Mary J. Hickman
  15. Ireland Inc.
    Diane Negra and Anthony P. McIntyre
  16. Ireland, Europe, and Brexit
    Martina Lawless
  17. Digital Ireland: leprechaun economics, Silicon Docks, and crisis
    Kylie Jarrett

  19. Immigration and citizenship
    Lucy Michael
  20. The "new Irish" neighborhood: race and succession in Ireland and Irish America
    Sarah L. Townsend
  21. Gender and Irish Studies: 2008 to the present
    Claire Bracken
  22. Queering, querying Irish Studies
    Ed Madden
  23. The Catholic Church in Irish Studies
    Oliver P. Rafferty
  24. Part V: CULTURE

  25. Reading outside the lines: imagining new histories of Irish fiction
    Renée Fox
  26. Lyric narratives: the experimental aesthetics of Irish poetry
    Eric Falci
  27. The crisis and what comes after: post-Celtic Tiger theatre in a new Irish paradigm
    Laura Farrell-Wortman
  28. Material and visual culture in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
    Kelly Sullivan
  29. "Mise Éire": (re)imaginings in Irish Music Studies
    Méabh Ní Fhuartháin
  30. Sport and Irishness in a new millennium
    Paul Rouse


 27. Environmentalities: speculative imaginaries of the Anthropocene
        Nessa Cronin

 28. Irish animal studies at the turn of the twenty-first century
       Maureen O’Connor

 29. Contemporary Irish Studies and the impact of disability
       Elizabeth Grubgeld

 30. Irish media and representations: new critical paradigms
       Emma Radley

 31. Totem and Taboo in Tipperary? Irish shame and neoliberal crisis in Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart
      Seán Kennedy

    Part VII: LEGACY

 32. Trauma and recovery in the Post-Celtic Tiger Period: recuperating the parent-child bond in contemporary Irish fiction
       Kathleen Costello-Sullivan

 33. Abused Ireland: psychoanalyzing the enigma of sexual innocence
      Margot Gayle Backus and Joseph Valente

 34. Surplus to requirements? the ageing body in contemporary Irish writing
       Magaret O’Neill and Michaela Schrage-Früh

 35. From Full Irish to FREESPACE: Irish architecture in the twenty-first century 
      Brian Ward

 36. Repackaging history and mobilizing Easter 1916: commemorations in a time of downturn and austerity
      Mike Cronin

 37. An ordinary crisis: SARS-CoV-2 and Irish Studies
Malcolm Sen

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Renée Fox is Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Co-Director of the Dickens Project, an international research consortium headquartered there. She is completing a book entitled Necromantic Victorians: Reanimation and the Historical Imagination in British and Irish Literature, and her published work has appeared in Victorian Studies, Victorian Poetry, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, New Hibernia Review, and several collections and critical editions.  

Mike Cronin is the Academic Director of Boston College in Ireland. He has published widely on aspects of Irish history and in particular the sporting and social history of Ireland. He is the director of the government sponsored project, Century Ireland, which is a partnership with RTÉ and the national cultural institutions and is the digital repository for the history of Ireland in the 1913–23 period.

Brian Ó Conchubhair is Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also a Fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He is a former president of the American Conference for Irish Studies and has published widely on various aspects of the intersections of Irish language culture and literature with modernity.


"The Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies and The New Irish Studies do indeed call up limits, but they also make time in particular ways, carving out their own chronologies and shaping history on unexpected scales. In the process, they enlist to their aid not only novels but poems, plays, historical events, performances, paintings, media, sport, buildings, music, animals, sexualities, emotions, environments and disabilities."

Prof Claire ConnollyBook Review in Irish Times, May 29, 2021.

"Up-to-the-minute history rarely works, but this impressive collection is a valuable exception. Indeed, it is its very determination not only to capture but also to focus on the most recent developments both in Ireland and in Irish studies that makes this collection both a success and also a valuable corrective to the somewhat repetitive ‘deep history’ approach to Irish history. Indeed, this range offers a strong model for comparable work on other areas. The collection is to be welcomed, and hopefully will encourage much debate including over methodology."

Jeremy Black, Journal of European Studies 51(2)

"The handbook will be a fascinating read in the future, establishing which of the wide range of predictions and assessments made by its authors have proved accurate; for the moment, it is sure to serve as an important resource to students of Ireland and the international public alike, as well as a useful interdisciplinary compendium to scholars..."

Ondrej Pilny, Charles University, Prague

"If a new round of debates about how to conceptualize the Irish past are indeed upon us, this Handbook provides a useful and timely service. The essays here, taken as a whole, show how both Irish history-writing, and the multidisciplinary field of Irish Studies more broadly, can move beyond insular and old-fashioned ways of writing about modern Ireland and how Irish academics can learn from and meaningfully engage with the rest of the world."

Aidan Beatty, The Galway Review

"This vastly rich and varied collection of essays supplies a wide-ranging account of the history and evolution of the vibrant academic discipline that is Irish Studies... The emphasis is on putting forward an honest and objective appraisal of the multifaceted and intriguing discipline that those of us working in Irish Studies have many reasons to be grateful for."

Eamon Maher, National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, Ireland; published in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, Autumn 2021

"Their priority is the period since the 2008 banking crash that ended the Celtic Tiger period, bringing readers from there to the present moment with a concluding essay by Malcolm Sen that addresses the impact that the COVID pandemic might have on Irish Studies.At a time of confusion and unresolved crisis (due to COVID, Brexit, and more), the book feels like a meaningful contribution not just into Irish Studies but into Irish life more generally."

Patrick Lonergan, National University of Ireland, Galway; published in Review of Irish Studies in Europe 4.2 

"The Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies constitutes a very comprehensive volume that explores a broad variety of study areas within Irish Studies and how these have evolved in the post-Celtic Tiger period. This volume, attending to the changes that Ireland has experienced in its social, economic, cultural and political spheres due to the 2008 economic downturn, provides valuable insights into different fields of study that appeal to a wide range of scholars and students not only within the field of Irish Studies but also within other disciplines such as history, economics, sociology, political sciences, cultural studies and literature."

Iria Seijas-Pérez, Universidade de Vigo; published in BABEL-AFIAL, 30 (2021): 151-158

"The Handbook casts a critical eye on Irish Stud>ies as a discipline, what form it has taken at present, and how global and local challenges have influenced the very narrative of the field. It prompts the reader to reflect on the current state of Irish Studies and the way the discipline has evolved during the period from 2008, the time of austerity, when the global economic crash hit Ireland, and up to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Within this rather tight time framework, the Handbook successfully navigates between wider perspectives and close-ups, engaging its readers in a thought-provoking conversation, re-evaluating the past, (re)concep>tualizing the present, and mapping out the future."

Alla Kononova, Tyumen University, Russia; published in VTU Review: Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences Volume 5 Issue 2.

"The Routledge Handbook of Irish Studies, edited by Reneé Fox, Mike Cronin, and Brian Ó Conchubhair, is without question an ambitious book. It seeks to give a comprehensive overview of the state of the field of Irish studies in 2020, and, overall, it succeeds at that goal. It is a substantial work, coming in at around 500 pages with thirty-nine essays written by subject area specialists in fields ranging from history and literature to architecture, queer (or quare) studies, music, material culture, women’s studies, and material culture to give but a sample. These areas are broadly organised into six sections: an Overview, Historicizing Irish Studies, Global Ireland, Identities, Culture, Theorizing, and Legacy. Temporally, while occasionally dipping back to earlier periods, the collection focuses on the period from the nineteenth century forward and ends with a final essay addressing Ireland and COVID-19."

John A. Ball, Oklahoma State University, USA; published in Estudios Irlandeses, Issue 17, 2022

"The essays in RHIS collectively make an argument not just for how Irish Studies has changed, but also offer a working model of how it should continue changing. Setting the baseline of Irish Studies as it existed before and during the Celtic Tiger period, this collection makes a collective argument that Irish Studies has pulled away from its historic focus on nationalism and church history. It shows a growth beyond the constraints of history and literature to incorporate other academic disciplines. It calls for more gender inclusivity, and especially for more gender and queer theory. It argues that contemporary Ireland needs more engagement with theories and scholarship around race to reflect what it means to be Irish today. Its scholarship shows that neoliberal governmental policies are not only creating widening economic disparities, but they are also failing to provide needed support for the Irish language."

John H. Ball, Hillsborough Community College, Florida, USA

"The Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies and The New Irish Studies certainly evoke limits, but they also take time in special ways, tracing their own timelines and shaping history on unexpected scales. In the process, they recruit to their aid not only novels, but also poems, plays, historical events, performances, paintings, media, sports, buildings, music, animals, sexualities, emotions, environments and disabilities."

Charles I. Spencer, "Routledge International Handbook Of Irish Studies And New Irish Studies", Published online on Aris Today.