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Sen’s chapter examines specific historical manifestations of race, particularly the representations of black and brown bodies in Joyce’s texts, annotating Joyce’s concerns with twentieth-century colonialism while also acknowledging the enduring forms of imperialism and hegemony in the contemporary moment: the multiethnic contemporary present of Irish life and the concurrent reinvigoration of white supremacist and racist nationalisms in twenty-first-century geopolitics.Sen’s chapter asks how Joyce’s texts inform our understanding of the present and its multiple sociopolitical and ecological challenges within which race operates as a key determinant. He examines a scene in “The Dead” as staging the delegitimization of the subject of blackness, appearing as it does as an impolite intrusion upon civil discourse. He interprets the reading in “Cyclops” of the account of the lynching as normalizing violence against bodies of color. Sen asks when Joycean ironies fail to humanize and modernize subjects of color within empire.
This chapter provides a broad survey of the field of Irish literature and the environment, and challenges some of the ways in which the subject has been broached thus far. It argues that the exponential effects of the climate crisis are now being felt across the world in a manner that demands urgent critical intervention and innovation. How is Irish Studies reacting to the momentous ontological and epistemological crises ushered in by the Anthropocene epoch? As the chapters of this survey indicate, scholars working in the field of Irish Studies are increasingly using interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary tools to analyze Irish culture’s relationship to the environment. The chapter goes on to summarize the contents and contexts of the contributions to this volume.
From Gaelic annals and medieval poetry to contemporary Irish literature, A History of Irish Literature and the Environment examines the connections between the Irish environment and Irish literary culture. Themes such as Ireland's island ecology, the ecological history of colonial-era plantation and deforestation, the Great Famine, cultural attitudes towards animals and towards the land, the postcolonial politics of food and energy generation, and the Covid-19 pandemic - this book shows how these factors determine not only a history of the Irish environment but also provide fresh perspectives from which to understand and analyze Irish literature. An international team of contributors provides a comprehensive analysis of Irish literature to show how the literary has always been deeply engaged with environmental questions in Ireland, a crucial new perspective in an age of climate crisis. A History of Irish Literature and the Environment reveals the socio-cultural, racial, and gendered aspects embedded in questions of the Irish environment.
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