Ireland and Irishness: The Contextuality of Postcolonial Identity

Mathummal Satish Kumar, Lauren A. Scanlon

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The porous boundaries of postcolonial studies are put to the test in examining the Irish question and its position in postcolonial studies. Scholars have explored Ireland through the themes of decolonization, diaspora, and religion, but we propose indigenous studies as a way forward to push the boundaries and apply an appropriate context to view the 1916 Commemorations, a likely focus of Irish Studies for years to come. To set the stage for Ireland, we will explore the existing literature on postcolonialism and Ireland’s place within it first by reexamining the historical narrative, then moving into a postcolonial critique of indigenous articulations presented in the context of the 1916 Commemorations. We ultimately look to embrace a discussion about indigenous studies and its offerings to the Irish question. By analyzing the 1916 commemorations as a celebration of indigenous culture in a post-colonial state, the tensions of reclaiming within certain geopolitical realities reveals an unexplored space for the Irish question. These tensions are smoothed over by a re-claiming of the diaspora, uniting the mobile indigenous to their homeland as part of the ongoing re-imaging of the Irish postcolonial identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-222
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • colonial mimicry
  • Easter Rising 1916
  • diaspora
  • indigenous
  • residuality
  • indigeniety
  • decolonisation


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