Revealing Ireland's "Proper" Heart: Apology, Shame, Nation

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This article contributes to feminist expositions of emotion and “matters of the heart” by highlighting the gendered nature of the mobilization of shame. It focuses on the role shame plays in state apology and the desire to recover pride. Specifically, it analyzes the state apology offered to the survivors of Magdalen Laundries by Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland. By drawing out how the state apology recreates the Irish nation, it traces the deployment of a potentially productive variety of the politics of shame, which comes to be subverted in the service of keeping the virtuous, feeling “heart” of Ireland—the nation's very core—intact across a temporal, moral continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-767
Number of pages16
JournalHypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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