Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender

  • The Construction of Irish National Identity, 1724–1874

  • by Leith Davis

  • 344 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 , 10 halftones

  • Paperback | 9780268025786 | November 2005

  • Hardcover | 9780268025779 | November 2005

  • eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268203689 | November 2021


In Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender, Leith Davis studies the construction of Irish national identity from the early eighteenth until the mid-nineteenth centuries, focusing in particular on how texts concerning Irish music, as well as the social settings within which those texts emerged, contributed to the imagining of Ireland as “the Land of Song.” Through her considerations of Irish music collections by the Neals, Edward Bunting, and George Petrie; antiquarian tracts and translations by Joseph Cooper Walker, Charlotte Brooke, and James Hardiman; and lyrics and literary works by Sidney Owenson, Thomas Moore, Samuel Lover, and Dion Boucicault, Davis suggests that music served as an ideal means through which to address the ambiguous and ever-changing terms of the colonial relationship between Ireland and England.

Davis also explores the gender issues so closely related to the discourses on both music and national identity during the time, and the influence of print culture and consumer capitalism on the representation of Irish music at home and abroad. She argues that the emergence of a mass market for culture reconfigured the gendered ambiguities already inherent in the discourses on Irish music and identity.

Davis’s book will appeal to scholars within Irish studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, print culture, new British history, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies, and ethnomusicology.