Irish Ethnologies gives an overview of the field of Irish ethnology, covering representative topics of institutional history and methodology, as well as case studies dealing with religion, ethnicity, memory, development, folk music, and traditional cosmology. This collection of essays draws from work in multiple disciplines including but not limited to anthropology and ethnomusicology.
These essays, first published in French in the journal Ethnologie française, illuminate the complex history of Ireland and exhibit the maturity of Irish anthropology. Martine Segalen contends that these essays are part of a larger movement that “galvanized the quiet revolution in the domain of the ethnology of France.” They did so by making specific examples, in this instance Ireland, inform a larger definition of a European identity. The essays, edited by Ó Giolláin, also significantly explain, expand, and challenge “Irish ethnography.” From twelfth-century accounts to Anglo-Irish Romanticism, from topographical surveys to statistical accounts, the statistical and literary descriptions of Ireland and the Irish have prefigured the ethnography of Ireland. This collection of articles on the ethnographic disciplines in Ireland provides an instructive example of how a local anthropology can have lessons for the wider field.
This book will interest academics and students of anthropology, folklore studies, history, and Irish Studies, as well as general readers.
Contributors: Martine Segalen, Diarmuid Ó Giolláin, Hastings Donnan, Anne Byrne, Pauline Garvey, Adam Drazin, Gearóid Ó Crualaoich, Joseph Ruane, Ethel Crowley, Dominic Bryan, Helena Wulff, Guy Beiner, Sylvie Muller, and Anthony McCann.
Diarmuid Ó Giolláin is a professor in the Department of Irish Language and Literature, a concurrent professor of anthropology, and a fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Locating Irish Folklore: Tradition, Modernity, Identity and An Dúchas agus an Domhan
“This anthology is a significant and original contribution to scholarship in several related fields: anthropology, ethnology, folkloristics, history, sociology, religious history, and others. The essays are well organized and contextualize each other beautifully. Together they furnish the reader (not least the reader from outside of Ireland) with many inroads to understanding Ireland (North and South), Irish culture, religion, history, and the development of the ‘ethnological sciences’ in Ireland and comparatively. ” —Barbro Klein, Uppsala University
"The clarity of the title says it all. Ó Giolláin assembles articulate, engaged, informed, and theoretically savvy scholars from around the world (including Ireland) to present their best research-based thoughts about Irish society and culture, urban and rural, north and south, in the twenty-first century. The result greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. Readable, sure-footed, rich in detail, and hugely informative, this interdisciplinary collection digs deep into existing scholarship to offer new insights. It is at once an encyclopaedia and a kaleidoscope for anyone interested in the complexities of this small island." —Angela Bourke, professor emerita, UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, Dublin
"From its stunning historical overview of anthropological and folkloristic studies of Ireland through chapters that open new doors into the spaces in which culture, tradition, materiality, and museums are made, unmade, and rebaptized as heritage or carnival, Irish Ethnologies demonstrates why Ireland and Northern Ireland continue to be remarkably productive of insights into colonialism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism." —Charles L. Briggs, co-author of Tell Me Why My Children Died: Rabies, Indigenous Knowledge, and Communicative Justice