Redefining Irishness – Fragmentation or Intercultural Exchange (virtual paper)

Egypt, ID LLCE2014-162

The traditional definition of Irishness has been overwritten by internationalization, cultural and political discourses.  Globalisation today sets the ground for the redefinition of a “new Ireland” altering the ethnocultural base to the definitions of Irish national identity. Recent cultural criticism on modern Irish studies have described the Irish nation as undergoing moments of crisis and instability within a global context.

This paper explores and analyzes the process by which literary dramatic works dealing with Irish national distinctiveness have been put subject to being written and re-written as the Irish Nation passes through periods of instabilities and problematisations. Ireland has been affected by conflicting narratives and needed to move “towards a new configuration of identities” (Kearney 1997:15). Edward W. Said comments on this fracturing of identity as “human reality is constantly being made and unmade” (1979:33).

The attempt Irish playwrights have made to address factors affecting Irishness and the violent assertion of national identity addressed in this paper, are considered within a post-nationalist and post-colonial context of dramatic works.