Racializing the Irish: the discursive production of race and nation by the young Ireland movement

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Molloy, Edward
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Taylor & Francis
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This essay will analyse the ways in which definitions of race in nineteenth-century Ireland were not only, nor simply set by British colonizers, but rather were produced and determined by Irish people themselves. This long history of Irish engagement with concepts of race shaped how the Young Ireland movement understood how the Irish nation was (racially) constituted. Additionally, the multi-racial history of the Irish nation inflected Young Ireland's understanding of how history structured the construction of an Irish nationality. This paper then will show how the Young Irelanders understood race and, more particularly, how they recognized themselves as racialized subjects. Their own adoption of a racialized Irishness was important to their vision for Ireland's revolutionary future. Placing race centrally within the writings of Young Ireland, highlighting its essential role in a historical account of Irish nationality, this essay will thereby cast new light on the difficulties inherent in Young Ireland's nationalist project. In particular, it will underscore the anxieties experienced by Young Ireland about the potential impossibility of the nationalist project with reference to its production and experience of racialized but ambiguous subject positions.
Ireland , Race , Nineteenth century , Nationalism
Molloy, E. (2024) 'Racializing the Irish: the discursive production of race and nation by the young Ireland movement', Social Identities, 29(6), pp. 519-533. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2024.2338830
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© 2024, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an item published by Taylor & Francis in Social Identities on 8 April 2024, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2024.2338830