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Memory Studies and Famine Studies: Gender, Genealogy, History


This lecture by Professor Margaret Kelleher identifies and examines a number of trends in recent historiographical work on the Great Famine including their striking appropriation of narrative and fictive tropes.

It explores the existence – or perceived existence – of an 'affective gap' in existing historiography, which is seen to justify this wave of new publications, a gap reinforced by the failure of most famine scholarship to reflect in depth on its own affective and emotional register.

The related absence of gender as a category of analysis within studies which have emphasised national and regional scales of enquiry is highlighted in the lecture's second part, and it concludes by proposing a re-examination of gender as a lens through which, in Marianne Hirsch's words, 'through which to read the domestic and the public scenes of memorial acts'.

Series edited by: Emilie Pine
General Editor: P.J. Mathews
Scholarcast original theme music by: Padhraic Egan, Michael Hussey and Sharon Hussey. 
Recording, audio editing, photography and development by: John Matthews & Vincent Hoban at UCD IT Services, Media Services.

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