History, Literature, Cultural Studies
|MESEA, Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas|
|Routledge, Taylor & Francis|
Atlantic Studies is a multidisciplinary quarterly that publishes cutting-edge research, studying the Atlantic world as a conceptual, historical, and cultural space. It explores transnational, transhistorical, and transdisciplinary intersections, but also addresses global flows and perspectives beyond the Atlantic as a closed or self-contained space. In the larger context of global flows, the journal considers the Atlantic as part of wider networks, a space of exchange, and an expanding paradigm beyond the limits of its own geography, moving beyond national, regional, and continental divides by examining entangled histories and cultures. Published on behalf of MESEA (Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas), the journal challenges critical orthodoxies that have drawn sharp lines between the experiences and representations of the Atlantic world and its wider global context, in particular in relation to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Atlantic Studies welcomes submissions in the areas of cultural studies, history, geography, critical theory, and literature.
2014 09, Volume 11, Number 3 Irish Global Migration
Memory and John Mitchel’s appropriation of the slave narrative
In his 1854 memoir Jail Journal Irish nationalist John Mitchel, having witnessed the devastating consequences of the Famine firsthand, constructs an acerbic critique of British colonial policy that at some points repels the reader. Stirring revulsion are the journal's advocacy of blood sacrifice and, even more, its overt racial supremacism. That racist strain likely explains why, until recently, scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have ignored Jail Journal. Yet, as area studies increasingly engages with a more comparative and transcultural approach, Mitchel's transnational narrative merits a second look. This article breaks ground by identifying startling parallels between this work by a vocal nineteenth-century supporter of slavery in the Americas, and leading slave narratives. It shows clearly the bitter irony that to tell his ultimately supremacist story of victimisation, Mitchel appropriated the slave narrative's tropes of kidnap, of Middle Passage dehumanisation and commodification, of escape, and of liberation. Illuminating needs of the nineteenth-century US and British racial states - needs fuelled by the flawed Eurocentric logic of the transnational intellectual elite - this analysis of John Mitchel's Jail Journal contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the global dimensions of racism.
Recrimination and reconciliation: Great Famine memory in Liverpool and Montreal at the turn of the twentieth century
The wave of interest in the Great Famine generated by the 150th anniversary commemorations in Ireland and across the diaspora indicates that public memory of the catastrophe remains vital to the formulation of Irish identities. The sesquicentennial not only focused popular, official, and scholarly attention on narrating the Famine, it also initiated ongoing debate over whether public acts of Famine remembrance produced meaningful or contrived connections to this painful past. In much of the commentary produced in the two decades since the sesquicentennial, sceptics and supporters alike have described Famine commemoration as a new cultural phenomenon - one that broke public memorial silence on the subject. Yet, there were various memorial practices and commemorative narratives long before the mid-1990s, most notably the acts of remembrance of Irish diasporic communities around the time of the Famine's 50th anniversary. This article addresses this issue in relation to Liverpool and Montreal - the busiest British and Canadian urban ports of entry during the Famine migration. Both cities were flooded with destitute and often ailing Famine migrants in the summer of 1847 when officials and residents struggled to contain a typhus epidemic that killed thousands despite quarantine measures. Though many of the Irish newcomers to Montreal and Liverpool out-migrated subsequently, Irish Catholic groups in both cities kept its memory alive through political rhetoric, religious rituals, and historical commemoration, often recalling it as the traumatic genesis of Irish emigration, and periodically mobilizing its remembrance in support of various forms of Irish nationalism. This article considers how public memorial sites and commemorative narratives were constructed in Montreal and Liverpool at the turn of the twentieth century to entrench local ethnic solidarity in the context of sectarian strains and fraught socioeconomic circumstances, and to reinforce Irish national and diasporic connections amidst political contestations over Home Rule.
Remembering Canada: the place of Canada in the memorializing of the Great Irish Famine
Over 250,000 Irish migrants ventured to British North America during the years of the Great Irish Famine. Recently, Canadians have commemorated their role in assisting Famine refugees in several eastern Canadian cities and at quarantine stations in New Brunswick and Quebec. When the commemorations and monuments were being constructed, revisionist historians in Canada questioned, with some success, the centrality of the Famine to the entire process of Irish migration to Canada. Some historians have claimed that such commemorations will continue the "problem" of viewing all of the Irish migration to Canada through the lens of the Famine. While acknowledging the domestic historical conundrum about remembering the Famine in Canada, this article, however, proposes a different perspective: how is the Canadian role in the Irish Famine migration documented by Irish historians and memorialized in the Famine commemorations in Ireland itself? Through an examination of monuments to the Famine, Irish folk and theme parks, local and national museums, and formal public commemorations, the article will explore how the Irish depictions of the Famine diaspora to Canada, when evident at all, compare to Irish discussions of migration to the UK, the USA, and Australia.
"Neither do these tenants or their children emigrate": famine and transatlantic emigration from Finland in the nineteenth century
The Great Finnish Famine of 1868, referred to by Cormac Ó Gráda as the "last great subsistence crisis of the western world", caused the death of nearly one-tenth of Finland's population. This article examines the patterns of post-famine emigration from Finland, and considers differences of scale and context with Irish post-famine emigration, as well as the differences in national identity which conditioned responses to the famines, and their commemoration/politicization in the respective emigrant communities. Emigration from Finland did take place during the famine period - particularly to parts of the Russian Empire - but emigration to North America was very limited, and the so-called American Fever took hold in Finland only two decades later. The contrasts were underpinned mainly by variances in the constitutional statuses of Finland and Ireland in the nineteenth century. Finland had been a Grand Duchy of Russia after passing from Swedish rule in 1809, but unlike Ireland, after 1801, it possessed a considerable amount of internal autonomy. With no apparent need to construct a narrative of oppression or resistance, Finland was able to develop a national identity based on values such as self-reliance and education. When the famine struck, it was the Finns themselves who were responsible for organizing relief, and it was inappropriate to blame the Russian imperial authorities. Emigration, likewise, was portrayed as a reaction to problems caused by general economic restructuring in Finland, directed by a home-rule government in Helsinki. When narratives of the Finnish famine appeared, in the 1890s, they contained no sense of grievance against Russia, and instead preached the importance of hard work, communality, and self-sufficiency. If the Great Irish Famine helped to crystallize anti-British feelings among emigrants in America, early Finnish-American newspapers concentrated largely on transplanting the ideals of Finnish nationhood into the New World.
Famine, home, and transatlantic politics in two late nineteenth-century Irish-American novels
This article analyzes the continuing tensions and influences between political and nationalist self-representations of the Irish in the USA and the Irish in Ireland in James Doran's Zanthon and John Brennan's Erin Mor. As this essay shows, the ostensibly Irish (nationalist) ideologies of these texts are fundamentally transatlantic by nature. They are projected as an interface between Irish nationalism, current American affairs and politics, and British imperial ideology. As such, these texts construct a liminal discourse of transatlantic Irish nationalism, creating an intermediary discursive space between host country, home, and Empire. Instead of merely describing the Irish diaspora as a community of exiles or a victim diaspora, these works of fiction show that through the infusion or appropriation of North American ideals, the Irish nation could be (re)forged, at home or abroad. Moreover, on a more thematic level, both Doran and Brennan's political philosophies interact with political ideologies of the late 1880s and early 1890s, elaborating their own takes on the interrelations between the rhetoric of liberty and economic policy central to the political debate in the USA during the latter part of the nineteenth century. With their double message for both the USA and Ireland, these texts thus forge a genuinely transatlantic Irish transnationalism.
Famine memory and the gathering of stones: genealogies of belonging
Since the mid-1990s the commemoration of Irish migration - specifically that related to the Famine of the 1840s - has achieved remarkable visibility in the public sphere. This essay explores how the practice of community Famine commemoration may be read as an index of competing commemorative concerns, as appeals for heritage recognition and genealogical affiliation combine with narratives of both ethnic difference and essentialism. In particular, the popularity of megalithic reproduction and imported "pieces of Ireland" reveals continuity with older forms of commemoration yet evidences new transatlantic relationships. By contextualizing a modest community memorial project within wider Irish and international memory practices, this essay argues how the Famine's commemoration may be understood as both "mirror" and "lamp," alternatively reflecting and constructing social beliefs and behaviors.
Other Issues2014 06, Volume 11, Number 2
2014 03, Volume 11, Number 1
2013 12, Volume 10, Number 4
2013 09, Volume 10, Number 3
2013 06, Volume 10, Number 2
2013 03, Volume 10, Number 1 The French Atlantic Studies
2012 12, Volume 9, Number 4
2012 09, Volume 9, Number 3 Slave Trade Memorialization
2012 06, Volume 9, Number 2
2012 03, Volume 9, Number 1 The Planter Class
2011 12, Volume 8, Number 4
2011 09, Volume 8, Number 3
2011 06, Volume 8, Number 2 Abolitionist places
2011 03, Volume 8, Number 1
2010 12, Volume 7, Number 4 Atlantic Science -- New Approaches
2010 09, Volume 7, Number 3
2010 06, Volume 7, Number 2
2010 03, Volume 7, Number 1
2009 12, Volume 6, Number 3
2009 08, Volume 6, Number 2
2009 04, Volume 6, Number 1
2008 12, Volume 5, Number 3 New Orleans in the Atlantic World II
2008 08, Volume 5, Number 2 New Orleans in the Atlantic World
2008 04, Volume 5, Number 1
2007 10, Volume 4, Number 2
2007 04 , Volume 4, Number 1 The French Atlantic
2006 10, Volume 3, Number 2
2006 04, Volume 3, Number 1
2005 10, Volume 2, Number 2
2005 04, Volume 2, Number 1
2004 10, Volume 1, Number 2
2004 04, Volume 1, Number 1