Research Project: Cross-Cultural Encounters: An Irish Dimension
Irene Gilsenan Nordin Carmen Zamorano Llena Charles Armstrong, University of Bergen Brynhildur Boyce, University of Iceland Hedda Friberg, Mittuniversitet Billy Gray, Lulea Tekniska Universitet Anne Khario, National University of Ireland, Galway Ruben Moi, University of Tromso Britta Olinder, University of Göteborg Anders Olsson, Mittuniversitet Ake Persson, Högskolan Väst, Trollhätan Gerald Porter, University of Vaasa Paul Ronald, University of Göteborg Martin Shaw, Mittuniversitet Joakim Wrethed, University of Stockholm Lene Ydig Pedersen, University of Aalborg, Denmark
This is the current work-in-progress project of the NISN (Nordic Irish Studies Network) research group. The theme, “Cross-Cultural Encounters,” focuses on interculturality, transculturality, or transnationality in an Irish context. My contribution to this project is entitled “Multiculturalism and the Dark Underbelly of the Celtic Tiger: Redefinitions of Irishness in Contemporary Ireland”, focusing on the work of Roddy Doyle and Cauvery Madhavan. In this essay, I will analyse their work as an example of the way in which some contemporary Irish fiction questions past and present constructs of Irishness. I will contend that the rapid pace of transformations experienced by the Republic of Ireland since the mid-1990s has also necessarily changed the inherited sense of place and, consequently, the sense of Irish identity. I will focus on the ways in which their work contributes to a redefinition of Ireland that emphasises, on the one hand, its multiculturalism, and, on the other, a challenge to the glossy brand image of Celtic Tiger Ireland to uncover what the film director John Boorman has called “the dark underbelly of Ireland”.