Performing scalar interculturalism: Race and identity in contemporary Irish performance
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This dissertation is an interdisciplinary analysis of race and identity in contemporary Irish performance. Using the Irish case study and looking at theatre, sport and dance, it develops an intersectional framework of analysis that highlights the imbricated matrices of race, ethnicity, gender and class that shape the performance and reception of intercultural identities. It argues that mixed race and minority ethnic individuals act as nested figures who perform an embodied interculturalism that collapses—and can thus be read across—historic and geographic scales. The central claims of this thesis, then, are that (a) the performative articulations of mixed race and minority ethnic identities can be seen and read as intercultural, (b) that this interculturalism is nested within and performed by the individual and (c) that this individual interculturalism can be revealed by analysing moments of performance through a scalar lens. Consequently, this thesis explores how reading the performances and performativity of mixed race and minority ethnic Irish individuals through a scalar lens makes visible the ways in which historical narratives are contested by emerging discourses, and how the more intimate scales of personal experience, family and community are often eclipsed or erased by the hegemonic scales of the national and global. By reading mixed race and minority ethnic individuals as intercultural, this study opens up current understandings of interculturalism as a collective process, and challenges monolithic understandings of Irish national identity.