'Sick on the Irish Sea, Dancing Across the Atlantic': (Anti)Nostalgia in women's diasporic remembrance of the Irish revolution
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Aiken, Síobhra. (2021). 'Sick on the Irish Sea, Dancing Across the Atlantic': (Anti)Nostalgia in women's diasporic remembrance of the Irish revolution. In Oona Frawley (Ed.), Women and the Decade of Commemorations. Indiana: Indiana University Press.
The substantial displacement of people following the Irish revolution (1916–1923), particularly of women, has little place in the state-sanctioned commemorative history of the period. This migration poses a number of problems for the ‘social remembrance’ (Beiner) of the revolution. How does a community remember when it no longer exists in the geographic place of origin? Drawing on an array of disparate narratives, including letters, memoirs, and fictional self-representation, this chapter aims to recuperate a number of the counter-memories of female revolutionary émigrées in order to consider the spaces available to women for coming to terms with the past within diasporic communities. Furthermore, it explores how these memories of revolution can oscillate between nostalgic and anti-nostalgic remembrance and how less conventional forms of testimony often offer more complex readings of women’s diasporic remembrance than first-person narrative.