The sea of orality: An introduction to orality and modern Irish culture
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Cronin, N.; Crosson, S.; Eastlake, J. (2009) 'The Sea of Orality : An Introduction to Orality and Modern Irish Culture ' In: Cronin, N.; Crosson, S.; Eastlake, J. (Eds.). Anáil an Bhéil Bheo: Orality and Modern Irish Culture. Newcastle : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
[Introduction to the collection Anáil an Bhéil Bheo: Orality and Modern Irish Culture (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009)] While the connections between oral and textual traditions in Ireland have been the focus of much scholarly work in the past, less consideration has been paid to the theoretical concept of “orality” and the corresponding significance of oral texts in modern Irish culture and society. The present collection of essays seeks to explore the relationships between such interrelated islands, and to highlight the connections between orality and textuality that, at different times and for different reasons, have not been recognised, foregrounded or integrated into our general understanding of how these forms of cultural discourse have operated in an Irish context. This volume is the result of a rich interdisciplinary collaboration, which began with the hosting of a conference dealing with the ways in which modern Irish culture has navigated its way through the “surrounding sea of orality”. One of the central aims of the conference was to address and sensitively navigate the critical faultlines that permeate and shape our understanding of Irish literate and oral cultures. An additional concern was to foster an interdisciplinary critique of Irish oral and textual cultures that would draw on many disciplines to disrupt and complicate the too easy and dichotomising alignment of orality with the Irish language, the traditional and rurality, and print literacy with the English language, modernity and urbanity. While much disciplinary-based work is vital to Irish Studies scholarship, an interdisciplinary approach that rigorously interrogates and integrates such disciplinary strands can highlight previously occluded connections, offer new insights, and on occasion can evolve new interpretive strategies that further our understanding of the key issues under investigation.