Remembering to Forget: Marginalised Visual Representations in the Irish Nation Narrative

  • Gail Baylis University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Abstract

The period 1890 to 1914 witnesses a European-wide crisis in masculinity and an acceleration of modern nationalism.  The figure of the boy becomes a central symbol for re-securing both masculinity and the nation.  As a consequence boy culture became increasing associated with militarism.  Nation states are masculine institutions and therefore it hardly surprises that the story that the modern state tells to legitimise its origins prioritises masculine concerns. This study focuses on the construction of visual nation-building narratives expressed through nationalist boy culture in Ireland at the beginning of the twentieth century. It aims to connect these currents to the broader European context and, in the process, evaluate the relationship between gendering and nationalism at this specific historical juncture. It argues that by focusing on the role and development of boy culture during this period we can better understand why the nation narrative prioritises one vi­su­alised story of national self-determinacy over a num­ber of competing versions, and it foregrounds the re­silience of hegemonic masculinity in this. In this context, which photographs are chosen to support the nation narrative and which get forgotten is significant because it indicates the gendered nature of nation formation.

References

[1] Alter, P., Nationalism, London and New York: Edward Arnold, 1988: 1989

[2] Baylis, G., ”Gender in the Frame: photography and the perfor-mance of the nation narrative in early twentieth-century Ire-land”, Irish Studies Review, forthcoming, May 2014

[3] Billig, M., Banal Nationalism, London: Sage, 1995

[4] Boyce, D.G., Nationalism in Ireland, 3rd edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1995

[5] Boyd, K., Manliness and the Boys’ Story Papers in Britain: A Cultural History, 1855-1940, Houndsmill, Basingstoke: Pal-grave MacMillan, 2003

[6] Carville, J., Photography and Ireland, London: Reaktion Books, 2011

[7] Colbert, C. entry, http://www.nli.ie/1916/pdf/9.6pdf, pp. 1-4. (Accessed 30/09/13)

[8] Cullen, M. and M. Luddy Eds, Female activists: Irish women and change 1900-1960, Dublin: Woodfield Press, 2001

[9] Dudgeon, J., Roger Casement The Black Diaries: with a study of his background, sexuality and Irish political life, Belfast: Bel-fast Press, 2002

[10] Foster, R.F., The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland, London: Allen Lane/Penguin Books, 2001

[11] Frazier, A., “Queering the Irish Renaissance: The Masculinity of Moore, Martyn and Yeats”, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Ireland, A. Bradley and M. Gialanella Valiulis Eds, Amherest: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997, pp.8-38

[12] Gaughan J.A., Scouting in Ireland, Blackrock, Co. Dublin: King-dom Books, 2006

[13] Gellner, E., Nations and Nationalism, Oxford: Blackwell, 1983

[14] Gillis, J.R., Youth and History: Tradition and Change in Euro-pean Age Relations, 1700-Present, London: Academic Press, 1981

[15] Hartsock, N., “Prologue to a feminist critique of war and poli-tics”, Women’s Views of the Political World of Men, J.H. Stiehn Ed., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Transnational Publishers, 1984, pp.123-50

[16] Hay, M., “This treasured island: Irish nationalist propaganda aimed at children and youths, 1910-16”, Treasured Islands: Studies in Children’s Literature, M. Shine Thompson and C. Keenan Eds, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2006, pp.33-42

[17] ---------- “The foundation and development of Na Fianna Eir-eann, 1, 1909-16”, Irish Historical Studies, Vol.36:4, May 2008, pp.53-71

[18] Hobson, B., Ireland Yesterday and Tomorrow, Tralee, Ireland: Anvil Books Ltd, 1968

[19] Hobsbawn, E., “Introduction: Inventing Traditions”, The In-vention of Tradition, E. Hobsbawn and T. Rangers Eds., Cam-bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp.1-14

[20] Howard, K., “Accidental Diasporas: A Perspective on Northern Ireland’s Nationalists”, Rethinking Diaspora: Hidden Narra-tives and Imagined Borders, A. Ni Eigartaigh, K. Howard and D. Getty Eds, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007, pp. 78-89

[21] Jackson, A., “Unionist Myths 1912-1985”, Past and Present, Vol. 136, August 1992, pp. 164-85

[22] Jeffrey, K., “The First World War and the Rising: Mode, Moment and Memory”, 1916 The Long Revolution, G. Doherty and D. Keogh Eds., Cork: Mercier Press, 2007

[23] Kirkland, R., Cahal O’Bryne and the Northern Revival, 1890-1960, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006

[24] Lee, J., The Modernisation of Irish Society, Dublin: Gill and Mac-nillan, 1973, 1989

[25] Lloyd, D., Anomalous States: Irish Writing and the Post-Colonial Moment, Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1993

[26] Luddy, M., Women in Ireland, 1800-1918: A Documentary History, Cork: Cork University Press, 1995

[27] Markievicz, C., Bean na h’Eireann, July 1909

[28] McGarry, F., The Rising Ireland: Easter 1916, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010

[29] ----------------- Rebels: Voices from the Easter Rising, Dublin: Penguin Ireland, 2011

[30] McMahon, T.G., Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893-1910, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2008

[31] Mosse, G.L., Nationalism and Sexuality: Middle-Class Morality and Sexual Norms in Modern Europe, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985

[32] __________ The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculin-ity, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996

[33] Morris, C., Alice Milligan and the Irish Cultural Revival, Dublin and Portland, Oregon: Four Courts Press, 2012

[34] Nagel, J., “Masculinity and nationalism: gender and sexuality in the making of nations”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 21:2, March 1998, pp. 242-269

[35] Phoenix, E., “Francis Joseph Bigger: Historian, Gaelic Leaguer and Protestant Nationalist”, Feis na a Gleann: a century of Gaelic Culture in the Antrim Glens, E. Phoenix et al, Belfast: Stair Uladh, 2005, pp. 65-77

[36] Reeser, R.W., Masculinity In Theory: An Introduction, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2010

[37] Rosenthal, M., The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement, London: Collins, 1986

[38] Schirato, T. and J. Webb, Understanding the Visual, London: Sage, 2004

[39] Sisson, E., Pearse’s Patriots: St Enda’s and the Cult of Boyhood, Cork: Cork University Press, 2004

[40] Springhall, J.O., “The Boy Scouts, Class and Militarism in Rela-tion to British Youth Movements”, International Review of So-cial History, Vol.16: 2, 1971, pp. 126-158

[41] --------------------- Youth, Empire and Society: British Youth Movements, 1883-1940, London: Croom Helm

[42] Titley, A., ‘The Brass Tacks of the Situation’, Letters from the New Island, D. Bolger Ed., Dublin: Raven Arts Press, pp. 206-208
How to Cite
BAYLIS, Gail. Remembering to Forget: Marginalised Visual Representations in the Irish Nation Narrative. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], n. 7, p. 123-136, dec. 2014. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/36>. Date accessed: 29 nov. 2021.
Section
English Articles

Keywords

masculinity, militarism, Ireland, photography, nation narrative, performativity