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By Susan Cannon Harris

Gender and sleek Irish Drama argues that the representations of sacrificial violence crucial to the paintings of the Abbey playwrights are in detail associated with structures of gender and sexuality. Susan Cannon Harris is going past an exam of the connection among Irish nationwide drama and Irish nationalist politics to the bigger query of ways nationwide id and gender identification are developed via one another. considerably redefining the context in which the Abbey performs have been played, Harris records the fabric and discursive forces that produced Irish conceptions of gender. She seems at cultural structures of the human physique and their impression on nationalist rhetoric, linking the creation and reception of the performs to conversations approximately public wellbeing and fitness, pop culture, fiscal coverage, and racial identification that have been happening inside of and out of doors the nationalist group. The e-book is either a vital intervention in Irish experiences and an incredible contribution to the continuing feminist undertaking of theorizing the creation of gender and the physique.

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Before the Anatomy Act of 1832 made it easier to obtain human cadavers through legitimate channels, British medical institutions were supplied by body-snatchers or “resurrection-men,” who surreptitiously exhumed and then sold recently buried corpses. Although grave robbing was a documented phenomenon in England and Scotland, Irish graves supplied a disproportionate number of these illegal cadavers. According to Irish medical historian Dr. John Fleetwood, Irish newspapers reflect public concern about body-snatching as early as 1732 (33).

3 But the conflict also had to do with gender; and that fact had to do with conceptions about the human body, health, and illness that were influenced by imperial science. 4 That resistance, however, was almost entirely oppositional; instead of challenging the gender paradigms that supported disabling constructions of Irishness, the Irish-Ireland movement merely tried to reverse them, defining Ireland into the position of power, agency, and virtue. As a result, Irish-Irelandism was never able to change the terms of the debate, and it remained largely defined by the imperialist discourse against which it was reacting.

P. Moran’s attack translates Celticism’s neuropathology into physiological deterioration: the Irish Literary Theater is a “thing with no blood in it,” an “anaemic sham” weak in body and in mind (261). Conversely, the Oireachtas, an annual Irish-language cultural festival organized by the Gaelic League, is represented as producing virility, health, and strength: There is talk upon all sides of the vitality of the Gael, and of the resurgence of the Celt. The coming year or two will show whether the rally is a spasmodic effort before final extinction or whether it be real.

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