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Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

The concept of 'margins' denotes geographical, economic, demographic, cultural and political positioning in relation to a perceived centre. This book aims to question the term 'marginal' itself, to hear the voices talking 'across' borders and not only to or through an English centre. The first part of the book examines debates on the political and poetic choice of language, drawing attention to significant differences between the Irish and Scottish strategies. It includes a discussion of the complicated dynamic of woman and nation by Aileen Christianson, which explores the work of twentieth-century Scottish and Irish women writers. The book also explores masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorizing. A different perspective on the notion of marginality is offered by addressing 'Englishness' in relation to 'migrant' writing in prose concerned with India and England after Independence. The second part of the book focuses on a wide range of new poetry to question simplified margin/centre relations. It discusses a historicising perspective on the work of cultural studies and its responses to the relationship between ethnicity and second-generation Irish musicians from Sean Campbell. The comparison of contemporary Irish and Scottish fiction which identifies similarities and differences in recent developments is also considered. In each instance the writers take on the task of examining and assessing points of connection and diversity across a particular body of work, while moving away from contrasts which focus on an English 'norm'.

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Ethnicity and popular music in British cultural studies

productively in this context (see, for example, Stringer 1992).) Instead, what I want to draw attention to is the fact that this Irish dimension has rarely even been acknowledged in scholarly discussions of these musicians and that, in its absence, this work has assuredly posited second-generation Irish musicians as a kind of ‘white Englishcentre with which to differentiate more ostensibly marginal immigrant-descended cultural practitioners. In doing so, this work has not only assumed that the children of Irish Catholic labour migrants are straightforwardly and

in Across the margins
Contemporary Irish and Scottish fiction

that ‘[the] relationship of the Celtic diaspora to the English mainstream still remains to be properly investigated’ while the ‘difficulty’ of such an enterprise is explained as due to the complex history of political and linguistic development (1993: 62). Such (un)critical endorsement of ideological space (English centre, Celtic periphery) contributes to the process whereby that hegemonic space is reproduced and perpetuated. This chapter aspires to an alternative critical project: an analysis of contemporary Scottish and Irish fiction through a comparison of the

in Across the margins
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Crossing the margins

concept of ‘margins’ denotes therefore geographical, economic, demographic, cultural and political positioning in relation to a perceived centre. One aim of this book, however, is to move away from rather than replicate this core/periphery model – to question the term ‘marginal’ itself, to hear voices talking ‘across’ borders and not only to or through an English centre. Even as a reclaimed term, the idea of ‘marginality’ still appears to give some priority to a notional centre; while this has some bearing on historical and geographical structures of power, it can also

in Across the margins
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of the ‘Celtic fringe’ (as compared with the Englishcentre’) would make. The creation of the United Kingdom is very much the result of England being the dominant power within the British Isles. It has for centuries been the wealthiest country, the most powerful government, and the largest population in these islands. It took centuries of war in Wales and Ireland, and war and economic leverage in

in Understanding political ideas and movements