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Title:The despotism of fact: Celticism and the transnational critique of capitalism in England and Ireland, 1865-1954
Author(s):Boynton, T.J.
Director of Research:Valente, Joseph
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Valente, Joseph
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Esty, Joshua; Mahaffey, Vicki; Hansen, James A.; Goodlad, Lauren
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
British Literature
Irish Literature
Abstract:My dissertation examines the history of the ethnological theory of Celticism, tracing its mediation of a broad range of concerns relative to the economic dimension of the colonial relationship between England and Ireland from 1865 until 1954. I argue that by propagating a conception of the Irish subject as biologically resistant to capitalism and given to aesthetic creativity, Celticism crucially shaped the colonial definition of the Irish by the British, the decolonizing and postcolonial Irish responses to this definition, and the diverse literary visions of Irishness produced by British and Irish authors. Though Irish Studies critics routinely emphasize the role of Celticism within fin-de-siecle Irish nationalism, and though they often note its anti-capitalist charge, a sustained, genealogical account of Celticism’s career as a vehicle for the critique of capitalism has yet to emerge. Moreover, no existing study has addressed Celticism’s manifestations in British literature. Erecting such an account from texts of both Irish and British provenance, I redefine the history of Celticism as a transnational project devoted to interrogating and imagining alternatives to the reified ontological condition of capitalist modernity.
Issue Date:2012-02-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 TJ Boynton
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-02-01
Date Deposited:2011-12

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