Volume 18


Anders Ahlqvist Remembered.
Pamela O’Neill

Special Issue
Papers from the 22nd Australasian Irish Studies Conference, Adelaide 2016.
Edited by Dymphna Lonergan

Responses to Easter 1916 by Nicholas O’Donnell, ‘The Leader of the Irish People in Australia’.
Val Noone

ABSTRACT: When the rebels proclaimed the Irish Republic at Easter 1916, Nicholas O’Donnell, on behalf of the United Irish League of Australia, condemned them. This article gives context to his action by sketching the drastic political conflicts which occurred among a group of prominent figures in the years following their harmonious attendance at O’Donnell’s daughter’s wedding in late 1913. Attention is given to the Rising as an important event in Australian history and also to the linked issues of the Great War and conscription for it, concluding with O’Donnell’s death in early 1920. Generalisations about the era by the famous historian Patrick O’Farrell are challenged. While this article concentrates on some specific developments in O’Donnell’s views, changes in his role and politics reflect a national replacement of the home rule-oriented leadership by new pro-republican spokespeople.

‘Let the Damn Protestants Do the Enlisting’: The T.C. Beirne Libel Case in Brisbane, 1916–17.
Rodney Sullivan and Robin Sullivan

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on a Queensland supreme court trial during World War 1. In October 1916, a Protestant weekly, the Sentinel, accused, without naming him, a Catholic businessman in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley of disloyalty, undermining the war effort and discrimination against non-Catholics. Thomas Charles Beirne, a legislative councillor, was the most prominent Irish Catholic retailer in the city. He took himself to be both the target and a casualty of the paragraph and sued the Sentinel’s editor and printer. The ensuing trial exposed some of the dynamics of Brisbane’s Catholic-Protestant divide during the Great War. This paper situates the trial in a series of sectarian exchanges triggered by the Easter Rising in Dublin and intensified by the debate over conscription. The paper appraises the consequences of the Beirne libel trial and verdict for the individuals involved and the wider community. It also considers some implications of the case for the meaning, memory and historiography of sectarianism in Queensland.  

Odoriferous Odyssey: The Extra/Ordinary Smells of Living in James Joyce’s Fiction.
Frances Devlin-Glass

ABSTRACT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is encyclopaedic in so many ways, and in posing a variant of the proposition that Joyce himself put, that his novel could be used to reconstruct Dublin, this paper asks the question: ‘could the smells of Joyce’s Dublin be recreated from the pages of his fiction?’ The answer is in the affirmative. By examining how systematically Joyce changed his methods of representing smell between Portrait and Ulysses, this paper will demonstrate how he built smell into the naturalistic matrix of his novel with ‘the meticulosity of the insane’. The paper also examines the intellectual reasons which buttress this enterprise, and the often profoundly radical philosophical issues he addresses through smell. In particular, it demonstrates the density of naturalistic references to smell in Ulysses; the uses of smell in the central project of rewriting the body in that novel; its function in representing affect and memory; and its role in surveiling the borderline between human and animal which Joyce questions. Most radically, it proposes that humans may function at the level of smell more like animals than is usually accepted to be the case, but Joyce defies the conventional notion that this makes them less human. 

ISAANZ Postgraduate Essay Prize 2018
Bearing Witness to the Body: Medbh McGuckian’s The Flower Master and Paul Muldoon’s Quoof.
Tara McEvoy


Killing Caithleen: Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls Trilogy as Anti-Aisling.
Jeffrey Longacre

ABSTRACT: Part elegy to a mythical idea of Ireland and part critical condemnation of a political idealism that is no longer viable in a modern Ireland, Edna O’Brien’s Country GirlsTrilogy can be read as an anti-aisling simultaneously marking an end and a new beginning in Irish literature. Operating from the premise that O’Brien’s naming of her protagonist Caithleen is more than coincidental, this paper argues that she is a contemporary variation of Cathleen Ní Houlihan, the female personification of Ireland and symbol of patriotic sacrifice. Alluding to the aisling tradition and sovereignty myths, Caithleen’s story is O’Brien’s way of ‘killing’ the cult of Cathleen and demythologizing the restrictive and patriarchal nationalist narratives. The story of Caithleen Brady reverses and subverts the fantasy of Cathleen Ní Houlihan by bringing her to life in 1950s Ireland and offering her tragic story as a literary sacrifice and exorcism to clear the way for Irish women writers to initiate new traditions. 

‘Freedom on the Green-Sea Brink’: The Two Orientalist Voices of Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh.
Chris Murray

ABSTRACT: Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh: An Oriental Romance (1817) was successful on publication, but its critical reception has been almost entirely negative. Readers from William Hazlitt and W.B. Yeats to Terence Brown have portrayed Lalla Rookh as a trifling and hackneyed piece of Orientalism. Consequently, critics have argued that, given the parallels between Lalla Rookh’s characters and Irish historical figures, Moore exploited his heritage for the sake of light entertainment. This essay contends that Moore deploys two Orientalist voices in Lalla Rookh; one that rehearses the conventions of the genre, and a second that undermines these clichés. With this sophisticated Orientalism, Moore communicates deep ambivalence concerning Irish politics in his lifetime. Lalla Rookh lacks a clear political message only because Moore cannot identify the means to achieve ‘tolerance’ and ‘liberty’. It is difficult to discern clear analogues for Anglo-Irish politics in the work because it encodes Moore’s anxiety over the Irish question rather than seeking to portray individual historical figures. The poem is contemptuous of the rationale behind imperialism, but troubled by the efficacy of political martyrdom exemplified by Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone. Far from a work in which Moore draws on Irish history casually to inform light Orientalism, Lalla Rookh articulates grave doubts about the possibility that revolutionary violence can yield progress. 

Michael Charles Purtill (1846–1914): An Irish Step Dancer in Sydney.
Jeanette Mollenhauer

ABSTRACT: The name of Irish immigrant Michael Purtill appears multiple times in Australian newspapers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This paper focuses on Purtill’s career as a step dancer, as his dance experiences illuminate multiple differences in step dance practice between Purtill’s lifetime and the present era. Purtill was also active in the broader Irish immigrant community, as well as having many encounters with the law while living in Sydney. Purtill’s life reveals much about both the historical development of step dancing and the socio-cultural experiences of Irish immigrants in Australia at that time. 

Research Note
Ireland Will Be Free: ‘Fanning the Flames of Sectarianism’ in Australia, 1920–21. Jeff Kildea

Book Reviews
Anders Ahlqvist and Pamela O’Neill (eds), Celts And Their Cultures at Home and Abroad: A Festschrift for Malcolm Broun
Carole M. Cusack

Chris Arthur, Reading Life
Carol O’Connor

Marguérite Corporaal, Relocated Memories: The Great Famine in Irish and Diaspora Fiction, 1846-1870
Nicholas M. Wolf

Ailbhe McDaid, The Poetics of Migration in Contemporary Irish Poetry
Leila Crawford

Steve Harris, The Prince and the Assassin: Australia’s First Royal Tour and the Portent of World Terror
Jimmy Yan

Peter Kuch, Irish Divorce / Joyce’s Ulysses
Frances Devlin-Glass

Jolanta Wawrzycka and Serenella Zanotti (eds), James Joyce’s Silences
Steve Carey

Colin Barr and Hillary M. Carey (eds), Religion and Greater Ireland: Christianity and Irish Global Networks, 1750-1950
Lyndon Fraser

Sharon Crozier-De Rosa, Shame and the Anti-Feminist Backlast: Britain, Ireland and Australia, 1890-1920
Fidelma Breen

Paul Paylor, Heroes or Traitors? Experiences of Southern Irish Soldiers Returning from the Great War 1919-1939
Joshua Dack

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