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Accepted Paper:

Intercultural memoirs and Irish anthropology   
Mairéad Nic Craith (University of the Highlands and Islands)

Paper long abstract:

This contribution looks at representations of Ireland and Irishness in inter-cultural memoirs. It examines the composite picture of a changing Irish society that emerges in these works. It argues that when approached as social documents rather than literary texts, memoirs and stories provide valuable insights for anthropologists into the whole notion of Irishness, both in a historical and a contemporary context. With reference to Eriksen (1994: 191) who suggested that 'novels may be read as ethnographic descriptions; that is, the information conveyed may be taken more or less at its face value, as a kind of ethnographic documentation', this paper calls for a 'literary turn' in Irish anthropology and suggests that Irish anthropologists could gain significant insights from approaching creative writing as an important mechanism for understanding culture.

Panel IW004
Re-imagining Irish ethnography
  Session 1