Accepted paper:

Transnational creativity in Irish: a case of "vernacular cosmopolitanism"?

Author:

Máiréad Nic Craith (Heriot-Watt University)

Paper short abstract:

Focusing on the Dutch-born writer Alex Hijmans and the Finnish-born writer Panu Petteri Höglund, this presentation explores the emerging phenomenon of immigrant creativity in the Irish language from the perspective of literary anthropology.

Paper long abstract:

Focusing on the Dutch-born writer Alex Hijmans and the Finnish-born writer Panu Petteri Höglund, this presentation explores the emerging phenomenon of immigrant creativity in the Irish language from the perspective of literary anthropology. It asks why Hijmans and Höglund choose to publish in a minority (albeit official) language. What issues are of interest for these writers and how do their writings compare with publications by native-born Irish-speakers? A focal point is whether the act of writing in Irish as a second/third language reflects a position of dis-placement/re-placement or dis-location/re-location for Hijmans and Höglund and the extent to which they are opening up new geographical spaces in the Irish-language publishing world. The presentation queries whether the act of crossing boundaries into Irish language publishing is an expression of what Homi Bhabha calls "vernacular cosmopolitanism" - that is an expression of solidarity with a people whose language has been subject to colonial exploitation in the past. To what extent is writing in Irish a reaction against the growing phenomenon of Anglicisation? Finally the paper queries whether Hijmans and Höglund are simply "freaks on the margins of global cultural production" or pioneers of a new form of migrant creativity on the Island of Ireland.

panel P019
Writing across borders: textual mediation and collaboration in an interconnected world