Call for contributions | The Circulation of Popular Culture between Ireland and the USA (18th-21st centuries)

COLLECTION OF ESSAYS TO BE PUBLISHED AT EPURE (PRESSES UNIVERSITAIRES DE REIMS) : « The Circulation of Popular Culture between Ireland and the USA (18th-21st centuries) »

Proposals, no longer than 800 words, accompanied by a short biography, should be sent before June 15, 2017 to and

Full chapters are expected before September 30, 2017.

In the system of globalised culture which characterises the contemporary world, we suggest to draw attention to the following case study: the circulation between Ireland and the United States of popular culture in its various forms (music, literature, sport, cinema, TV, comic books, graphic novels, celebrity culture, video games, fashion, websites, etc.).

The notion of circulation is an invitation to overlook national borders and to take into consideration exchanges on both sides of the Atlantic. The long-lasting singularity of exchanges between the US and Ireland puts the current movements of exchange into perspective and calls for them to be questioned.

How can the contiguous phenomena of the Americanization of Irish popular culture and of the influence of Ireland over American popular culture be situated? Does Irishness occupy a specific place in American popular culture and if so how can that place be defined? After the interest aroused by such cultural historians as Noel Ignatiev or Diane Negra for Irishness considered from the perspective of race and ethnicity, are any new perspectives opening up today regarding the definition of that identity?

What are the various aspects of the “cultural Atlantic” in the fields of literature and the arts, cinema and music? Did it contribute to a blurring of the boundaries between high and low culture? What kind of connection does this notion of cultural Atlantic entertain with the economic and political one?

Beyond the individuals involved in migration, what kind of agents engineer the cultural exchanges between Ireland and the United States? Is it possible to identify an organized system of exchanges between Ireland and the USA, relying for example upon the Catholic Church, migrants’ associations, political institutions, publishing houses, or media companies?

What are the content, forms, genres, tropes, cultural artefacts – of those exchanges? Has there been an evolution of the traditional themes, tropes and stereotypes involving both nations? Have for example the traditional ethnic stereotypes of Paddy, Bridget, Mick or Colleen survived in 20th-21st century popular culture? When do stereotypes become acceptable for the Irish either at home or in America, and when do they feel comfortable enough with them to start laughing at them?

How was a postcard image of Ireland peddled across America by Irish migrants through the different waves of migration? Conversely, what fantasised versions of America circulate in Irish popular culture?  When did Ireland become fashionable, and Irishness a marker of modernity sold as a trendy commodity? At a time when TV series have become sophisticated innovative cultural products, how do Irish people react to the persistence of representations of them as gangsters (Boardwalk Empire, Strictly Criminal), alcoholic police detectives (The Wire), or even better, gangsters with a history of child abuse at the hands of members of the Catholic clergy (Ray Donovan)? Have stereotypes related to the Irish changed more or less than those involving other minorities in the US?

One may also wonder whether the globalisation of the Irish economy, mostly due to US companies such as Microsoft, Google, Dell, Apple, etc, establishing their European headquarters in Ireland, has not accelerated the Americanisation of Irish popular culture and of consumers’ habits. To what extent can a connection be established between this process of Americanisation and Ireland’s leap into postmodernity? Was this process undermined by the 2008 economic bust and in what ways was the circulation of popular cultures between Ireland and the USA affected by it?

Sylvie Mikowski

Professeur des universités

Etudes irlandaises

Département d’anglais-CIRLEP (E.A.4299)

Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne

57 rue Pierre Taittinger 51000 Reims