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Home Stretch, Home Rule!: Diaspora, Comparison, and Responses to the Irish Question in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine, 1880-1914

Dr. Patrick Mannion

Drawing upon research from his recently-published book, A Land of Dreams: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Maine, 1880-1923, Dr. Mannion’s talk will focus on local responses to the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Irish Home Rule movement in Portland, Halifax, and, especially, St. John’s. By investigating Irish nationalism in the diaspora comparatively, we can gain clearer insight into the strength, depth, and variety of Irish identities overseas. The lecture will examine the Newfoundland Irish from a transnational perspective, highlighting the complex combination of local, regional, national, and international factors that affected understandings of “being Irish” here and in two other communities on the prow of northeastern North America. It will focus particularly on the complex relationship between “Irish”, “Catholic” and “imperial” identities; on the incorporation of the Irish Question into local political debates; and on assessing Newfoundland”s unique place within the global Irish diaspora.