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‘Our identity is our own instability’: Intercultural Exchanges and the Redefinition of Identity in Hugo Hamilton’s Disguise and Hand in the Fire
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8434-1747
2011 (English)In: 4th Global Conference on Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity, Prague, Czech Republic, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

n 1997 Irish philosopher Richard Kearney published his seminal work Postnationalist Ireland: Politics, Culture, Philosophy, in which he argued for the need to revise the ideas and images that had shaped the understanding of the nation held by most modern Irish citizens. This re-examination of the nation-state was inspired by the influence of national socio-political experiences and by EU membership. In his re-examination of the national political and cultural imaginary, the Irish diaspora, with over 80 million people around the world claiming Irish ancestry, played a crucial role in reimagining the Irish nation as expanding beyond the limits of state nationalism. It is relevant to note, however, that Kearney’s new Ireland did not encourage a re-examination of the homogeneity of Irishness beyond a recognition of the “dual tradition” in Ireland. The ideological certainties on which the paradigm of the Irish nation rested were more evidently contested by the socio-economic and historical changes that Ireland has undergone since the second half of the 1990s. One of the main effects of the economic boom, popularly known as the Celtic Tiger, was the transformation of Ireland from a country of net emigration to a country of net immigration for the second time in its history. The consequent diversity in its social composition has evinced the instability of the nation-state and has effected the need to redefine inherited stable definitions of individual and collective identities. In this context, the work of Hugo Hamilton, Irish-born writer currently living in Germany and with a Gaelic-speaking father and a German mother, is highly relevant. The aim of this paper is to analyse how his two most recent novels, Disguise (2008) and Hand in the Fire (2010), explore the instability of personal and national identities as shaped by specific historical events that generate intercultural encounters with individual, national and global repercussions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Prague, Czech Republic, 2011.
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Transcultural Identities: The Construction of Identity in Cultural Encounters
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5456OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:5456DiVA: diva2:522281
Conference
4th Global Conference on Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity , Prague, Czech Republic, 8-10 March, 2011
Available from: 2011-03-22 Created: 2011-03-22 Last updated: 2016-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf