Of Irish Descent: Origin Stories, Genealogy, and the Politics of Belonging

Overview

What does it mean to be of Irish descent? What does Irish descent stand for in Ireland? In Northern Ireland? In the United States? How are the categories of "native" and "settler" and accounts of ethnic origin being refigured through popular genealogy and population genetics?

Of Irish Descent addresses these questions by exploring the contemporary significance of ideas of ancestral roots, origins, and connections. Moving from the intimacy of family stories and reunions to ...

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Overview

What does it mean to be of Irish descent? What does Irish descent stand for in Ireland? In Northern Ireland? In the United States? How are the categories of "native" and "settler" and accounts of ethnic origin being refigured through popular genealogy and population genetics?

Of Irish Descent addresses these questions by exploring the contemporary significance of ideas of ancestral roots, origins, and connections. Moving from the intimacy of family stories and reunions to disputed state policies on noble titles and new scientific accounts and applications of genetic research, Nash traces the place of ancestry in these interconnected geographies of identity-familial, ethnic, national, and diasporic. Underlying these different practices and narratives are potent and profoundly political questions: "Who counts as Irish?," "Who belongs in Ireland?" and "To whom does Ireland belong?"

Examining tensions between ideas of plurality and commonality, difference and connection that run through the culture and science of ancestral origins, Of Irish Descent is an original and timely exploration of new configurations of nation and diaspora as communities of shared descent.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815631590
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Series: Irish Studies
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Nash is professor of geography at Queen Mary, University of London. She has written numerous articles in the fields of feminist cultural geography, geographies of relatedness, and Irish studies.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations

1 Introduction: Origin Stories 1

2 Special Affinities: Ethnic Origins and Diasporic Irishness 26

3 Irish Roots and Relatives: Return, Reciprocity, and Relatedness 67

4 Postcolonial Nobility, Diasporic Distinction, and the Politics of Recognition 104

5 Of Ulster Stock: Native, Settler, and Entangled Roots in Northern Ireland 139

6 Irish Origins, Celtic Origins: Population Genetics, Cultural Politics 181

7 Irish DNA: Genetic Distance and Connection in Diasporic Genealogies 219

8 Conclusion 264

Notes 277

Bibliography 311

Index 333

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