Gender and Power in Irish History by Maryann Valiulis
This collection of articles poses the question: What can gender history add to the traditional narrative of Irish history? How can it help us to understand the ways in which power operated in and flowed through Irish society? It is premised on the assumption that men and women are actors in the creation of their society, influenced by the ideology of the period, but also challenging and resisting the assumptions and beliefs of their era. The articles included in this collection are far-ranging and thematically diverse, united by the common theme of gender. While women play a dominant role in its pages, it makes visible the power and presence of men. Sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit, the history written on these pages is a history of the ways in which women and men constructed, negotiated and made visible the roles, ideas and representations that governed their particular society. In so doing, it provides an alternative reading to the traditional narrative of Irish history. This book focuses mainly on the modern period and includes two articles from outside of Ireland which provides a comparative focus. It also includes a theoretical introductory section on the nature of gender history from three leading Irish historians.