Fellow 1996-97

Joseph P Valente


Contested Territory: The Concept of Manhood in (Post) Colonial Ireland

This study aims to contextualize and explain the intense anxieties haunting the idea of manhood in Irish nationalist literature of the Modern period, roughly from the fall of Charles Stewart Parnell to the founding of the Irish Free State. This project will seek to demonstrate how this politically minded poetry and prose emerged as a site for shaping the ambivalence of a people divided between certain female-identified attributes and associations, which they regarded as the distinguishing marks of their cultural personality, and a hypermasculinity which they took to be crucial both to decolonization and to a vigorous national restoration.