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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This introduction discusses some main themes within modern Irish historiography in the context of the book’s contents. It re-evaluates the Irish Historical Studies tradition, arguing that it was upheld by a diverse community, linked by traditional  religious  values, while ultimately losing touch with its original agenda. The IHS reformers’ influence was challenged during the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’, in the first major reassessment of the epistemology of Irish history since the 1930s. The introduction argues that the ‘Troubles’ and the ensuing peace have had a clear impact upon Irish historiography, in terms of archives, the standing of Irish history in Britain, and the significance of the British-Irish relationship. Some current directions within Irish history writing are identified, including the micro-historical and local, the excavation of Gaelic Ireland, and comparative and transnational approaches. It is argued that the under-theorization of Irish history is over-stated, and that some new directions within Irish historiography have familiar origins and contexts.

Keywords: Historiography, revisionism, ‘Troubles’, archives, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, nationalism, theorization

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