Women and the Decade of Commemorations
Published by: Indiana University Press
When women are erased from history, what are we left with?
Between 1912 and 1922, Ireland experienced sweeping social and political change, including the Easter Rising, World War I, the Irish Civil War, the fight for Irish women's suffrage, the founding of the Abbey Theatre, and the passage of the Home Rule Bill. In preparation for the centennial of this epic decade, the Irish government formed a group of experts to oversee the ways in which the country would remember this monumental time. Unfortunately, the group was formed with no attempt at gender balance. Women and the Decade of Commemorations, edited by Oona Frawley, highlights not only the responsibilities of Irish women, past and present, but it also privileges women's scholarship in an attempt to redress what has been a long-standing imbalance. For example, contributors note the role of the Waking the Feminists movement, which was ignited when, in 2016, the Abbey Theater released its male-dominated centenary program. They also discuss the importance of addressing missing history and curating memory to correct the historical record when it comes to remembering revolution.
Together, the essays in Women and the Decade of Commemorations consider the impact of women's unseen, unsung work, which has been critically important in shaping Ireland, a country that continues to struggle with honoring the full role of women today.
List of Figures
Introduction: Naming Names: Countering Oblivious Remembering in the Decade of Commemorations
1. Remembered for Being Forgotten: The Women of 1916, Memory and Commemoration
2. Unity of Unionism? Gender, Covenant and Commemoration
3. 1916 and After: Remembering 'Ordinary' Women's Experiences of Revolutionary Ireland
4. Women of the Rising in Australia: Memory and Commemoration 1916-2016
5. 'Sick on the Irish Sea, Dancing Across the Atlantic': (Anti)Nostalgia in Women's Diasporic Remembrance of Revolution
6. 'No Conscription Now! Or after the harvest': Women and anti-conscription in Ireland and England
7. Emerging from the 'historical shadow': Memory and Commemoration of Irish Women's Experiences in the First World War
8. Commemorating a missing history: Tracing the visual and material culture of the Irish women's suffrage campaign, 1908 – 1918
9. Irish Suffrage: Remembrance, Commemoration and Memorialization
10. Tea, Sandbags and Cathal Brugha: Kathy Barry's Civil Wars
11. Curators of Memory: Women and the Centenary of the Easter Rising
12. Exhibiting Éire: Representations of Women in the Easter Rising Centenary Commemorations
13. Waking the Feminists: Gender 'Counts'
14. 'No Country for Young Women': (Re)producing the Irish State
15. Remembering the Home and the Northern Irish Troubles
16. Negotiating the past: Women's 'Troubled' and 'Troubling' History in Centennial Ireland
What an impressive collection of scholarly insights and reflections on the many overlooked but hugely influential roles played by Irish women in those convulsive times through the Great War, the Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. The eyes cast over the history of those times have often been blinkered. Facts, truths, perspectives and analyses which could have offered more complete account did not always make it through the embedded filters which both subtly and unsubtly skewed the narratives away from what the stories of women could add and infill. This collection of very fine essays helps redress the imbalance. It offers us important pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of our history that we did not know we had lost but that we have been lost without.~Mary McAleese
Crucially, 'to commemorate' is 'to call to remembrance' and this volume of essays is a clarion call: making newly visible Irish women's historical agency and international impact, and countering a century of oblivion and neglect.~Margaret Kelleher