Consuming St. Patrick’s Day
There is probably no national day that has such global popularity as St. Patrick’s Day. On St. Patrick’s Day, it is reputed that ‘Everyone is Irish’. What are the factors and factions that give the day such popular appeal? Is St. Patrick’s Day the same around the world – in Japan, Northern Ireland and Montserrat – as it is in the Republic of Ireland and the United States? Just how does ‘Irishness’ figure in the celebration and commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day, and how has this day been commoditized, consumed and contested? Does St. Patrick’s Day ‘belong’ to the people, the nation or the brewery?
This edited volume brings together the best St. Patrick’s Day and Irish Studies scholars from the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, Irish studies, diaspora studies, and cultural studies.
The volume thematically explores how St. Patrick’s Day has been consumed from the symbolic to the literal, the religious to the political. By doing so, it offers a fresh examination of its importance in contemporary society. This volume will thus appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students of Irish diaspora studies, and Irish historians and scholars, as well as to anthropology, sociology and cultural studies students interested in exploring St. Patrick’s Day as a case study of globalization, migration and commoditization.
Dr Jonathan Skinner is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Roehampton. He is an anthropologist researching leisure practices in Northern Ireland and Montserrat in the Eastern Caribbean, primarily tourism and social dancing. He has been a member of the Northern Ireland Government Steering Reference Group on the Maze Prison/Long Kesh regeneration project, a facilitator in EU Peace projects in Belfast, and a consultant evaluating the British government’s response to the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat.
Dr Dominic Bryan is Reader in Social Anthropology at the Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also Director of the Institute of Irish Studies. He is an anthropologist researching political rituals, commemoration, public space and identity in Northern Ireland. He is the Chair of Diversity Challenges, a member of the Living Memorial sub-group of Healing through Remembering, and has worked with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.
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