Rethinking the Irish in the American South
Beyond Rounders and Reelers

Edited by Bryan Albin Giemza

208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 1 table, introduction, index

978-1-61703-798-6 Printed casebinding $60.00S

Printed casebinding, $60.00

A fresh look at a multifaceted minority culture

Essays by Kathryn Stelmach Artuso, William Ferris, Bryan Albin Giemza, David Gleeson, Patrick Griffin, Geraldine Higgins, Emily Kader, Conor O'Callaghan, Kieran Quinlan, and Christopher Smith

Studies of the Irish presence in America have tended to look to the main corridors of emigration and hence outside the American South. Yet the Irish constituted a significant minority in the region. Indeed, the Irish fascination expresses itself in Southern context in powerful, but disparate, registers: music, literature, and often, a sense of shared heritage. Rethinking the Irish in the American South aims to create a readable, thorough introduction to the subject, establishing new ground for areas of inquiry.

These essays offer a revisionist critique of the Irish in the South, calling into question widely held understandings of how Irish culture was transmitted. The discussion ranges from Appalachian ballads, to Gone With the Wind, to the Irish rock band U2, to Atlantic-spanning literary friendships. Rather than seeing the Irish presence as "natural" or something completed in the past, these essays posit a shifting, evolving, and unstable influence. Taken collectively, they offer a new framework for interpreting the Irish in the region. The implications extend to the interpretation of migration patterns, to the understanding of Irish diaspora, and the assimilation of immigrants and their ideas.

Bryan Albin Giemza, Mechanicsville, Virginia, is an associate professor of American literature at Randolph-Macon College and author, with Donald Beagle, of Poet of the Lost Cause: A Life of Father Ryan.

208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 1 table, introduction, index