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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


English (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Patrick A. McCarthy

Second Committee Member

Lindsey Tucker

Third Committee Member

Mihoko Suzuki

Fourth Committee Member

Anne Fogarty


Because the first part of the twentieth century in Ireland was marked with nationalist milestones like the Easter Rising and the Anglo-Irish War, most accounts of modern Irish literature and culture are nation-centered. This dissertation offers a new understanding of modern Irish writing by placing national identity in conversation with global consciousness, a burgeoning concept in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, this project explores three aspects of globalism: the attachments to foreign countries that Irish writers form; the ways in which these attachments affect their relationships with Ireland; and their subsequent articulation of global consciousness based on these transnational experiences. The introduction provides a critical and historical context for the project by negotiating between the established discipline of Irish Studies and the emerging field of Irish Diaspora Studies. Each chapter then investigates an Irish writer whose work indicates a relationship between global and national consciousness. The Irish-Argentine writer William Bulfin and the evolution of his relationship with gauchos, as it is suggested in his Tales of the Pampas, forms the subject of the next chapter. The second chapter juxtaposes Helen Waddell's The Princess Splendour and Other Stories, which retells fairytales from the Middle and Far East as well as from Ireland, with Lady Gregory's and Douglas Hyde's nationalistic collections of Irish folklore. The third chapter investigates the connection between the feminist underpinnings of Kate O'Brien's novels with the transnational movements that frequently accompany them. The fourth chapter examines the cosmopolitan imperative of Brian Moore's Irish-American novels. Finally, in the epilogue I briefly suggest the ways in which contemporary Irish writing extends the projects begun by these earlier figures.


Helen Waddell; Kate O'Brien; Brian Moore; William Bulfin; National Identity; Transnational; Global; Irish Literature