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Title: Intercultural encounter in Irish-language travel literature
Author: Kennedy, Eimear
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 6245
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores contemporary Irish-language travel literature, a genre that has been largely ignored in Irish literary criticism to date. Unlike travel literature in major world languages, such as English and French, Irish-language travel literature does not have a long-established link with colonialism. It is only in more recent years, as social and economic conditions in Ireland improved and emigration began to give way to travel for leisure purposes, that the field has begun to develop. Given the significant differences between the history of the genre in Irish and other major world languages, this study interrogates how/whether the cultural background of Irish-language travel writers differs to that of other international writers and examines how this impacts upon their interactions with other peoples and other cultures. In order to explore these questions, this thesis draws on postcolonial theory and travel, tourism and mobility studies to investigate intercultural encounter. It pays particular attention to the work of four contemporary writers: Manch^n Magan, Gabriel Rosenstock, Cathal 0 Searcaigh and Dutch-born Alex Hijmans. These writers are minority-language speakers who come from, or who have lived in, Ireland, a country on the periphery of Western Europe that was the victim of colonization, yet they are also relatively wealthy Western Europeans. Thus this study examines how their distinct cultural background alongside their economic privilege affects their encounters with travellees and investigates the associated issues of representation, power and ethics. Ultimately, this thesis provides a new critical insight into Irish-language travel literature which, in turn, has implications for how we study travel writing in languages associated with former imperial powers. The 'in-between' positioning of Irish-language travel writers transcends the conventional dichotomised approach to encounter, provides new perspectives into intercultural contact and proposes a new, dynamic and counterdiscursive 'third space’ that accommodates fluid cultural identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available