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Nationalism, Identity, and the Case of the Portland Irish, 1880-1923

August 19, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

On August 19th at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, Dr. Patrick Mannion will speak about his recently-published book, A Land of Dreams: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Maine, 1880-1923.

Wherever they settled, immigrants from Ireland and their descendants shaped and reshaped their understanding of “being Irish” in response to circumstances in both the old and new worlds. In A Land of Dreams, Mannion analyzes and compares the evolution of Irish identity in three communities on the prow of northeastern North America: St John’s, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

These three port cities, home to diverse Irish populations in different stages of development and in different national contexts, provide a fascinating setting for a study of Irish identity across generations. The book traces how Irishness could, at certain points, form the basis of a strong, cohesive identity among Catholics of Irish descent, while at other times it faded into the background. Despite a growing generational distance, Ireland remained “a land of dreams” for many immigrants and their descendants.

Dr. Mannion’s talk will focus primarily on the Portland aspects of his research, discussing how Irish nationalist associations – from the Land League in the early-1880s to the Friends of Irish Freedom in 1920/21 – thrived in the city; and how they connected Portland’s Irish community to the broader Irish-American nationalist movement and to the transnational Irish diaspora well into the twentieth century.

About Dr. Mannion
Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, Dr. Patrick Mannion is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of History at Boston College. He holds a PhD in Irish Diaspora History from the University of Toronto.


August 19, 2018
2:30 pm
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Maine Irish Heritage Center
34 Gray St
Portland, ME 04101 United States
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