Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

LJMU English's Professor Gerry Smyth's new book, entitled Celtic Tiger Blues: Music and Irish Identity, has been published by Rutledge. It is a collection of essays focusing on Ireland's complex cultural relationship with music of various kinds. It includes material on the art and folk traditions, the work of James Joyce, popular groups such as the Pogues and the Waterboys, and the aesthetics of listening. The book represents the latest stage in a life-long project for Gerry, focusing here on the ways in which music engages with particular aspects of Irish identity. The nature of popular music and the Irish identity it supposedly articulates have both undergone profound change in recent years: the first as a result of technological and wider industrial changes in the organisation and dissemination of music as seen, for example, with digital platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and iTunes. A second factor has been Ireland’s spectacular fall from economic grace after the demise of the "Celtic Tiger", and the...
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Scotland & The Caribbean, c.1740-1833: Michael Morris’s New Book

Scotland & The Caribbean, c.1740-1833: Michael Morris’s New Book

Since joining LJMU English in June 2014, Dr Michael Morris has completed his first book, which participates in the modern recovery of the memory of the long-forgotten relationship between Scotland and the Caribbean. Drawing on theoretical paradigms of world literature and transnationalism, it argues that Caribbean slavery profoundly shaped Scotland’s economic, social and cultural development, and draws out the implications for current debates on Scotland’s national narratives of identity. Eighteenth- to nineteenth-century Scottish writers are re-examined in this new light. Michael's book explores the ways that discourses of 'improvement' in both Scotland and the Caribbean are mediated by the modes of pastoral and georgic which struggle to explain and contain the labour conditions of agricultural labourers, both free and enslaved. The ambivalent relationship of Scottish writers, including Robert Burns, to questions around abolition allows fresh perspectives on the era. Furthermore, Michael considers the origins of a hybrid Scottish-Creole identity through two nineteenth-century figures - Robert Wedderburn and Mary Seacole. The final chapter moves forward to consider the...
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