Memorialising the Magdalene Laundries; From Story to History (Reimagining Ireland #101) (Paperback)

Memorialising the Magdalene Laundries; From Story to History (Reimagining Ireland #101) By Eamon Maher (Editor), Nathalie Sebbane Cover Image
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This is book number 101 in the Reimagining Ireland series.


Since the publication of James Smith's groundbreaking book on the Magdalene laundries in 2007, many developments have made the issue even more topical. Even though the lack of access to archives and records of religious orders remains a major obstacle to writing a comprehensive history of the Magdalene laundries, the accessibility of witness testimony and the publication of the McAleese report in 2013 have opened up new avenues of research and methodology.

Written from the perspective of a French academic using French theory, holocaust studies and memory studies to analyze an eminently Irish question, the present publication proposes to make an assessment of the way the issue has evolved from being a media story at the onset of the twenty-first century to becoming a subject worthy of historians' attention. If the McAleese report was a formative moment in anchoring the Magdalene laundries into the national narrative, this book will show how it also contributed to dis-remembering the laundries by offering a doctored and state-sponsored version of what really happened within the institutions and contributed to preventing proper memorialization. It will show how in the absence of official memorialization, cultural and activist memorial practices have emerged and developed to ensure that this particularly painful and infamous episode in the history of the nation state does not fall into oblivion.

About the Author

Nathalie Sebbane is a senior lecturer in British and Irish Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. She specializes in Irish social history, examining in particular women's history, the links between Church and State, sexual politics, institutional abuse - particularly the Magdalene laundries and memory studies. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals on The Magdalene laundries, feminist issues, abortion, child abuse, unmarried mothers, illegitimacy and the Great Famine.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781787075894
ISBN-10: 1787075893
Publisher: Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publis
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Pages: 318
Language: English
Series: Reimagining Ireland