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Prof. Joseph Cleary, NUI Maynooth
From London and Paris to Boston and Berlin :
Changing Configurations of Twentieth-Century Irish Culture
In the period between 1890-1950 modern Irish culture enjoyed perhaps its most brilliant phase. London in that era was still very much the dominant cultural capital of the English-speaking world, but several iconic Irish writers and artists found in Paris a means to offset English cultural dominance, and Irish modernism generally, as several contemporary commentators noted, was heavily influenced by French culture. However, even as that modernism flourished, New York was already beginning to take over from both London and Paris as the cultural capital of the modern world, a process that rapidly accelerated after World War II, and this general re-structuring of the world system slowly re-configured Irish cultural production also. Today, at the start of the twenty-first century, though Ireland is becoming increasingly integrated into the EU on a political level, it is concurrently becoming increasingly integrated into the US on a cultural level. This paper will sketch some of the contours of these larger changes and explore some possible consequences for the period ahead.
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