Dr Mary Pierse, University College Cork
Feminisms in Ireland: What happened between 1810 and 1930?
Those 120 years are often perceived as a period in which many would fail to see evidence of feminists or feminism, and certainly would not have attached much importance to either. However, if the era is renamed as ‘From Morgan to Markievicz’, it immediately becomes more apparent to us today that Irish feminisms (and they were certainly plural and varied) were intrinsically bound up with identity and nationalism, and that they found expression in art, literature, drama, music and armed rebellion. In addition, feminists were involved in political cartoons, inflammatory doggerel, fashion, soulful poetry, unusual language lessons and in judicial reform. For too many decades, the rich history of Irish feminists remained unsung and their significant contributions to Irish life and society were ignored. This illustrated lecture will examine some of the relevant remarkable figures and surprising interventions in Ireland’s turbulent times.