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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Irish Theatre in America

This presentation focuses on the legitimization of Irish immigrants as truly American. It argues that Irish representations in theater led to a more accepting American public. Through these representations, beginning with the Irish players in 1911 through various characterizations in film, the American audience became more readily able to accept the Irish-Americans as part of the American community. By presenting images of the Irish that led away from the stage Irishman, productions and literary works opened a window into the lives of the Irish immigrant, portraying them as hard working, legitimate members of the American community. Even those that depicted the Irish as the typical stage Irishman brought the Irish into American literature and culture and created an image of the Irish that was expected and even loved. This influence expanded to various aspects of society, including cultural, religious, and political acceptance.

Presenter: Caitlin Wall (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Honors Program
Location: 217 Hartwell
Time: 2 pm (Session III)