“Mobilizing Irish America in the Antebellum Lecture Hall”

— Tom F. Wright

“Tom F. Wright expands the geographic dimensions of popular lecturing, exploring the role of Irish immigrants on antebellum U.S. platforms and their challenges to an ‘Anglo-American commons’ that spanned the Atlantic. Focusing on such figures as Thomas Francis Meagher, John Mitchel, and John McElheran, Wright shows how such orators worked to reimagine and rearticulate a global Irish identity. Through spectacles of Irish nationalism and interrogations of ‘Celtic’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon’ racial theory, Irish immigrants carved a unique niche for themselves in transatlantic platform culture—a niche that Wright investigates to broaden our understanding of the people, topics, and goals that propelled popular education in the nineteenth century” (pp. 16).

Selected Bibliography on the Green Atlantic, Nationalism, and Identity

Brundage, David Thomas. Irish Nationalists in America: The Politics of Exile, 1798-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

McMahon, Cian T. The Global Dimensions of Irish Identity: Race, Nation, and the Popular Press, 1840-1880. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.

Murphy, Angela F. American Slavery, Irish Freedom: Abolition, Immigrant Citizenship, and the Transatlantic Movement for Irish Repeal. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010.

O’Neill, Lloyd, Peter D. O’Neill, and David Lloyd. The Black and Green Atlantic: Cross-currents of the African and Irish Diasporas. Basingstoke, Eng.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Relevant People

Thomas Francis Meagher

John Mitchel