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Holodomor and Gorta Mór

Histories, Memories and Representations of Famine in Ukraine and Ireland

Edited by Christian Noack, Lindsay Janssen and Vincent Comerford

Holodomor and Gorta Mór

A comparative study of how the historical experiences of famine were translated into narratives that supported political claims for independent national statehood in Ireland and Ukraine.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857285577
November 2012 | 286 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 20+ figures and maps
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

‘The scholarship of this volume is its outstanding feature. Ranging from authoritative overviews by leading scholars in the fields of Irish and Ukrainian famine studies to essays that draw on new sources that provide fresh insights, this collection adds to the possibilities for understanding created by the juxtaposition of these two modern famines.’ —Professor Chris Morash, Head of School of English, Media & Theatre Studies, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

‘The editors and authors have taken narratives of suffering of the Irish and the Ukrainians during the great famines outside of national mythologies and compared them. What they achieve goes far beyond Irish and Ukrainian history: this volume enhances our understanding of the ways in which societies deal with their historical traumas and manage to turn them into building blocks of modern national identities.’ —Serhii Plokhii, Professor of Ukrainian History, Harvard University

‘The authors bring great variety to their methods of approaching the famines, ranging from historiography and political journalism to literary and film analysis to the politics of memorialisation and geographers’ new technologies for plotting demographic and economic processes.’ —Mark von Hagen, Professor of History, Arizona State University

Ireland’s Great Famine or ‘an Gorta Mór’ (1845–51) and Ukraine’s ‘Holodomor’ (1932–33) occupy central places in the national historiographies of their respective countries. Acknowledging that questions of collective memory have become a central issue in cultural studies, this volume inquires into the role of historical experiences of hunger and deprivation within the emerging national identities and national historical narratives of Ireland and Ukraine. In the Irish case, a solid body of research has been compiled over the last 150 years, while Ukraine’s Holodomor, by contrast, was something of an open secret that historians could only seriously research after the demise of communist rule. This volume is the first attempt to draw these approaches together and to allow for a comparative study of how the historical experiences of famine were translated into narratives that supported political claims for independent national statehood in Ireland and Ukraine. Juxtaposing studies on the Irish and Ukrainian cases written by eminent historians, political scientists, and literary and film scholars, the essays in this interdisciplinary volume analyse how national historical narratives were constructed and disseminated – whether or not they changed with circumstances, or were challenged by competing visions, both academic and non-academic. In doing so, the essays discuss themes such as representation, commemoration and mediation, and the influence of these processes on the shaping of cultural memory.

Readership: The book addresses a broad academic readership and will appeal to a wide array of humanities scholars and students, especially those in cultural studies, history, Irish studies and East European studies.

Author Information

Christian Noack is Associate Professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Lindsay Janssen is currently a PhD candidate at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Vincent Comerford is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Table of Contents

List of Figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction: ‘Holodomor and Gorta Mór: Histories, Memories and Representations of Famine in Ukraine and Ireland’ – Christian Noack, Lindsay Janssen and Vincent Comerford; PART I: HISTORIES, HISTORIOGRAPHY AND POLITICS: Chapter 1: ‘Holodomor in Ukraine 1932–1933: An Interpretation of Facts’ – Stanislav V. Kulchytskyi (Translated from Russian by Christian Noack); Chapter 2: ‘Ethnic Issues in the Famine of 1932–1933 in Ukraine’ – David R. Marples; Chapter 3: ‘Grievance, Scourge or Shame? The Complexity of Attitudes to Ireland’s Great Famine’ – Vincent Comerford; PART II: PUBLIC COMMEMORATION: Chapter 4: ‘History and National Identity Construction: The Great Famine in Irish and Ukrainian History Textbooks’ – Jan Germen Janmaat; Chapter 5: ‘Teaching Hunger: The Great Irish Famine Curriculum in New York State Schools’ – Maureen O. Murphy; Chapter 6: ‘Remembering Famine Orphans: The Transmission of Famine Memory between Ireland and Quebec’ – Jason King; Chapter 7: ‘The Irish Famine and Commemorative Culture’ – Emily Mark-FitzGerald; PART III: TRAUMA AND VICTIMISATION: Chapter 8: ‘Holodomor and the Politics of Memory in Ukraine after Independence’ – Heorhiy Kasianov (Translated from Russian by Christian Noack); Chapter 9: ‘The Great Irish Famine in Stories for Children in the Closing Decades of the Twentieth Century’ – Celia Keenan; Chapter 10: ‘Collective Trauma in a Feature Film: “Golod-33” as One-of-a-Kind’ – Olga Papash (Translated from Russian by Christian Noack); PART IV: NEW SOURCES AND NEW APPROACHES TO THE IRISH AND UKRAINIAN FAMINES: Chapter 11: ‘In Search of New Sources: Polish Diplomatic and Intelligence Reports on the Holodomor’ – Jan Jacek Bruski (Translated from Polish by Alicja Waligóra-Zblewska and Christian Noack); Chapter 12: ‘Oral History, Oral Tradition and the Great Famine’ – Maura Cronin; Chapter 13: ‘Mapping Population Change in Ireland 1841–1851: Quantitative Analysis Using Historical GIS’ – Mary Kelly, A. Stewart Fotheringham and Martin Charltoni; Index