Travellers, Gypsies, Roma: The Demonisation of Difference
Editor: Michael Hayes and Thomas Acton
Date Of Publication: Mar 2007
This volume hopes to act as a catalyst for some new and exciting areas of enquiry in the more “liminal” interstices of Irish Studies, Traveller Studies, Romani Studies and Diaspora and Migration Studies. These disciplines are all relatively new areas of enquiry in modern Ireland, a country whose society has witnessed very rapid and wide-ranging cultural and demographic change within the short space of a decade.
The issue of multiculturalism is not one which is particularly new to Irish society as a number of contributors to this volume point out. What is new however is an increased acknowledgement of diversity and multiculturalism in Ireland and Europe as a whole. Such an acknowledgement makes increased dialogue between “mainstream” society, older minorities such as the Irish Travellers and the many newer immigrant communities such as the Roma all the more necessary.
For such constructive dialogue to take place it is vital that migratory peoples and their particular expressions of postcolonial identity be voiced and valued. These identities are both complex and diverse and frequently straddle a number of countries and national identities. It is hoped that this volume will go some way towards the cultivation of such dialogue.
Professor Thomas Acton is Professor of Romani Studies at the School of Social Sciences, University of Greenwich, UK . He is the first person to hold a chair in Romani Studies at any university and has always believed in the practical contribution scholarship can make to providing equality of opportunity and treatment for the Roma. Amongst his many published books are:
Acton, T. (ed.) (1997) Gypsy Politics and Traveller Identity; Herts: University of Hertfordshire Press
Acton, T. and Mundy, G. (eds.) (1997): Romani Culture and Gypsy Identity; Herts: University of Hertfordshire Press
Acton, T. (ed.) (2000) Scholarship and the Gypsy Struggle; Herts: University of Hertfordshire Press
Dr. Michael Hayes works as a Lecturer at the University of Limerick where he lectures on a number of English, History, Politics and Social Studies courses incorporating Traveller, Roma and Migration Studies. His publications examine the literary representation and development of a number of different socio-cultural-groups within the (traditionally nomadic) Irish Traveller community. His publications in this area include: The Candlelight Painter (2004); Parley-Poet and Chanter (2004); Canting with Cauley (2005); A Compendium of Fairground Life (2005); Otherness and Identity in Modern Ireland (with Thomas Acton, University of Greenwich, London) (2006); Counter-Hegemony and the Postcolonial “Other”(with Thomas Acton, University of Greenwich, London) (2006) and Irish Travellers: Representations and Realities (2006). His primary research interests include Creative writing, postcolonial literatures, nationalism, Irish Republican history, and the representation of “Marginal” and Diaspora literatures and identities - Postcolonial Identities: Constructing the “New” Irish (2006). He has been involved in community work with Travellers, asylum-seekers and other marginalised groups both in Liverpool, England and in Limerick, Ireland for the past twelve years.
This volume of essays is an electic mix of brief narratives and more academically oriented essays. The range of topics covered provides a great deal for the reader to gain insight from and to fuel further enquiry.
Head of Equalities and Diversity
CNWL NHS Foundation Trust
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)