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Wed 18 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 19 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
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Fri 20 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 21 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.00 - 17.00

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Wednesday 18 March 2020 14.00 - 16.00
Z-3 ETH03 Irish Migrant Communities in the Post-Famine Era: Networks, Mutuality, and the Collective Spirit
Van Wijkplaats 4, 004
Network: Ethnicity and Migration Chair: John Herson
Organizer: William Jenkins Discussant: Donald MacRaild
Dan Horner : Taking Root: The Irish Navigate Montreal’s Urban Fringe, 1850-1862
The Irish famine migration made a substantial demographic impact on Montreal at the end of the 1840s. Fleeing from the famine and social upheaval in Ireland, often via Liverpool, consumed much of the savings these migrants had accumulated. By the time that they arrived in British North America many were, ... (Show more)
The Irish famine migration made a substantial demographic impact on Montreal at the end of the 1840s. Fleeing from the famine and social upheaval in Ireland, often via Liverpool, consumed much of the savings these migrants had accumulated. By the time that they arrived in British North America many were, at the very best, nearing a state of material destitution. Montreal was a raucous port city on the precipice of industrialization, and there was little in the way of a social safety net to assist members of this migrant community. The vast majority of migrants took up residence in the ramshackle suburbs on the city’s western urban fringe. These suburbs became the site of a dynamic Irish community that, over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century, saw a well-documented process of upward social mobility lift many out of poverty. My paper will examine the relationship between the Irish community and the urban fringe in the decade that followed the famine migration. Looking at a variety of government documents, judicial records, and the city’s Irish newspaper- The Vindicator- the paper will examine how the urban fringe was crucial to the strategies adopted by the community. It provided access to affordable real estate, employment in factories, and a geographically cohesive ethnic enclave. Taking root in this urban fringe also came with challenges. Infrastructure remained underdeveloped, and there was less access to important municipal services like policing and fire services. By tracing how the Irish community navigated these benefits and challenges, this paper aims to add nuance to our understanding of how the Irish famine migrants laid the groundwork for upward social mobility in the decade following their arrival in British North America. (Show less)

William Jenkins : Stanleyites and Dummeronians: Irish Immigrants, Street Culture, and Community Formation in Mid-Victorian Toronto
As Irish immigration to Canada gathered momentum in the 1830s and 1840s, the colonial province entered a new era of urban governance, especially where civic justice was concerned. Moral or public order offences related to drinking and vagrancy were endured and accepted until the early 1840s; by the time of ... (Show more)
As Irish immigration to Canada gathered momentum in the 1830s and 1840s, the colonial province entered a new era of urban governance, especially where civic justice was concerned. Moral or public order offences related to drinking and vagrancy were endured and accepted until the early 1840s; by the time of the late-1840s famine migrations, the situation was notably different. In the growing city of Toronto already well-known for its strongly Protestant and Orange social flavour, the sense of an Irish cohort that was at once poverty-stricken and deviant was felt, seen, and heard not only on streets and in neighbourhoods but also behind the doors of courthouses, asylums, and jails.
This paper investigates the ways in which Toronto’s poorest Irish engaged with questions of community and belonging at the scale of the street. By the 1860s, an increasingly partisan and sensationalist local media offered semi-regular commentaries on the lives of inhabitants of identifiably “Hibernian” streets such as Stanley and Dummer in their various “city news” and “police court” columns. Combining the details of such columns with police, jail, and charitable records offers revealing insights on the structures, hierarchies, and solidarities of these street-level cultures that coalesced around Irish ethnicity, Catholic religious identity, and notions of masculinity and femininity derived largely from immigrants’ rural and small-town antecedents. Within these street cultures, self-styled “mayors” acted as networking power brokers, while newspaper depictions of local rivalries invited comparison with Irish faction-fighting traditions, in turn reinforcing already existing stereotypes of Irish Catholic immigrants rooted in poverty, alcohol abuse and violence. While such rivalries indicate intra-group identity fragmentation across city locations, the paper also addresses how the lives of residents within such localities could still range between spirited co-operation and friendless alienation. (Show less)

Cathrin Ruppe : Social Identities of Irish-British Adolescents during the "Troubles"
In the 1970s, a series of IRA terror attacks brought the Northern Irish conflict to mainland Britain; people of Irish origin, having already experienced decades of anti-Irish attitudes, were confronted with even further hostility by the British public. For British-born adolescents of Irish background, growing up in this period could ... (Show more)
In the 1970s, a series of IRA terror attacks brought the Northern Irish conflict to mainland Britain; people of Irish origin, having already experienced decades of anti-Irish attitudes, were confronted with even further hostility by the British public. For British-born adolescents of Irish background, growing up in this period could mean a continuing fragmentation of the identities they were provided with: The Irish one via collective memories and narratives at home, and the British one shaped by the social environment and peer groups. Identity formation during puberty is strongly based on self-classification and enhancing the self-image of the ‘ingroup’; trying to belong to two communities who historically as well as contemporarily mistrusted each other likely made the establishment of a dual Irish-British identity problematic.

This research hence aims to examine the question how these factors could have helped or hindered the development of a blended socio-cultural identity in adolescents under these conditions, in particular when each identity is perceived as being under attack by the other identity. By establishing historical patterns, the outcome could offer possibilities for comparative studies with other migration groups, in particular in gaining valuable insight into integration issues and possible tendencies for adapting radical attitudes in intercommunal conflicts. (Show less)



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