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The poetics of race in 1890s Ireland: an ethnography of the Aran Islands

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By the end of the nineteenth century the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland had become sites of both cultural and scientific attention. Ashley examines how an ethnographical survey of the islands, based on the scientific claims of craniometry and anthropometry, engaged with and was influenced by the romantic traditions of writing about Aran. He suggests ways in which the work of the ethnographers, Haddon and Browne, should be seen as a development of the poetics of the islands, and placed alongside the literary work of Samuel Ferguson or J. M. Synge, rather than in opposition to them.
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Keywords: Aran Islands; Haddon; Ireland; anthropometry; craniometry; ethnography; primitivism; race

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle, UK

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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