Losada Friend, María; Tejedor Cabrera, José María; Estévez-Saá, José; Huber, Werner (eds.)
In this conference’s spirit of creating a Europe-wide forum for diverse and innovative explorations of classic and contemporary issues within Ireland’s social, cultural, political, and economic realms, this third volume in the Irish Studies in Europe series includes articles and poems that ambitiously reveal the complex academic and artistic challenges of contemporary Irish Studies. The title of Dreaming the Future: New Horizons/Old Barriers in 21st-Century Ireland, shared by both the conference and this volume, alludes to Walter Benjamin’s assertion that “every epoch not only dreams the next but, while dreaming, it impels it toward wakefulness.” Already the Irish panorama looks quite different than it did at the turn of the last century – a point ably demonstrated throughout this collection – as “New Horizons” continue to reveal themselves even as many “Old Barriers” stubbornly refuse erasure. As such, it is the challenge of Irish Studies in Europe to trace carefully and elucidate the many and great changes witnessed by both Northern Ireland and the Republic today, as traditional images of underdevelopment, isolationism, sectarianism, and violence are gradually overturned and replaced. This collection meets these challenges through a thoroughgoing and multifaceted recognition and revision of the movements, and figures that, dreaming the future, have led and shaped the island in its non-stop evolution.