Exhuming Passions: The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia


Katie Holmes and Stuart Ward

In both Ireland and Australia the past, the way it is remembered and used, is highly topical and highly contested. This book brings together an interdisciplinary collection of highly esteemed scholars of both Ireland and Australia to consider the uses of the past in both. The book is a contribution to a recurring public debate about the intrusions of past trauma, conflict and discord into the controversies of the present.

ISBN: 9780716531449 Categories: ,


History is constantly evoked to justify present political positions or to understand and interpret current events. But this is never a simple matter. Exhuming Passions is a collection of writing by leading Australian and Irish scholars about the different ways in which the past is remembered and contested in Ireland and Australia. The book deals with highly topical issues such as the ways in which war is remembered and commemorated; governments apologise for harms done by previous generations or governments; film and literature constructs the past; and, not least, the responsibility of scholars for recording and interpreting truths about the past.

Table of Contents

Introduction ‘Poison and Remedy’: The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia
Part One
1. Anne Dolan ~ ‘It is not possible for this history to be truthful…’
2. Christina Twomey ~ Wounded Minds: Testifying to Traumatic Events in Ireland and Australia
3. Lindsey Earner-Byrne ~ Child Sexual Abuse, History and the Pursuit of Blame in Modern Ireland
4. Judith Brett ~  Apologising to the Stolen Generation
5. Mark Finnane ~ Memories of violence and the politics of state apologies
6. Anna Haebich ~ A potent space: Australia’s Stolen Generations and the Visual Arts
7. Kevin Rockett ~ Contesting the past in Irish film and television

Part Two
8. Roisin Higgins ~ The changing fortunes of national myths: commemorating Anzac Day and the Easter Rising
9. Dominic Bryan & Stuart Ward ~ The ‘Deficit of Remembrance’: The Great War ‘revival’ in Australia and Ireland
10. Oona Frawley & Sue Kossew ~ Irish and Australian Historical Fiction
11. Felicity Collins ~ Reconciliation and the History Wars in Australian Cinema
12. Katie Holmes ~ Redeeming Landscapes: Ireland and Australia
13. Catriona Elder & Yvonne Whelan ~ Tracing the Past in Dublin and Canberra: Memory, History and Nation
14. John Coakley & Mark McKenna ~ ‘Whatever happened to Republicanism?’: Changing images of the Monarchy in Ireland and Australia

About the Editors

Katie Holmes is Associate Professor and Reader in the School of Historical and European Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Stuart Ward is a Professor in the Department of English, German and Romance Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Both have held the Keith Cameron Chair in Australian History at University College Dublin