• Michael O’Sullivan
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


The introduction lays out the argument of the book on Irish expatriatism, language, and literature: the problem of English. This chapter argues that Irishness has always been understood as something that must be come at “from a distance” given the attention paid to the Irish diaspora in Irish cultural criticism. However, this diaspora is also often treated as both an economic and cultural resource. This chapter also examines how diaspora in the Irish context needs to be informed by recent Asian scholarship that has interrogated Chinese diaspora in terms of Westernisation and racialisation. The chapter also argues that because the language question in Ireland always privileges the Irish language the relationship with language in general is understood in terms of loss. The chapter finally examines the lack of English language policy in Ireland.


Expatriate Loss English Irishness Diaspora 

Works Cited

Works Cited

  1. The John Pope-Hennessy Papers. Special Collections. United College Library. The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  2. Shiva, Vandana. Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology. New York: Zed Books, 1993.Google Scholar
  3. Wright, Julia M. Representing the National Landscape in Irish Romanticism. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael O’Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishChinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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