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Music and the Irish Imagination

Thierry Dubost
Alexandra Slaby


Thierry Dubost et Alexandra Slaby

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Irish music holds pride of place among the cultural attributes defining Ireland. On the strength of its indisputable role in shaping the identity of the country or the nation, Irish music attains a mythical dimension as a “natural” element of Celtic culture. To question these certainties which tend to convey a restrictive notion of a so-called Irish music, the first Irish music studies conference in France, which took place at the université de Caen Basse-Normandie on September 10th-12th, 2008, brought together Irish studies scholars, musicologists and musicians from Ireland and from France. Perhaps the belatedness with which music entered Irish studies in France has to do with the difficulty underlined by the late Éric Rohmer for French intellectuals to discuss music, whilst possessing an extensive literary and visual culture.1

Seeking to meet this challenge by presenting different ways in which scholars from various backgrounds can include musical discourse in their research, this ...


Thierry Dubost is a Professor at the université de Caen – Basse-Normandie. He is the author of Struggle, Defeat or Rebirth: Eugene O’Neill’s Vision of Humanity (Jefferson – London, McFarland, 1997; 2005), and The Plays of Thomas Kilroy (Jefferson – London, McFarland, 2007). He has co-edited four books: La Femme noire américaine: aspects d’une crise d’identité (1997); George Bernard Shaw: un dramaturge engagé (1998); Du dire à l’être: tensions identitaires dans la littérature nord-américaine (2000); Regards sur l’intime en Irlande (2008); and has edited L’Adaptation théâtrale en Irlande de 1970 à 2007 (2010), all published by the Presses universitaires de Caen. An English version of this book, Drama Reinvented: Theatre Adaptation in Ireland (1970 à 2007), was published by Peter Lang in 2012. He is a former director of the Irish Studies Research Centre at the université de Caen – Basse-Normandie.

Alexandra Slaby is an Associate Professor of English at the université de Caen – Basse-Normandie. She researches cultural policy issues in Ireland and cultural discourse in the British Isles. She has published articles on various aspects of Irish cultural life, discourse and policy, and was commissioned to write the chapter on Ireland of a book comparing European cultural policies (La Culture comme politique publique. Essai d’histoire comparée. De 1945 à nos jours, Paris, La Documentation française, 2011). In 2010, she published L’État et la culture en Irlande (Caen, Presses universitaires de Caen) prefaced by Michael D. Higgins. In 2011, she organised an international conference on cultural production and practices in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland.

© Presses universitaires de Caen, 2013

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