Today marks the launch of the Irish Association of Professional Historians (IAPH). As they state on their website the organisation ‘seeks to raise the profile of our members, engaging with individuals and organisations both inside and outside the academy.’ All admirable goals. Any engagement by professional historians with the wider public should certainly be encouraged and because of this I have decided to join the organisation.
I also hope that the IAPH will be able to bring to the attention of the public and the media the tremendous diversity and quality of professional Irish historians out there. All too often the same historians pop up again and again, tending to lead to a stagnation of historical debate and the formation of cliques, neither of which helps historical outreach with the wider public nor the healthy growth of academic history. It can further lead to early career historians becoming isolated, becoming ‘locked out’ of academic positions, as Professor Ferriter aptly described it at the launch of the book Locked Out: A Century of Irish Working-Class Life (2013).
It will be interesting to see how the IAPH will shake up history in Ireland. Some cages could do with a little rattle.
Last week saw arrival of Locked Out: A Century of Irish Working-Class Life by Irish Academic Press to bookshops throughout the country. It’s an exciting collection of essays on labour edited by David Convery. In another post I’ll take briefly look at my chapter ‘”Real Irish Patriots would scorn to recognise the likes of you”: Larkin and Irish-America’, which focuses on the much ignored and maligned impact of Big Jim Larkin in the United States between 1914 and 1923 and the state of Irish-America at this time, but for now details of the two locations of the book launch.
The first will be in Dublin at 6pm on Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at Connolly Hall (appropriately enough). The guest speaker will be Diarmaid Ferriter, a well-known voice in Irish history, so it’ll be interesting to see what his thoughts are on the collection.
The second launch will be in the real capital of Cork at 8pm Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at Solidarity Books, and where I am sure the editor David Convery will be coaxed into saying a few words about the collection.
A new generation of emerging historians are responsible this collection and it would be great to see some encouragement for this book. I’m sure many of the authors of the various chapters will be in attendance, so come along and feel free to discuss with them their findings.
Locked Out: A Century of Irish Working-Class Life is available at all good bookstores and online retailers. Enjoy!