A unique contemporary analysis of the huge imperial mapping project of the British Government in nineteenth century Ireland, which describes as well as re-interprets the value of science and modernity as practiced by the British empire. The book raises questions about representation and academic discourses and highlights and interprets colonial techniques of observation and description. The nature of “evidence” within colonial archive is also questioned. Focussing on the main aspects of the survey from a contemporary theoretical perspective it both enlivens the original documents and serves as a sensitive critique of it. The main themes are ethnographic description, translation and cartography and the relationship between them in the nineteenth century. Central to this is the emerging ‘view’ of Ireland and the Irish and the idea of the project as representative of early Irish ethnography. The book contains new findings in relation to renowned scholars such as John O’Donovan and re-engages with the Friel.vs Andrews debate on ‘Translation and Irish Culture’ The book should be of wide interest to folklorists, cultural sociologists, geographers, historians, ethnologists, cultural studies, Irish language scholars and the general reader with an interest in Ireland.
About the Author
Stiofán Ó Cadhla is a lecturer in the Department of Béaloideas, Folklore and Ethnology at University College Cork.