"Materialising" a Diasporic Irish Family on the Frontier of S.E. SA (1852-1860). [abstract].
This paper interrogates the idea of using fiction to re-imagine local myth. Can the novelist history-writer seeking to construct a narrative from the occluded stories of an 1850s Irish settler family, give just consideration to the essentialisms of modern history? A central concern of the paper is the representation, then and since, of the Irish diaspora on the frontier of S.E. SA. (1852-1860). It calls attention to the complex diversity of Irish immigrants on station settlements dominated by Scots cleared from the Highlands, Prussians fleeing religious persecution, and enterprising English pastoralists. How are Gambierton Irish settlers portrayed, and by whom? What did they carry with them? Where did they spring from, and have some histories fallen through the cracks? Are there contradictions, instabilities?