Transnational Ireland on Stage: America to Middle East in Three Texts
Kao, Wei H.
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British imperialism had once channelled Ireland into becoming not only a subjugator of non-white colonies while itself subjugated, but also a transnational agent that nestled exceedingly well between cultural homogenisation and differentiation. Having said this, this essay will initiate a conversation among three dramatic texts that either question the ambiguity of the Irish role in international politics or unveil the ignored experiences of Irish exiles and their interactions with ethnic Others in a distant land. These Irish texts, to differing degrees, resist the normative impositions of a globalised world-view, and present a hybridised yet unsettling facet of Irish diasporic life in America, France, and Middle East, as it is mediated with the difficulties of changing concepts of space and time in a transnational landscape. The discussion on the three texts will illuminate not only the commonality of ethical problems in general, but also how the individual playwrights reflect on the emerging ethical crises through Irish people's own historical experiences and the concurrent Middle East conflict. The three plays to be discussed are Sebastian Barry's White Woman Street (1992), Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (1992), and Colin Teevan's How Many Miles to Basra? (2006).