‘Learning “the customs of their fathers”: Irish Villages in the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893’

Shahmima Akhtar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines how a transnational vision of Ireland was created in the United States by two philanthropic women in Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. They each used accessible images of Ireland and the bodies of exhibited women to authenticate their narrative of dying rural industries that needed to be revived. Their specific visions of Irish development and survival were located against the backdrop of significant Irish migration to the United States and capitalised on feelings of nostalgia popular among the newly settled Irish-American population. The article contributes to studies of Irish identities in Ireland, England and the US at the interface of class, gender and race.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social and Cultural History
Publication statusSubmitted - Nov 2019


  • Ireland
  • Race
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Chicago

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