Looks at the deeply controversial role of political economy, and especially the policy of laissez-faire, during the Great Irish Famine. For its defenders, the free market was a self-regulating system and 'interference' with it by the state was fraught with danger; for its critics, state 'intervention' was crucial to save human lives.
Luke Gibbons revisits representations of the Famine, particularly those in Ireland's Great Hunger Museum to argue that images can not only give visual pleasure but demand ethical interventions on the part of spectators.
The devastation of disease, the pace of death and fears of contagion not only altered the practices of mourning and burial during the calamitous height of the Famine, but have also shaped its visual representation and ongoing patterns of remembrance.
Christine Kinealy provides a chronology of the Famine and examines the causes and consequences of this tragedy, and asks how could a famine of this magnitude occur at the centre of the British Empire? Why did Ireland starve?
Even considering recent advances in the development of women's studies as a discipline, women remain underrepresented in the history and historiography of the Great Hunger. The various roles played by women, including as landowners, relief-givers, philanthropists, proselytizers and providers for the family, have received little attention.