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Anthropology, Women's and gender studies, History, Performing arts studies, Musicology, Folklore studies
This article critically considers the representation of armed femininity within the attendant song tradition of Irish physical-force Republicanism, with specific focus on the personal and cultural consequences for two prominent female Republican activists, both of whom successfully traverse the gender demarcation lines of war. While noting the didactic, often misogynistic, trajectory of works narrating ‘transgressive’ females within the broader ballad tradition, this article seeks to determine whether or not the interwoven essentialist tropes of death, martyrdom and resurrection — all deeply-embedded ideological constructs within the framework of Irish Republicanism — successfully supersede calcified patriarchal mores and in so doing, facilitate an alternative narrative landscape for the cultural documentation of militant Irish Republican women via the popular ballad.
Seán Ó Cadhla; Ann Flood, Mairéad Farrell, and the Representation of Armed Femininity in Irish Republican Ballads. Ethnomusicology 1 January 2021; 65 (3): 471–496. DOI: 10.5406/ethnomusicology.65.3.0471