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Oliver Michael Hennessey
Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA 70125-1056)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 7/31/2011

W. B. Yeats and the Appropriation of Shakespeare in the Context of the Irish Literary Revival

This project is a continuation of my Ph.D. dissertation; the final product will be a book I have tentatively titled "Making Yeats-speare: Culture, Politics, Magic." Yeats was the most significant of the group of writers comprising the "Irish Literary Revival," a cultural nationalist movement centered in Dublin, Ireland, at the turn of the twentieth century. The goal of this group was to revive indigenous Irish literature, which had been suppressed over centuries of British rule. My project studies Yeats' contribution to this movement, and specifically his paradoxical use of Shakespeare, that most "British" of literary icons. This under-researched area is of vital interest to literary historians and Shakespeareans, since it analyzes the strategies that writers from oppressed nations develop to subvert and appropriate the cultural capital of colonial powers. Yeats used Shakespeare as a model for his revival of an Irish national drama and even claimed that "the bard" was really Irish.