Contemporary European Studies and discussions about European Integration are all too often limited, both inside and outside academia, to the disciplines of Political Science, Law and Economics, especially when it comes to the European Union. A new fascinating resource has recently been made available on the website of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) that expands this narrow horizon.
Entitled Kaleidoscope 2: Europe in Ireland it adds an important cultural and literary dimension to the contemporary Irish debate about Europe. Writers from both parts of the island, writing in both English and Irish, were asked for short essays on what Europe means to them. The result is a fascinating, varied and imaginative collection, indeed a kaleidoscope, of 41 texts, many of them exploring and responding to personal life experiences. Brexit looms large in a good few of the essays, especially by Northern Irish writers.
The list of authors features many well known names, including John Banville, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Colm Tóibin. The texts are supplemented by the results of a survey exploring the writers' views on the European Union more specifically.
The project was directed by Prof. Hedwig Schwall of the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, Prof. Ann Fogarty of UCD and Prof. Joachim Fischer, Jean Monnet Chair in European Cultural Studies at the University of Limerick and a board member of IACES. Kaleidoscope 2 was grant aided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Jean Monnet programme.