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Lili Zách

Mar 2, 2022

Imagining Ireland Abroad, 1904–1945

Conceiving the Nation, Identity, and Borders in Central Europe

Palgrave Macmillan 2021

Lili Zách is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Studies at ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) in Budapest and has previously taught at Maynooth University (Ireland). She received her MA Degrees in History and Irish Studies in 2006 from the University of Szeged, Hungary. In 2010 she completed a Diploma Course in Irish Language and completed her PhD at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2016.

In this interview, she discusses her new book Imagining Ireland Abroad, 1904-1945: Conceiving the Nation, Identity, and Borders in Central Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), which investigates Irish perceptions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its small successor states

Offering a unique account of identity formation in Ireland and Central Europe, Imagining Ireland Abroad, 1904-1945 explores and contextualizes transfers and comparisons between Ireland and the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It reveals how Irish perceptions of borders and identities changed after the (re)birth of the small states of Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia and the creation of the Irish Free State. Adopting a transnational approach, the book documents the outward-looking attitude of Irish nationalists and provides original insights into the significance of personal encounters that transcended the borders of nation-states. Drawing on a wide range of official records, private papers, contemporary press accounts and journal articles, Imagining Ireland Abroad, 1904-1945 bridges the gap between historiographies of the East and West by opening up a new perspective on Irish national identity.

Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh

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