The Home Network: Identity and Materiality in Early Modern and Modern Ulster
Whalen, Kathryn M.
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This dissertation looks at three categories of ceramics and the creation of a hybrid culture during the Early Modern and Modern period in Ireland. During these time periods Ireland was a part of the English global colonial enterprises, and was the site of many legal and cultural changes due to its subordinate position in the hierarchy of socio-political and economic phenomenon that characterize the pinnacle of British global power. This study looks to understand how these powers articulated with England’s one European colony, Ireland, and if that articulation has similarities to other colonial cultures across time and space. To study the possibility of hybridity between the Irish and English inhabitants of Ireland during the Post-Medieval Period, three categories of ceramics have been analyzed. Fine earthenwares in the form of tablewares and tea sets were macroscopically analyzed for patterns, age, and place of origin. Coarse earthenwares were subjected to X-ray florescence to look for patterns in the spectral data to see if a point of origin could be ascribed to them. And lastly, white ball clay pipe fragments were both macroscopically analyzed for makers’ marks and subjected to X-ray florescence to verify their point of origin. The relationship between where these artifacts come from- if they are local productions or imports- and where they were disposed of- either across the landscaper or only associated with households of particular ethnicities- says something about how people negotiate their ethnic identities in colonial settings. As people in Ireland adopt the English style of tea drinking and start to use English mass-produced fine earthenwares, it disrupts the local cottage industry of coarse earthenware manufacturing. What this study seeks to know is if there is a difference in the adoption of English tea drinking, and if the purchasing of certain types of ceramic vessels contributes to the performance of ethnic identity in a colonial setting.