Language, Translation, and the Irish Theatre Diaspora in Quebec


Ilha Desterro




Abstract: This article argues for the inclusion of Québécois translations of Irish plays as part of the Irish theatrical diaspora. The presence of an Irish diaspora in North America was mainly the result of massive waves of immigration, in large part due to the Great Famine, peaking during the mid-nineteenth century before gradually abating. This diaspora was integrated into Quebec society, undoubtedly facilitated by similar political, religious, and even linguistic elements. Interest in Irish culture, especially in its theatrical output, remains high, with many theatre companies, for example Théâtre La Licorne in Montreal, in the province commissioning seasons based on Celtic Tiger-era dramas, translated by Québécois playwrights. In tracing the reason for this interest, despite diminished recent immigration, this article provides the basis for continued research into the performative force of proactive translations across varying diasporic traditions.

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