This volume is an exploration of the image that is the Traveller/Gypsy, the mad, the migrant and the outsider/ Other within the frames of articulation that are the present-day flows of cultural diaspora and mass globalisation. Mass-media dissemination and the combination of a range of complex social and cultural forces and movements have all served to rupture and blurr the borders of the post-Enlightenment, modern nation-state. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of postcolonial diasporas such as Travellers, Roma and other traditionally madic groups, groups whose migrations have served to accelerate the reconfiguring of (hitherto) dominant cultural narratives. This book explores the manner whereby the migrant experience as relating to Ireland and as relating to Irish Travellers and Roma has been analysed and represented. While the essays in this volume have a particular focus on the experiences of Irish migrants and the people sometimes referred to as the old Irish or the new Irish , they also have a strong resonance with other recent explorations of the hybrid and diverse discourses that are the narratives of many Western countries today.
Dr. Micheal O hAodha (Michael Hayes) works as a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He has published widely on the literature and social history of marginal groups in Ireland including the Irish Travellers and other migrant peoples. His books include The Candlelight Painter (2004), Parley-Poet and Chanter (2004) and Irish Travellers: Representations and Realities (2006. The former two books are the only first-hand ethnographic accounts of Irish Traveller life from the perspective of Irish Traveller men since Sean Maher's autobiography - The Road to God Knows Where (1972). In addition to the representation and history of migration, Micheal also has interests in nationalism in a postcolonial context, the subaltern and diaspora identities. His most recent book is Road Memories: Aspects of Migrant History (2006).