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History scholar Eric Zuelow wins American Conference for Irish Studies publishing award

posted May 12, 2010, 7:48 AM by rbuhr@une.edu

The American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) awarded the 2009 James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize for Books on History and the Social Sciences to University of New England Assistant Professor Eric G.E. Zuelow’s recent book, Making Ireland Irish: Tourism and National Identity since the Irish Civil War.

The award was announced at the ACIS annual conference held in State College, Penn. on May 7, 2010.

The James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize is given annually to the best history/social sciences book published during the previous calendar year; it is the top honor in the field of Irish history.

The nominating committee noted that “in a year with numerous worthy entries” Making Ireland Irish was the “committee’s clear choice.”  They went on to say that the book “stands out as an outstanding scholarly achievement.”

Making Ireland Irish, published by Syracuse University Press, tells the story of the development of Irish tourism since the Irish Civil War.

Drawing on an extensive array of previously untapped or underused sources, Zuelow tells how a small group of tourism advocates, inspired by tourist development movements in countries such as France and Spain, worked tirelessly to convince their Irish compatriots that tourism was the key to Ireland’s economic, social, and cultural success.

Over time, tourism went from being a national joke to a national interest. Men and women from across Irish society joined in, eager to help shape their country and culture for visitors’ eyes. The result was Ireland as it is depicted today, a land of blue skies, smiling faces, pastel towns, natural beauty, ancient history, and timeless traditions.

Earlier this year, Zuelow spoke about the book as part of the University of New England’s Center for Global Humanities Lecture Series.  The lecture is available on the Center’s website.

The American Conference for Irish Studies, founded in 1960, is a multidisciplinary organization with roughly 800 members drawn from the United States, Ireland, Canada, and other countries.