Anglistik und Amerikanistik

Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann (University of Würzburg, Germany): "The Green Atlantic Revis(it)ed: Colum McCann's TransAtlantic (2013) as New Irish American Historical Fiction". Hosted by the University of Wuppertal, Germany.

“The Green Atlantic Revis(it)ed: Colum McCann's TransAtlantic (2013) as New Irish American Historical Fiction”
Datum: 08.07.2021, 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr
Kategorie: Startseite
Ort: online
Vortragende:r: Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann

Colum McCann's TransAtlantic (2013) delivers exactly what readers would expect from its title. The novel features transatlantic crossings and settings on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, from Canada and the United States of America to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. But besides its broad geographical scope, TransAtlantic also covers a large time frame. The novel tells the history of the Green Atlantic from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century by focusing on Frederick Douglass's visit to Ireland during the Great Famine in 1845/46, John Alcock and Arthur Brown's first nonstop transatlantic flight in 1919, and George Mitchell's negotiations of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Yet, McCann intricately combines this 'maps and chaps' version of history with 'herstory' by adding a fictional, Irish American, and matrilineal storyline, which brings the seemingly disparate strands together. McCann's novel revisits and revises official historiography and is therefore an instance of the new Irish American historical fiction.

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Ina Bergmann is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany. She is the co-founder of Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ), a member of the international research network Pathologies of Solitude (Queen Mary University of London), a board member of the European Network for Short Fiction Research (ENSFR), and a peer reviewer for the international journals AmLit: American Literatures, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, Journal of Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, and Journal of the Short Story in English (JSSE). She has held fellowships with the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) at the University of Oxford, the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute (TLRH) at Trinity College Dublin, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens at San Marino, CA, USA. She is the author of two monographs, And Then the Child Becomes a Woman: Weibliche Initiation in der amerikanischen Kurzgeschichte 1865-1970 (Winter 2003) and The Nineteenth Century Revis(it)ed: The New Historical Fiction (Routledge 2021), the (co-)editor of nine volumes of essays and special issues of journals, among them Liminality and the Short Story: Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Writing (Routledge 2015), Cultures of Solitude: Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation (Lang 2017), and Intermediality, Life Writing, and American Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (de Gruyter 2018), as well as a frequent contributor to peer-reviewed journals and international book projects.

German Irish Studies Itinerary (GISI)

The “German Irish Studies Itinerary: Great Irish Novels of the Twenty-First Century” celebrates contemporary Irish culture through a lecture series innovative in its format and execution: EFACIS-related experts in the field of Irish Literary Studies collaborate to connect eleven German universities which feature a substantial Irish Studies component. Each of the fifteen experts will be travelling (if – alas! – only digitally in these times of Corona) to several different universities in Germany to talk about their favourite Irish novels of the twenty-first century. The project addresses the challenging situation of Irish Studies in Germany, and supports individual scholars in their endeavours to put Irish Studies back on the map of their institutions and regions.

The lectures introduce students, scholars and interested citizens to internationally celebrated and award-winning Irish fiction. In their analyses and interpretations, leading experts from across Europe will be demonstrating how these novels build on a rich heritage and contribute to discussing traditional, as well as to fashioning contemporary, Irish identities at the intersections of class, gender, race, religion and sexuality, while also intervening in (pre- and post-Brexit) political and cultural debates. Q&A sessions will engage the audiences in discussions and create a deeper understanding of the Irish heritage and contemporary debates in and about Ireland, Northern Ireland and the global Irish.

The project is funded by the Emigrant Support Programme of the Government of Ireland, administered by the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland, Berlin. For more information on GISI, please see:


If you are interested in participating in this online event, please sign up by sending an email with the subject line “BERGMANN” to by July 7, 2021. Please include your full name, affiliation or address, and a phone number.


Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ)

Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann & Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann,