James Louis Smith deposited Public Humanities EcoGothic at the Coast in Ireland and Wales in the group History on Humanities Commons 1 year, 3 months ago
The Gothic clings to Irish and Welsh coasts and finds voice through strange stories. Centuries of accumulated death and tragedy forms a dense web of sorrow with particularly prolific roots in the literature, songs, and stories of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These traditions resonate within the longer history of lives and vessels lost in the Irish Sea, becoming part of what Gillian O’Brien has described as the ‘ring of sorrow’ encircling Ireland, and the wider archipelago, ‘binding together communities who have suffered maritime tragedies like beads on a rosary’. This paper explores the Gothic resonances that cross the Irish Sea and some of the conundrums of expressing this material through digital and stakeholder-based public history activities. These manifestations are a form of blue knowledge, sense-making in the face of danger mediated by a sense of ecological anxiety mixed with human feats of bravery. The case studies of this essay originate from the collection of the Ports, Past and Present project, an initiative funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.