Cloth, gender, politics: the Armagh Handkerchief, 1976


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Purbrick, Louise (2014) Cloth, gender, politics: the Armagh Handkerchief, 1976 Clio: Historie, Femmes Et Societes, 40. pp. 115-135. ISSN 1777-5299

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This article examines a handkerchief decorated by female members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) imprisoned in Armagh Jail, Northern Ireland, in 1976. It attends to the materiality of a gendered and politicised object. The stenciling, colouring, signing and exchanging of this piece of cloth took place at the end of an early phase in the conflict ‘in and about’ Northern Ireland, a period known as ‘reactive containment’ and characterised by political imprisonment. Stitching upon cloth, a feminine pursuit, was adapted by male prisoners to become widespread republican practice in the 1970s. The Armagh handkerchief considered here, represents a contradictory and borrowed form but one in which the gendered properties of cloth persist. Thus, the article also attends to the meanings of cloth itself.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cloth; material culture; prison handkerchiefs; republican women prisoners; Armagh Jail; Northern Ireland
Subjects: V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V370 History of design
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2016 03:01
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2018 01:38

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