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By Marcus P. Bullock, Peter Y. Paik

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In doing so, they demonstrate contemporary globalization’s connection to place and history, a foil to the common charge that the international corporations have little loyalty to place, and little obligation to people. Another of emigration’s present-day marks upon the landscape lies in the rolling hills of Ireland’s famous golf courses and the seemingly neutral clarion calls of tourist operators inviting the descendants of famine emigrants back home. 22 One new course, for example, constructed on the beautiful and rugged Old Head of Kinsale, caters almost exclusively to foreign nationals and charges $300 per round of golf.

Of course, Ireland—its economy and culture—have always been influenced by international trends, at least since the arrival of English capitalism in the sixteenth century. The latest chapter in this story differs because it provides an elite, indigenous defense, even celebration, of recent emigration. It is a quick move from revising recent emigration to radically reconsidering the entire history of postfamine emigration. Some contemporary historians, in fact, go for the home run and claim that postfamine emigration was a voluntary affair: Kirby Miller writes in Emigrants and Exiles, “between 1856 and 1921, when most departures occurred .

Cultural geography is a form of history-writing. Contemporary shapers of space profit from the ordeal of emigration. In order to do so, they do not whitewash its trauma, but engage in a more subtle glossing over, an appropriation of the past for the purposes of the global present. One obvious remnant of emigration in modern downtown Dublin is sculptor Rowan Gillespie’s commemoration of the famine. Presented to Dublin Corporation in 1997 on the 150th anniversary of the famine, the bronze sculpture displays gaunt, wraithlike victims carrying their few possessions toward an unseen coffin ship.

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