Annual Ernie O’Malley Lecture: Anelise Shrout, “Aiding Ireland”
The Irish countryside experienced devastation due to famine in the nineteenth century. In response, individuals from various social, ethnic, and religious backgrounds worldwide became involved in Irish famine relief efforts. This included enslaved Black people in Virginia, impoverished tenant farmers in rural New York, members of the Cherokee and Choctaw nations, plantation owners in the US South, abolitionists in Pennsylvania, and politicians in England and Ireland. Many of these contributors had no personal ties to Ireland, and for many, this famine marked their initial engagement in distant philanthropy.
The book “Aiding Ireland” explores the Irish famine as a pivotal moment in normalizing international charitable giving. Anelise Hanson Shrout contends that these diverse individuals found political utility in participating in famine relief. Shrout takes readers on a journey from Ireland to Britain, across the Atlantic to the United States, and over the Mississippi to Indian Territory, revealing the gains each group sought through involvement in global famine relief. “Aiding Ireland” illustrates that international philanthropy and aid are intricate, always entwined with political dynamics both domestically and internationally.
Anelise Hanson Shrout, an Assistant Professor in the Program in Digital and Computational Studies at Bates College, affiliated with the Department of History and the Program in American Studies, explores the interconnected relationships between history, computation, algorithmic thinking, and data. Her research delves into the nineteenth-century origins of international humanitarianism, focusing on how philanthropic donations were used as proxies for discussions about governance in the mid-nineteenth century.
Additionally, Shrout is engaged in a digital archiving project examining the lives of immigrants medically incarcerated in New York during the nineteenth century. This project employs computational methods to comprehend the forces affecting these immigrants and the communities they formed within institutions.
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm EST