Call for Book Chapters: “Irish Female Veterans: A Forgotten Story between Revolution and Counter-Revolution”

Women’s history in Ireland remained unwritten for decades. Women’s contribution to contemporary Irish history, and, in particular, to the Revolutionary period, was almost completely erased from history books. Women were the forgotten character in Irish History par excellence for years. Only in the last 30 years has the women-related Irish historiography produced some pioneering works, principally about the relationships between feminism and nationalism and the female role in the nationalist movement.

A lot of work has still to be done. In particular, if a lot has been said about the contribution of the female Republican activists to the Revolution and the Civil War and their experience during this period, almost nothing has been written about what happened to them after this period, in particular, if Anti-Treatyites republicans, Socialists, or queer people. What happened to them? The stories of hundreds of female Republican activists are already lost in the shadows of history. Almost nothing is known about their lives in post-Revolutionary Ireland; about the sufferings they bore to adapt to a new world different from the one they imagined and for which they fought; about what it meant for them to enter a society that often refused to acknowledge them and put them at its borders; about the social, political and economic exclusions they suffered due to their political activism and creed; and about the troubles they undergo to continue to fight for their causes (class, nation and/or gender-related) in the new Irish Free State.

Moreover, new questions come out about the struggle they undertook to hand down the remembering of their stories, fighting against the public backlash they suffered, to emerge from public history’s oblivion, and to defend the memories of those who were no longer there and whose inheritances were misunderstood, attacked, or risked getting lost.

The purpose of this book is to fill these gaps. Specifically, this book has four complementary aims. The first one is to recover some forgotten female Republican activists’ stories, following one of the most intriguing research currents of the last Irish Women’s historiography. Particularly appreciated would be the submission of chapters dedicated to female activists not studied yet in other academic works and/or to socialist, republican, socialist-republican, communist and queer women.

The second one, indeed, is to study how they built, narrated, interpreted, understood, and handed down the memory of the Revolution and the Civil War, of their roles in the political, propagandist, and military republican activities, and of their personal experiences during the Revolution and the Civil War as political activists and/or as private citizens (experiences as militants, speakers, officials, propagandists, and organizers; imprisonment and internment; hunger-strikes and other forms of prison resistance;  emotive, physical and sexual violence done and received; editorship and journalism; etc…).

Moreover, another important aim is to investigate how this memory and its understanding influenced their personal development as individual subjects and political characters after the Revolutionary period, and how it shaped their self-narration and self-understanding. Of great interest would be the works developed using innovative and/or not used yet analytical approaches (data analysis, emotional approach, deconstructionist text analysis, etc…) and/or sources (such as BMH’s Witness Statements, Military Service Pensions Collections, unstudied personal papers or diaries, etc…).

The last one is to enlarge our knowledge of the Irish Female Veterans’ lives after the Revolution, both in the personal and the political fields, of their political activities after the Revolutionary period, and of the developments of their personal relationships between activists. Particular attention will be paid to the works that would concentrate on their personal (emotional impact of the Revolution and the Civil War, post-Revolutionary personal troubles, emigration, sexual and affective bonds and relationships, social backlashes for gender-related and/or political issues, working life, etc…) and political lives (political affiliations, various forms of activisms, elections, political journalism, international political networking, and affiliations, etc…).

So, the list of topics about Irish Female Veterans’ history in which we are interested includes, but is not limited to:

  • Biographies of Veterans;
  • Socialist, communist and/or Republican activism after the Revolution;
  • Post-Revolutionary radical activism;
  • Republican women;
  • Queer activism;
  • Post-revolutionary radical women’s backlash;
  • Prison/internment experience;
  • Post-revolutionary artistic life;
  • Post-revolutionary auto-biography publications;
  • National and radical memory politics;
  • Moral, physical and sexual violence;
  • Memory-building and memory transmission;
  • Radical journalism after the Revolution;
  • Radical and queer women’s social exclusion;
  • Military Service Pensions;
  • BHM’s Witness Statements;
  • Emigration;
  • Radical internationalism;


Chapter proposal submission:

If you are interested in submitting a chapter, please send the under-listed items to the editor, Dr. Filippo Barsi, at

  • An extended abstract outlining your chapter’s conceptual core (~3000 characters, including spaces).
  • A short biography(s) (~2000 characters including spaces).

Chapters will undergo peer review before publication.



Proposal deadline: 30th September 2023.

Acceptance/Non-acceptance notice: end of October 2023.

Chapter submission deadline: 31st December 2023.

This proposal is due on September 30th 2023.

Page last updated on June 22nd 2023. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.