Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment

Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment

Author: James M. Smith

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 9780268182182

Category: History

Page: 312

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The Magdalen laundries were workhouses in which many Irish women and girls were effectively imprisoned because they were perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society. Mandated by the Irish state beginning in the eighteenth century, they were operated by various orders of the Catholic Church until the last laundry closed in 1996. A few years earlier, in 1993, an order of nuns in Dublin sold part of their Magdalen convent to a real estate developer. The remains of 155 inmates, buried in unmarked graves on the property, were exhumed, cremated, and buried elsewhere in a mass grave. This triggered a public scandal in Ireland and since then the Magdalen laundries have become an important issue in Irish culture, especially with the 2002 release of the film The Magdalene Sisters. Focusing on the ten Catholic Magdalen laundries operating between 1922 and 1996, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment offers the first history of women entering these institutions in the twentieth century. Because the religious orders have not opened their archival records, Smith argues that Ireland's Magdalen institutions continue to exist in the public mind primarily at the level of story (cultural representation and survivor testimony) rather than history (archival history and documentation). Addressed to academic and general readers alike, James M. Smith's book accomplishes three primary objectives. First, it connects what history we have of the Magdalen laundries to Ireland's “architecture of containment” that made undesirable segments of the female population such as illegitimate children, single mothers, and sexually promiscuous women literally invisible. Second, it critically evaluates cultural representations in drama and visual art of the laundries that have, over the past fifteen years, brought them significant attention in Irish culture. Finally, Smith challenges the nation—church, state, and society—to acknowledge its complicity in Ireland's Magdalen scandal and to offer redress for victims and survivors alike.
Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries
Language: en
Pages: 240
Authors: Katherine O’Donnell, Claire McGettrick, James M. Smith, Maeve O'Rourke, Mari Steed
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-04-22 - Publisher: I.B. Tauris

Between 1922 and 1996, over 10,000 girls and women were imprisoned in Magdalene Laundries, including those considered 'promiscuous', a burden to their families or the state, those who had been sexually abused or raised in the care of the Church and State, and unmarried mothers. These girls and women were
Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment
Language: en
Pages: 312
Authors: James M. Smith
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-09-01 - Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

The Magdalen laundries were workhouses in which many Irish women and girls were effectively imprisoned because they were perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society. Mandated by the Irish state beginning in the eighteenth century, they were operated by various orders of the Catholic Church until
Origins of the Magdalene Laundries
Language: en
Pages: 269
Authors: Rebecca Lea McCarthy
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-03-08 - Publisher: McFarland

The convents, asylums, and laundries that once comprised the Magdalene institutions are the subject of this work. Though originally half-way homes for prostitutes in the Middle Ages, these homes often became forced-labor institutions, particularly in Ireland. Examining the laundries within the context of a growing world capitalist economy, the work
Memorialising the Magdalene Laundries
Language: en
Pages: 318
Authors: Nathalie Sebbane
Categories: Church work with prostitutes
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021 - Publisher: Peter Lang Limited, International Academic Publishers

Since the publication of James Smith's groundbreaking book on the Magdalene laundries in 2007, many developments have made the issue even more topical. Even though the lack of access to archives and records of religious orders remains a major obstacle to writing a comprehensive history of the Magdalene laundries, the
Locked Away
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Steven O'Riordan
Categories: Church work with women
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-04 - Publisher:

This title tells the story of the lives of women who were incarcerated in Ireland's Magdalene Laundries and their campaign for justice. The women were forced into these punitive institutions because they had breached - or might breach - the rigid codes of sexual morality dictated by the Catholic Church