Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Byrne, Anne; O'Sullivan, Eoin
Irish Journal Of Sociology
Arensberg, Kimball and de Valera: A Story of Sex and Censorship
Optional Fields
Sex, religion, censorship, de Valera, Harvard Irish Study
A curious Irish-American ‘international incident’ occurred at the onset of World War 2 and during the Irish ‘Emergency’ in 1940. An invitation to Eamon de Valera from Earnest Hooton, Director of the Harvard-Irish Survey, to write a preface to Family and Community in Ireland, authored by American anthropologists, Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball, resulted in a request to impose restrictions on the about-to-be-published text. Offended by the frequent references to sex and to the content of chapter 11, ‘Familism and Sex’, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland advised the Director of Harvard University Press to reconsider publication of the entire book. We investigate what happened, who was involved and how the ‘crisis’ was resolved –at least for the protagonists. We reveal some of the original unpublished text by Arensberg and Kimball, consider the circumstances of the censorship conducted on both sides of the Atlantic, the impact on the published text and the responses by the authors. We propose that further investigation into the excised content and the legacy of anthropological constructions of Irish sexualities is now warranted.
Grant Details
RSS 2018
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy, Humanities in Context