Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Molly Bassett

Second Advisor

Kathryn McClymond

Third Advisor

Monique Moultrie

Fourth Advisor

John Burrison


The fairy figure has had a long association with Ireland in popular cultural discourse. While often the source of children's fairy tales, their history in Ireland is far from kitsch. Their enduring association with the Irish has been one of adaptation in the face of colonialism and is linked to the land itself as well as Irish identity. The Gaelic Revival and emerging field of archaeology in the nineteenth century pulled from a strong tradition of myth and storytelling to craft a narrative of authentic Irishness that could resist the English culturally and spiritually. This paper explores the relationship between nationalism, landscape, and mythology that created a space that the fairy survived in as a product of colonial resistance and identity.