While Irish women in vaudeville may have been criticized and mocked for their middle-class aspirations, there is no doubt that the years covered by my study were ones of significant change for the Irish in the United States as their position in American society gradually improved. Whereas the Irish who came to America during the Famine era were often viewed with fear and suspicion, by the turn of the twentieth century, the Irish American community had achieved a certain level of respectability. This book has examined vaudeville representations of the Irish through the second half of the nineteenth century, up to the advent of the nickelodeon, to question the role that popular culture might have played in this transition. In addition, given the important links between the two media, I anticipated that a deeper understanding of Irish representations in vaudeville might shed further light on the relationship between the Irish and early American cinema.


Gang Member Irish Woman Monday Morning Irish Representation Early Cinema 
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  1. 2.
    Ben Singer, “Modernity, Hyperstimulus, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism,” in Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, ed. Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 90; Lewis, From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, 317; Cripps, “The Movie Jew as an Image of Assimilation,” 193.Google Scholar
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    Russell Merritt, “Nickelodeon Theatres 1905–1914: Building an Audience for the Movies,” in The American Film Industry, ed. Tino Balio (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976), 60;Google Scholar
  3. Ben Singer, “Manhattan Nickelodeons: New Data on Audiences and Exhibitors,” Cinema Journal 34, no. 3 (1995), 28.Google Scholar
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    Cited Richard Abel, Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910 –1914 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 55–6.Google Scholar
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© Jennifer Mooney 2015

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  • Jennifer Mooney

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