Dr. Jill Bender (History) has received a fellowship from the National Humanities Center for the 2019-20 academic year, which will allow her the time and intellectual support to work on her second book, “Assisted Emigrants: Irish Female Migration Projects and the British Empire.”
The book will examine state efforts to remove women from Irish workhouses and relocate them across the British empire. During the mid-nineteenth century, British officialdom recognized assisted migration as a strategic opportunity to unpeople specific colonial regions and socially engineer the populations of others. At the local level, however, commissioners struggled to implement the plans, as some women refused to participate and colonial authorities deemed others unfit. By exploring state-assisted female migration within an imperial context, this project highlights both the construction of power relations crucial to imperial control and also the role of Irish women in Britain’s imperial project.