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    Australasian Irish Studies Conference: Massey University, NZ; 9-12 July 2009

    Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

    Ireland and the Irish Antipodes: One World or Worlds Apart?

    The Irish Studies Associaton of Australian and New Zealand will host its conference from the 9th to 12th of July at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.

    Organisers say:

    Australia and New Zealand were essentially secondary destinations for the post-1800 waves of Irish leaving to make new lives overseas, accounting for no more than 10 per cent in most decades. Yet the two countries have regularly been identified by scholars as appropriate ‘laboratories’ for studying the nature and impacts of Irish migration over time. This conference seeks to review research undertaken both at the points of origin and destination and to pose new questions. Were the Irish communities that took root in the Antipodes essentially transplanted fragments of the homeland? How did they evolve, and to what extent was their evolution influenced by developments at home? Were there noticeable differences between the Australian and New Zealand Irish experiences, and if so how may these best be explained? What is the relationship today between Ireland and its most far-flung diasporic communities?

    With seven keynote speakers providing contextual signposts, the topics to be addressed over three days will be diverse. Historical themes range from aspects of early convict transportation to Australia, through Irish-Maori relations in New Zealand, to late twentieth century economic interactions. Cultural life will also be a focus, Irish literature, theatre and music – both traditional and contemporary – being scheduled for discussion. A particular consideration will be how the Antipodean Irish are being depicted in historical reconstructions and displays. Necessarily, many of the contributions will reflect collective experiences, but provision has also been made for papers on those of individuals and families. The utility of oral history for recording the experiences of more recent arrivals will also be assessed.

    See the conference website. aims to map Irish diaspora

    Monday, August 11th, 2008

    Here’s an interesting project that many will find of interest:

    The SeventyMillionProject is an attempt to map Irish heritage worldwide. Organisers say they are finding, mapping and exploring Irish heritage worldwide. The site is mainly aimed at Irish descendants, rather than emigrants.

    The site not only features people mapping their location, but also allows them to post comments on their sense of Irishness. An creative use of technology and a fascinating project!

    Visit it at

    Galway book features tales of returnees and newcomers

    Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

    A book published in Galway features the stories of returned emigrants and newcomers to the city. “Galway – City of Strangers” has been edited by Poet-in-Residence Michael O’Loughlin.  The book was developed out of a series of workshops by O’Loughlin, and features individuals who returned to Galway years after emigrating, as well as people from such places as the US, France, Poland, Hungary, Nigeria, and Russia.

    See a Galway Advertiser article about the book.

    Wavelengths: Irish and American Music. UCD: Sept 2008

    Thursday, May 8th, 2008

    The UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies will host a conference exploring musical links between Ireland and the US.

    Organisers say

    This event has been conceived a by a group of scholars, musicians and producers to provide a focus for performance and study of Irish and American musical relations. These relations have a long and deep history, intertwining the cultures and identities of Irish and American peoples. The event will explore and celebrate these relations via a programme that combines conference presentations and musical performances.

    Wavelengths will focus on the back-and-forwards movement of musical traditions between Ireland and the United States and identify newer currents and fusions in transatlantic music. We invite proposals for conference presentations – individual papers and panels. Conference themes will include, but will not be limited to:

    • Race and ethnicity
    • Nation and identity
    • Class and work
    • Innovators (performers, technicians, collectors, commentators)
    • Emigration and diaspora
    • Historical events
    • New technologies
    • Scotch-Irish influences
    • Genres – traditional, folk, country, rock, jazz, soul, Celtic punk, hip hop…
    • Social functions of music
    • Representations of music in other media – film, photography, literature

    Brief abstracts (200 words) plus a short biographical statement should be sent to Catherine Carey at by 1st June 2008.

    See the UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies website.

    Exhibition on Irish in Europe opens

    Friday, December 14th, 2007

    “Strangers to Citizens: the Irish in Europe, 1600 – 1800” has opened at the National Library’s Genealogical Office on Kildare Street in Dublin.

    The exhibition tells the story of the Irish who went to continental Europe from the time of the Flight of the Earls. It shows that the Irish left for a variety of reasons and had a myriad of experiences:

    Following the wars at the end of the 16th century, the Irish began to migrate to continental Europe in a pattern which continued over two hundred years. Soldiers, students, priests, professionals, and merchants, were among the many thousands who emigrated, to Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden, and elsewhere. Over time migrants formed communities and eventually integrated into their host societies.

    The exhibition features a number of images from institutions across the Continent, as well as original manuscripts illuminating the Irish experience. Digital installations allow visitors to explore topics in greater depth and also to look up individuals who served in the French and Spanish armies of the 18th century and who studied at Irish colleges in Paris, Leuven, or Toulouse.

    The exhibition, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls, will be open throughout 2008. Admission is free.

    See the National Library website.