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    International Irish Diaspora Congress: Buenos Aires 15-19 June 2011

    Friday, September 10th, 2010

    The call for papers below came through on the Irish Diaspora Listserv. How exciting that the 90th anniversary of the Irish Race Congress in Buenos Aires will be commemorated in this way! That Congress was held in preparation for the International Congress of the Irish Race in Paris, and the Irish government sent envoys to Irish communities in South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the US seeking support for a Republic. [See a 1921 New York Times report on the Buenos Aires Congress.]

    It  was just one example of Ireland’s political globalisation in the early days of independence. As the originator of the idea of the Congress of the Irish Race, Thomas Hughes Kelly of New York, declared: ‘Ireland’s future is not limited to its geographic boundaries. She gave away to the world her strongest and most trustworthy sons. Now we compensate her with our support, which is the first offspring of that prolific seed’.

    But I digress – below is the call for papers. I’ll post up more info when I find out more.


    Buenos Aires (Argentina) — From 15th to 19th of June 2011.

    Official Notification: Presentation of Papers- 1st Call

    In June of 2011, the 1st International Irish Diaspora Congress will take
    in the City of Buenos Aires, exactly 90 years after a meeting of a
    similar nature took place in 1921. The principal objective of next
    year’s Congress is to stimulate cultural exchange and share experiences
    between Irish Associations and people.

    Each participating Institution is asked to give a brief account of
    current activities and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
    threats. Learning how the Irish Community has integrated into each
    specific Country-Destination will be of general interest, too.
    Participating individuals or Associations are invited to present
    speeches and/or lectures on the topic of cultural diversity of emigrants
    and their descendents.

    The Department of Irish Culture from the Universidad Nacional de La
    Plata (UNL) & the Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales
    (UCES) will provide the academic framework for these expositions. The
    papers submitted for consideration must relate to any one of the
    following topics:

    – The Irish Diaspora
    – Literature and the Irish Emigrant (essays, short stories, novels, poetry)
    – History of Irish Emigration in each country
    – Fundraising for Irish Associations (experiences, tips)
    – Irish Education abroad
    – Irish Dance & Music (experiences)
    – Business and Work opportunities for Irish Descendents Abroad

    Those who are interested in participating must submit an abstract before
    February 1, 2011, written in English, of no more than 300 words, on any
    of the aforementioned topics.

    The proposals that are deemed adequate (given general interests and the
    length of the Congress) have until May 15, 2011 to send the paper in
    full to the Department’s inbox.

    The Academic Committee will be comprised of people with great knowledge
    on the subjects to be discussed, including professors from the UNL and
    the UCES.

    For more info: or

    11th Literature of Irish Exile Autumn School: Omagh, 16 October 2010

    Friday, September 10th, 2010

    Here’s a note from the Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh on their most excellent annual summer school:

    Eleventh Literature of Irish Exile Autumn School: Saturday 16 October 2010

    If you don’t already have the date in your diary, we hope you may take a
    look at what is on offer and consider putting it there now:

    The day, Saturday 16 October, will have the usual shape of a keynote lecture
    in the morning in the Library of the Centre for Migration Studies; after
    lunch a guided walk in the outdoor museum of the Folk Park; and a concluding
    lecture and discussion in the Library.

    Dr Fred Freeman, our keynote lecturer, is based at Edinburgh University and
    an expert on Robert Tannahill (1774-1810), the Scottish weaver poet, hailed
    as a successor to Burns, whose bicentenary is being celebrated this year. We
    look forward to hearing about Tannahill’s spirited defence of Irish
    immigrant weavers in Scotland.

    The focus of the walk in the outdoor museum, growing out of Paddy
    Fitzgerald’s lecture this summer to the William Carleton Summer School, will
    be, with the help of Folk Park guide Walter McFarlane, on the role of
    hedge-schools in preparing migrants.

    Sean McCartan, one of our distinguished Irish Migration Studies graduates,
    received a signal honour this year in being invited to France to speak about
    his researches on the Irish ancestry of President de Gaulle. We look forward
    to finding out how he fits into the migration story of the McCartan family.

    We do hope you may be able to join us.

    Brian Lambkin

    Christine Johnston
    Senior Library Asst
    Centre for Migration Studies
    Ulster American Folk Park

    Tel: 028 8225 6315
    Fax: 028 8224 2241

    Canadian Association for Irish Studies: Halifax, May 2010

    Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

    Call for papers for the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies to be held at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, May 19-22, 2010.

    Success and Failure in Modern Ireland

    Canadian Association for Irish Studies/ l’Association canadienne d’études irlandaises Annual Conference, 2010
    Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    19-22 May 2010

    “Anyone who is failing at one thing,” psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has  suggested, “is always succeeding at another.” We invite proposals for papers interrogating the relationship between success and failure in modern and contemporary Ireland, as reflected in its politics, its economic policies, its literature, and its popular culture. The Celtic Tiger is one obvious recent example of a ‘success’ narrative that was intimately linked to a series of failures on the part of Irish society to safeguard its more vulnerable communities. With the recent publication of the “Ryan Report,” to cite another example, it is clear that the success of the Catholic Church in exerting its power over Ireland’s educational and reformatory institutions came at the price of a failure to guarantee the safety and welfare of Ireland’s youth. By the same token, it might be argued that Fianna Fáil’s longtime political success depended on the failure to engage with the ‘National Question,’ i.e., Partition and Northern Ireland. Success and failure, as manifested in language revival policies, in gender-related issues, in the lives of prominent public figures, and the reality and perceptions of the Irish diaspora, including the Irish in Canada, are also topics worthy of consideration.

    We welcome papers that address other topics and proposals for special panels.

    Please send proposals including contact information (250 words) by
    e-mail to:
    Pádraig Ó Siadhail, D’Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3
    ( by 15 January 2010.

    American Conference for Irish Studies: Pennsylvania, May 2010

    Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

    2010 ACIS Conference

    Call for Papers
    Deadline: 24 November, 2009

    The 2010 national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies will
    be held on 5 – 8 May 2010 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in
    State College, PA.

    There will be an opening reception on Wednesday evening, May 5th, and
    concurrent panels will begin on Thursday morning, May 6th. The announced
    theme is intended to encourage a broad range of paper topics.

    Papers are welcome on any Irish Studies topic, including traditional
    concerns of the discipline and evolving areas of interest in the visual,
    literary, and interdisciplinary areas. We welcome proposals for individual
    papers, which, if accepted, will be placed within a relevant panel.

    Proposals for panels are especially welcome, and panels have been proposed
    on Reassessing Diasporic Studies within Irish Studies and Reassessing Irish
    Historiography. Additional papers are welcome on such topics as evolving
    literary and visual arts movements, the culture and literature of Northern
    Ireland, and other related topics!

    Plenary speakers confirmed to date are Dean John Harrington (Fordham
    University) and Dr. James Smith (Boston College). Moya Cannon will be
    reading from her poetry at a special session. U.S carriers offer frequent
    flights to State College, PA. Further details will be posted as they become
    available. A conference website is also under development.

    Due Date for Conference Paper Proposals: Tuesday, 24 November 2009. Please send your 250 word (or less) abstract to Dr. Tramble T. Turner at If you have questions or would like additional information,
    please contact me at 215 868.5848 (mobile), 215 881.7532 (office), or via
    e-mail at Dr. Tramble T. Turner Associate Professor of English
    Penn State Abington 1600 Woodland Rd. Abington, PA 19001

    ACIS website

    Irish Theatrical Diaspora: Manchester, April 2010

    Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

    The Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference 2010

    Ireland’s Drama in British Cities,
    Manchester Metropolitan University, April 15-16, 2010.

    The 2010 Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference will consider the history and context of performing Irish plays and characters on British stages, as well as the more general performance of Irish diasporic identity in an urban British context. Some of the areas that the conference will address are:

    • the role of festivals in performing Irish identity,
    • the role of British theatres in performing Irish plays,
    • the significance of geographical variations,
    • and the impact of globalisation on the position of Irish theatre in Britain

    Keynote speakers:

    • Mary Hickman, Professor of Irish Studies and Sociology, London Metropolitan University
    • Patrick Mason, Director, Adjunct Professor, University College Dublin, and Visiting Professor, Liverpool Hope University

    Confirmed speakers:

    • Claire Connolly
    • Mike Cronin
    • Karen Fricker
    • Nicholas Grene
    • Patrick Lonergan
    • Holly Maples
    • Victor Merriman
    • Aoife Monks
    • Jim Moran
    • Catherine Rees
    • Shaun Richards

    This conference will examine performances of Irish identity in the urban
    centres of Britain since the beginning of the 19th century. The idea of
    performance is intended to include events staged in the theatres and on the streets, for example parades, musical performances and political

    By discussing such performances and their reception by various audiences, speakers and delegates will examine the ways that ‘Irishness’ has changed in meaning and association in Britain, pressurised by contexts such as colonialism and nationalism, modernisation and economic change in Ireland, the Troubles and the Peace Process, and many others.

    In particular, the conference is concerned to examine the changing status of Irish, and Irish-descended, people in Britain.  Since 1995, the diaspora has arguably become more recognised in Ireland, after President Mary Robinson urged the Irish nation to the ‘moral act’ of remembering and commemorating their sacrifices.  In Britain, the Irish arguably became more visible after recognition of their ‘ethnic minority’ status in the 2001 UK census; and, more recently, interest in Britain’s oldest and largest ethnic minority has been renewed amidst a more general concern with immigration and the ways in which the case of the Irish in Britain might be seen to foreshadow and intersect with the experience of many other immigrant groups.

    Delegates will be able to reflect on questions including:

    • What different versions of Irishness have been suggested by theatrical and other performances in Britain, and how have these been received and understood by their audiences?
    • In what ways have Irish cultural festivals affected perceptions?
    • How have notions of second-generation Irishness changed?
    • What significance do performances of Irishness abroad have for the Irish nation ‘at home’?
    • Have visible assertions and performances of Irish identity impacted on ideas of Britishness?
    • How have the Irish enacted and interacted with ideas of nation and identity in a British context, and how has this been affected by changes in Ireland and key events in Irish-British relations?
    • To what extent are the Irish in Britain an ‘acceptable’ ethnic minority?
    • To what extent are the Irish in Britain ‘post-nationalist’ now?

    More information:

    Irish Theatrical Diaspora website

    Literature of Irish Exile Autumn School: Omagh, 17 October, 2009

    Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

    The Tenth Literature of Irish Exile Autumn School, held annually at the Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh, has been announced.

    This year’s theme is  “Moving Home: the legacy of Plantation in Tyrone and Fermanagh”.

    From the organisers:

    The focus of the Literature of Irish Exile Autumn School, now in its Tenth year, remains on how emigrants from Ireland have given expression in words to feelings of exile. The aim is to give members of the public a friendly opportunity to meet and mix with experts on some of the less well-known aspects of ‘exile’ in Irish literature.


    Peter Archdale is a retired Royal Navy commander with a wide experience of Oceanography. He serves on many agencies and trusts overseeing many aspects of Northern Ireland’s natural environment. He has a longstanding interest in the genealogy and history of his family and its association with west Ulster since the early seventeenth century.

    Professor Kay Muhr is Senior Research Fellow with the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project, Department of Celtic and Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast. Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Place-Name Society, Kay has published extensively on early literature and language, oral tradition, place and family names and cartography which will form the main focus of her attention today.

    Dr. Brian Lambkin and Dr. Patrick Fitzgerald are respectively founding Director and Lecturer & Development Officer with the Centre for Migration Studies, Ulster American Folk Park. Brian is currently Chairman of the Association of European Migration Institutions whilst Paddy has been teaching Irish Migration Studies at Masters level with Queen’s University Belfast since 1996. In 2008 they jointly authored Migration in Irish History, 1607-2007 (Palgrave, 2008).

    The Tenth Literature of Irish Exile

    ‘Moving Home: the legacy of Plantation in Tyrone and Fermanagh’

    Saturday 17 October, 2009


    10.30  Tea & Coffee in CMS

    11.00  Peter Archdale: ‘The Archdales and the Ulster Plantation’

    11.45  Dr. Kay Muhr: ‘The Plantation Mapmakers of Ulster in Fermanagh and Tyrone’

    12.30  UAFP: Campbell and Mellon Houses
    and Lunch (UAFP Café)

    1.45    Depart for Ulster History Park: Plantation Bawn

    2.30    Drs. Patrick Fitzgerald & Brian Lambkin: Ulster Scots, ‘Ulster English and Ulster Welsh’

    3.30    Tea & Coffee (UHP)

    Fee : £20.00 stg (£15.00 concession for students, unwaged and senior citizens)

    Includes: registration, morning tea/coffee, lunch, afternoon

    tea/coffee and drinks reception.


    Tel: 028 8225 6315; Fax: 028 8224 2241

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