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  • 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

    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.

    “Migrating Minds”, University of Aberdeen, 14-15 May 2009

    Monday, March 9th, 2009

    “Migrating Minds: Imagined Journeys – Imagined Homecomings” will be the topic of a conference hosted in May at the AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. The conference will take place alongside the Aberdeen WORD Festival.

    Organisers say:

    Literature (both fiction and non-fiction), personal journals and correspondence, and art enable us to explore the impact that journeys and homecomings have had on Irish and Scottish imaginations. Irish and Scottish migrants, as well as those who sought to understand, interpret and exploit the experience of migration, participated in the production and circulation of these accounts and images both at home and abroad. As such, they form an important dimension to any understanding of the Irish and Scottish diasporas. With this in mind, we seek to investigate the idea of migration as a series of narratives and rhetorical tropes that develop over time.

    Selected proceedings will be published in the Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies.

    Related links:

    Fulbright scholar for UCC’s Diaspora studies MA

    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

    A noted historian who has done important work on the Irish diaspora has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will lecture in spring 2009 at University College, Cork.

    William H. Mulligan, Jr. is professor of history at Murray State University. He will work with UCC to develop and promote their new master’s degree programme in Irish Diaspora Studies. He developed and taught one of the first university-level courses on the Irish Daspora in the US. His research has focused on the nature of Irish identity in the diaspora, and more specifically, migration from copper-mining areas in Ireland to the Michigan Copper Country from the mid-19th century.

    The Fullbright programme is America’s flagship international exchange programme, operating in more than 150 countries worldwide.

    Related links: