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  • The Irish In Britain: UCD John Hume Institute, 23 Nov. 2009

    Saturday, July 25th, 2009

    The Irish Diaspora conferences that took place in New York in 2007 and Dublin in 2008 will be followed up in 2009 with a London event. The John Hume Institute for Irish Studies has announced the preliminary schedule for “The Irish in Britain: A Conversation with the Diaspora”, which will be held at the Royal Society in London on Monday, 23 November, 2009.

    Organisers say:

    In 2007 we started a conversation with the Irish Diaspora with an event in New York.  1000 people came along and participated in a lively, informative and entertaining debate.  Last year we brought the discussion to Dublin and this year we would like to continue that spirit of lively interaction with the Irish in Britain.  This special event takes as its premise that lasting transformations within Ireland and of Irish Society, whether political, cultural, social or economic have been shaped and informed by the Irish abroad.  This event is about exploring that proposition by looking at three significant issues in our relatively recent past and drawing on the strands arising from that exploration to inform and frame an open floor discussion on the Irish in Britain today and tomorrow.

    One curious thing about the programme as it has been initially released is that there seems to be a lack of involvement of the Irish in Britain as speakers, but perhaps that will be rectified by the time the final lineup is announced.

    Outline Programme
    08:30 a.m. Registration

    09:00 a.m. Welcome: Hugh Brady, President of UCD

    09:15 a.m.
    Session One: Towards 2016

    This session takes as its theme the notion of the Irish abroad as the significant engine of political change. Contributions will look at the influence of the “Irish” cities of Britain and America on the formation of key figures involved in 1916 and the years that followed, the role of the Irish abroad in the formation and sustaining of a republican movement, the relationships between the new state and the Irish abroad and the consequences of the legacies of historic events and their commemoration for the present and future generations.

    Participants will include Mary Daly, Diarmaid Ferriter, Michael Kennedy and Bob Schmuhl

    10:30 a.m. Coffee

    11:00 a.m.
    Session Two: Joyc(e)ity

    The theme of this session will be the Diaspora as creative impulse. In particular contributions will explore aspects of the Aesthetic of Exile, Joyce and the contribution of the Irish to “Modernism” and the phenomenon of a diaspora of cultural artefacts.

    Participants will include Luca Crispi, Anne Fogarty, Declan Kiberd, and Frank McGuinness

    12:30 a.m. Lunch

    2:00 p.m.
    Session Three: Ties That Bind

    The session will explore cultural branding, identity and social cohesion in Britain and Ireland.  It will take as a starting point two iconic identifiers of “Irishness”, the GAA and Guinness, both of whom celebrate milestone anniversaries in 2009

    Participants will include Cormac O’Grada and Paul Rouse

    3:00 p.m. Coffee

    3:30 p.m.
    Session Four: What does the future hold for Ireland and its Diaspora?

    An open floor discussion will be led by a special guest panel.

    5.00 p.m. Closing remarks: Hugh Brady

    7:30 for 8:00 The Forum will be followed by a dinner and the presentation of The John Hume Medal

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