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Call for Participation: The 3rd Annual North American Graduate Conference in Irish Studies: INSULA

December 4, 2018
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By School of Irish Studies

March 8-9, 2019

Following on the success of last year’s conference, ‘Irish Spaces,’ The School of Irish Studies at Concordia University (Montréal) invites graduate students working on Irish-related topics to submit abstracts for the third annual North American Graduate Conference in Irish Studies: Insula.

We propose an interdisciplinary discussion of Ireland and ‘islandness,’ broadly interpreted to encompass topics from geographical and climatological issues to political and cultural concerns of the past, present, and future. Ireland’s island geography has shaped its history in many ways, and provided inspiration to writers, visual artists and musicians. Ireland’s own islands also loom large in the cultural imagination, from J.M. Synge’s record of his time in the Aran Islands that so influenced perceptions of the Irish ‘West’ to continued discussions and cultural expressions around access and infrastructure. But thinking about islands also prompts consideration of insularity and connectedness more generally: in relation to cultural insularity and multiculturalism, transnationality, the diaspora, and the globalization of the digital sphere. The undersea networks of digital media infrastructure take on particular importance, as Ireland has become home to some of the most crucial pieces of global technological infrastructure. Though water borders and isolates the island, it also serves as a link; Ireland is a country of ports and harbors, liminal spaces of coming and going that have defined a history of trade, travel, migration and exile. Quebec’s islands are part of this story as well: Grosse Île, the National Irish Memorial Historic Site, and the Island of Montreal itself, home to a vibrant diasporic Irish community. And finally, discussions surrounding Brexit have highlighted Ireland’s island geography, and focused international attention once again on the border that makes two countries out of one island.

Topics of Interest

The breadth of this theme includes literary, historical, political, and cultural concerns within Irish Studies, as well as presentations on society, culture, history, the arts and epistemologies of any time period. We also encourage submissions that deal with the theme in interdisciplinary, creative, and experimental ways.

Possible trajectories of investigation:

  • insularity and connectedness
  • transnationality and globalization
  • cultural insularity and multiculturalism
  • isolation and imprisonment
  • environmental humanities
  • diaspora studies
  • Ireland and Europe
  • Ireland as a home: nationalism and sovereignty
  • Ireland’s islands
  • island studies
  • Ireland and the sea
  • post-colonial studies
  • insular art, insular monasticism, medieval Irish arts and culture
  • islands/coastal areas and climate change
  • islands/the sea/coast in art, music and literature
  • cartography
  • Irish language and education

Please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words, accompanied by a brief biographical statement to irishstudiesgraduateconference@gmail.com. Note that presentations are to last 15 minutes, and presenters should make any AV needs clear to the organizing committee before the conference date. Should you wish to submit a creative work, please send a multimedia/creation ‘abstract’ consisting of 4-6 slides of artwork OR a short video clip to accompany your written abstract. Should you wish to submit an alternative presentation, one that does not conform to these two proposed methods, please contact the organizing committee. Please note that your abstract and biography might be included in the conference program.

Deadline for submission: January 11, 2019

Partial travel funding may be available for a limited number of conference participants.

For any enquiries regarding the conference, please contact: irishstudiesgraduateconference@gmail.com

We look forward to welcoming you to Concordia University’s School of Irish Studies! Sincerely,

The Organizing Committee & the School of Irish Studies




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