Irish Studies Conference, NUI Galway 10-13 June 2009

Monday, 25 May 2009

American Conference for Irish Studies 2009 Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies 2009
Over four days in June this summer, the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Ireland this year. In his note of welcome to conference delegates, Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway, comments that the range of papers and diversity of plenary events presented at the conference 'bring together momentarily in one place the passion and attentiveness to displacement that marks Irish Studies'. Speakers from a dozen countries, representing over 100 universities will present up to 250 papers examining themes relating to contemporary Irish culture and society. Delegates attending the American Conference of Irish Studies (ACIS) in conjunction with the Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies (GCIS) will consider issues relating to the key themes of the dynamics of immigration and settlement in modern Ireland, and the concept of the 'everyday' in Irish life and culture. The opening evening of the conference will feature a roundtable discussion on inward migration to Ireland over the past decade chaired by Donncha O'Connell, former director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and a member of the Law School at NUI Galway. Donncha will be joined by Des Geraghty, President of SIPTU from 1994 to 2002 and former member of the European Parliament, Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigration Council of Ireland, and Chinedu Onyejelem, editor of Metro Éireann. A highlight of the joint conference is the Public Interview Series with three key figures who have made significant contributions to Irish public life over the past half-century, chaired by renowned RTÉ broadcaster John Quinn. TK Whitaker, whose vision for economic development in the 1950s marked a major shift in Ireland's self-fashioning, Bernadette McAliskey, a central figure in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and a trenchant critic of the Good Friday Agreement, and Cardinal Cahal Daly, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, one of the most influential figures in recent history of the Catholic Church in Ireland will be in conversation with John Quinn over the course of three afternoons. One of Ireland's outstanding historians, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, NUI Galway, will examine the dynamics of the Irish experience of emigration in his plenary lecture, 'Unity and Diversity? Considering the Irish Diaspora'. Other keynote events include the launch of the Siobhán McKenna Collection at the James Hardiman Library, and a celebration of sean-nós song and dance hosted by the Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 broadcaster, Máirtín Tom Sheáinín. Readings featuring resident and visiting writers co-ordinated by the Over the Edge literary organisation will take place each evening at the Galway City Library and Sheridan's Wine Bar. The conference is free to all members of the public. For further details see www.nuigalway.ie/cis or contact Ms Samantha Williams at 091-492051.
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