Symposium: W. B. Yeats and the Arts

Venue
Moore Institute Seminar Room

Date & Time
26th August, 2011 @ 09:00:00

Symposium: W. B. Yeats and the Arts

26th-27th August, 2011

Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway

Funded by the NUI Galway Millennium Fund, and the '1916 and After' project.

[Download poster here]

‘The arts have failed', wrote W.B.Yeats, ‘fewer people are interested in them in every generation.' Fortunately, however, this gloom over the fate of ‘ingenious lovely things' only spurred him on to ever greater artistic engagement. His poetry, prose, and drama repeatedly address and incorporate music, dance and visual art, while his publications self-consciously deploy design and iconography. Yet Yeats was not only a author; he was also a cultural entrepreneur. He changed Irish public life by helping to found institutions such as Dublin's Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, the Abbey Theatre, and the Abbey School of Ballet. In collaboration with his sisters, Lilly and Lolly, he set up a printing press as a forum for Irish design and illustration. Together with his wife, George, he renovated the tower at Ballylee using local craftsmen. He took to the concert platform and later the airwaves to promote poetry spoken with music. Moreover, as a theatre director, journalist, public speaker and politician, he inspired numerous other cultural productions in Ireland and beyond.

This two-day international symposium, presented by ECHO, NUI Galway's Humanities Research Forum, and funded by the NUI Galway Millennium Fund and as part of the international research project ‘1916 and After', seeks to promote research on all aspects of Yeats's interactions with the arts, from storytelling to stained-glass windows. It offers a forum for discussing different historical, methodological and theoretical approaches, crossing disciplines to bring together critics of literature and drama, musicologists, and historians of dance and the visual arts. It thus includes panels on Yeats and Music, Yeats and Dance, Yeats and the Visual Arts, Yeats and Drama, Yeats and the Book, and Yeats and the Wider Arts, presented by the some of the finest scholars in the field. There will also be a conference dinner and an evening's entertainment of Joycean and Yeatsian songs.

As well as addressing key issues within Yeats's work, the symposium looks to wider debates in Irish studies, and cultural history and theory. It considers questions about the value and relationship of the arts, Ireland's role in European modernism, and the links between late-Victorian and modernist culture. Examining the interaction between aesthetics and politics, it also reflects on the political operation of centres of cultural production and the role played by art in political radicalism in Ireland in the period, leading up to the 1916 uprising and the revolutionary conflicts that followed. Through a focus on Yeats's work and career, it seeks to encourage further a growing body of cultural history and criticism based on genuinely interdisciplinary research.

We are delighted to welcome as our keynote lecturer Daniel Albright of Harvard University. Our panels of Yeatsians and other scholars from many disciplines include such distinguished speakers as Nicholas Allen, Brian Arkins, Richard Rupert Arrowsmith, Nicola Gordon Bowe, Terence Brown, Adrian Frazier, Warwick Gould, Margaret Mills Harper, Sue Jones, Stoddard Martin, Emilie Morin, Aidan Thomson and Deirdre Toomey.

The two-day symposium is free to all from NUI Galway, and €50 (€40) otherwise. All are very welcome.

For further information please look at our website: http://echoforum.wordpress.com/

or address the conference organisers:

Adrian Paterson (National University of Ireland, Galway) adrianpaterson@yahoo.com

Thomas Walker (University of Oxford/Trinity College Dublin) thomas.walker@ell.ox.ac.uk