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IASIL 2006 - "Those images that yet/ Fresh images beget" (W.B. Yeats 'Byzantium')
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Thursday 20 July to Sunday 23 July 2006
  IASIL Sydney - Thursday 20 July to Sunday 23 July 2006 inclusive

IASIL 2006 - First Call for Papers. Reply to

Proposals are warmly invited on the general conference theme: exploring 'intertextuality' in all its forms in Irish literature and culture. Please submit a title and 200 word abstract to by 15th December, 2005. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes duration.

Anyone delivering a paper at the 2006 IASIL conference must be an IASIL member for 2006. Follow the link on the left to download a membership form.


In writing The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland, Edna Longley says that she found she was often 'tracing a textual web', and that the term 'intertextuality' applied to what she was investigating 'not as a theoretical dead letter, but as a creative dynamic working upon mechanisms of tradition and cultural definitions alike'.

This conference is devoted to exploring 'intertextuality' in all its forms in Irish literature and culture from earliest times to the present.

The creative dynamic that Edna Longley detects is of course even at work in her own formulation with its echoes of Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent", Barthes' "The Death of the Author", and Yeats's "Easter 1916".

And it seems equally true of critic as of creator, though Wilde has brilliantly collapsed that distinction.

In terms of creativity W.B. Yeats celebrates a 'self-affrighting', 'self-delighting' process by which art generates art-'Those images that yet/Fresh images beget'.

Others use different metaphors. W.H. Auden writes of his awareness of 'ghostly presences'; Harold Bloom of 'the anxiety of influence'; Richard Ellmann of 'eminent domain'; M.H. Abrams of exploring 'serviceable analogues, whose properties were, by metaphorical transfer, predicated of a work of art'; Edna Longley of a 'dispersed collectivity' that is the domain of 'intertextual antagonism'; Seamus Heaney of 'overhearing'; and T.S. Eliot of his belief that 'between the true artists of any one time there is S an unconscious community'.

Not that such 'influences', 'exchanges', 'transactions', 'borrowings' or 'intertextualities'-or whatever one wants to call them-are always as benign as inferred by 'community' or as organic as implied by begetting. They might contaminate, distort, or perhaps render stereotypical.

But if such processes are as powerful and as pervasive as writers and critics claim, shouldn't we enquire into how they function? and shouldn't we ask what are the implications for Irish Studies-particularly about the ways we research and teach?

IASIL 2006, which will meet in Sydney from Thursday 20 July to Sunday 23 July inclusive, has committed itself to exploring, explicating and enjoying the 'textual web' that is Irish Studies.

Useful links -

University of New South Wales Irish Studies Programme

The 2006 World Shakespeare Congress (scheduled for Brisbane, July 2006)


Page Updated Thursday, 23 March, 2006
2005 IASIL