Reminder: The Cultural Mobility of the Irish in Europe


All of the pertinent information can be found on the conference website:


Radboud University Nijmegen, 16-18 October 2013


The Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen jointly welcome abstracts for an international conference on their common research theme ‘Europe and its Worlds’. At the core of this theme is the question of how Europe has always consisted of different worlds, how it differs from the rest of the world, and how it interacts with other worlds. This conference specifically addresses the many ways in which cultural mobility impacts on European culture, past and present. Scholars of various universities and scholarly backgrounds are invited to submit an abstract for one of the twelve panels, one of which concerns the cultural mobility of the Irish in Europe and North-America in the long nineteenth century.

The Cultural Mobility of the Irish in Europe and North America in the Long Nineteenth Century.

 Organizers: Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen) and

        Dr. Christina Morin (University of Limerick)

  The period from the 1798 rebellion till the foundation of the Gaelic League in 1898 was marked by an increasing mobility of Irish throughout Britain, Continental Europe and the Americas. In the Romantic era, trade and tourism brought many travellers to the emerald isle (Hooper 2005; Morin 2012). In turn many Irish artists and intellectuals, such as Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson, toured Europe, where their cultural exchanges with other writers, artists and thinkers inspired them to introduce novel themes, ideas and cultural forms to their Irish audiences (Connolly 2011; Conway 2011). The fact that many members of the elite Ascendancy class travelled back and forth between Britain and Ireland moreover led to strong transcultural ties between both countries in this era.  

            Two additional developments in Ireland in the nineteenth century―the evolving nationalist movement as well as the Great Hunger (1845-1850)―further intensified Ireland’s cultural contacts with other European communities, but also with the North-American continent. Leaders of the unsuccessful United Irishmen rebellion of 1798 as well as the abortive Young Ireland revolt of 1848 travelled to France and became inspired by the French Revolution and the victory of the New French republic in their visions for a liberated Ireland. Travelling became an even stronger theme in Irish culture during the tragic years of mass starvation (Corporaal and Cusack 2011). While in the early to mid nineteenth century many Irish had settled in London as a result of the agricultural depressions following the Napoleonic Wars (Swift 2002), The Great Famine (1845-1850) and its immediate aftermath saw the most significant exodus, especially to Britain, Canada and America (Davis 1991, Swift 1999, Miller 1985), but also to other European countries.  

This panel seeks to address the effects of the intense Irish cultural mobility in Europe and North-America during the long nineteenth century. With what cultural contact zones did the Irish engage? How did the Irish on the road and en route to many destinations in Europe

and the Atlantic influence British, Continental and North-American cultural perspectives? How was Irish culture reconfigured by its travelling people? And how are travelling and homecoming Irish represented in literature, art and history? By inviting submissions on these themes the panel aims to contribute to current debates on transculturalism and the development of European identities.


Submission guidelines

•       We welcome only proposals that contribute to one of the twelve selected panels. The panel organizers will referee your abstract together with the convenors of the conference.

•       Please send in an anonymized abstract in English of max. 400 words in which you clarify to which panel your paper will contribute and how it will do so. Add a second page on which you mention your name, title(s), affiliation and email address.

•       The panels will ultimately consist of 4 speakers, preferably of various disciplines and universities. Papers will take 20 minutes each.

•       Deadline for submitting your abstract is 30 April 2013. Please send your proposal by email to

•       The organization offers accomodation and meals for all speakers. Travel expenses are not covered.


For more information, please contact dr. Maarten De Pourcq,




Connelly, Claire. A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011.

Corporaal, Marguérite and Christopher Cusack. “Rites of Passage: The Coffin Ship as Site of Immigrants’ Identity Formation in Irish and Irish-American Fiction, 1855-1885”. Atlantic Studies 8.3 (2011): 343-59.

Davis, Graham. The Irish in Britain, 1815-1914. Basingstoke: Gill and Macmillan, 1991.

Hooper, Glenn. Travel Writing and Ireland, 1760-1860. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Miller, Kerby. Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Morin, Christina. “Recognisably Irish? The Diasporic Fiction of Regina Maria Roche”. Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 5.2 (2012): 155-73.

Swift, Roger. The Irish in Victorian Britain. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1999.

Swift, Roger. Irish Migrants in Britain, 1815-1914. Cork: Cork University Press, 2002.


Dr. Marguérite Corporaal is lecturer in English literature at the Radboud University Nijmegen. She is the principal investigator and coordinator of the research project Relocated Remembrance: The Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847-1921, for which she obtained a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. Among her international publications are Heroines of the Golden (St)Age: Women and Drama in Early Modern Spain and England (with Rina Walthaus, Reichenberger, 2008); and The Literary Utopias of Cultural Communities, 1790-1900 (with Evert Jan van Leeuwen, Rodopi, 2010). She is a coeditor of Recollecting Hunger: An Anthology. Cultural Memories of the Great Famine in Irish Fiction, 1847-1920 (Irish Academic Press, 2012) and the forthcoming volume Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine: Transnational and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2014).


Dr. Christina Morin is lecturer in English literature at the University of Limerick. Her primary area of interest lies in the literary Gothic in Romantic Ireland, Britain, and Europe. Her first monograph, Charles Robert Maturin and the Haunting of Irish Romantic Fiction, was published with Manchester University Press in September 2011. She is currently at work on a monograph titled The Gothic Novel in Ireland, 1760-1830 (under consideration by Manchester University Press), and is co-editing a volume called Irish Gothics: Genres, Forms, Modes and Traditions (under consideration by Palgrave Macmillan).