Call for Papers – Institutions and Ireland: Public Cultures

27 October 2016

Trinity Long Room Hub, Arts and Humanities Research Institute


The special outlay on commemoration in 2016 notwithstanding, the latest cuts in public spending on arts, heritage, and culture in Ireland are symptomatic of governments that do not value Irish culture. The recent reduction and redistribution of both of the ministerial departments overseeing Culture and Arts on the island was perhaps no surprise given that the level of public spending on arts, north and south, is well below the European Union average. As movements like Waking the Feminists have so powerfully articulated, writing, music, art and performance have often been characterised by exclusion: of women, migrants, working classes, LGBTQ+, and others.

The lip service paid by politicians to the annus mirabilis of the Irish film industry, with an unprecedented amount of Oscar nominations, has done little except to window-dress a continued marginalisation of culture, which is becoming increasingly less valuable to the business of the state. Similarly, in spite of such attempts to marginalise this crucial aspect of Irish life, the importance of culture and heritage to Tourism Ireland is constantly stated, which is to say nothing of how crucial these were to creating an atmosphere of peace in the build-up to the Good Friday Agreement.

The Institutions & Ireland series has aimed to address conceptual concerns around institutions that stretch back several centuries and across multiple disciplinary boundaries. This third and final conference in the series seeks to extend the discussion to the institutions of public culture in Ireland—past, present and future—and to examine how the relationship between individuals and the state has been mediated through such institutions. Moreover, we wish to discuss the ways in which institutions form and inform public cultures in Ireland.


Contributions for the final conference are welcome in, but not limited to, the following areas:


  • Antiquarianism and museum culture
  • Archives, materialism, and digitisation
  • Public engagement with institutions
  • Citizenship, heritage, and immigration/emigration
  • The impact of Brexit on Culture and Education
  • Commemoration and public performance: parades, murals, and protests
  • Culture tourism
  • Irish culture on stage
  • Media cultures


We seek max. 300 word abstracts from researchers working in any discipline for 20-minute papers pertaining to the theme. All abstracts should be accompanied by a short biography and sent to by 16 September 2016.


Is fáilte páipear trí Gaeilge freisin.


For more information on the Institutions & Ireland series, please see our website: and follow us on Twitter @institutionsIRE .