CFP: 2017 SSNCI conference – Irish College, Leuven, Belgium, 29-30 June

2017 SSNCI conference – Irish College, Leuven, Belgium, 29-30 June


Figures of Authority in 19th-Century Ireland




19th-century Ireland witnessed both the restoration of older forms of authority (e.g. the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy) and the rise of figures who defined new models of authority (e.g. Daniel O’Connell). New cultural and educational forces and media vied to assert authority on an increasingly literate population. Carlyle’s views on hero-worship influenced Irish intellectuals of all stripes. Romantic concepts of literary authority cast poets – both dead and living – as (un)acknowledged legislators. Distinguished societies emerged to enshrine intellectual authority. Social and economic changes reconfigured authority within family structures. Despite the waning of Ascendancy power, deference proved resilient, and existing public offices could be reinvented as well as contested.

The conference will reflect on the forms that authority assumed in 19th-century Ireland, on their relations to wider British and international redefinitions of authority, and on Irish contributions to the reshaping of authority in the modern age.


Topics may include, among others:

– new and old positions of authority in politics, religion, education, science …

– personality cults and Carlylean hero-worship

– the visibility of institutional power

– Irish v. trans- or supranational forms of authority

– authority on a micro-level: local and familial authority

– the making and unmaking of canons

– deference in a democratic age

– …

Please contact the local organizer Raphaël Ingelbien ( ) with any questions. 200-word abstracts or panel descriptions and a brief CV should be sent to the same address by 15 January 2017.

There will be no registration fee. Two postgraduate travel bursaries of up to 400 euros each will be available for students without full scholarships. Eligible students should send an accompanying letter about their finances together with their abstract and CV to the organizer.