CfP: ACIS Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting. The City University of New York | Nov. 1 – 2, 2019

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting | American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS)

The City University of New York | Nov. 1 – 2, 2019

IRELAND:  Borders | Bridges

Call  for  Proposals

The trope of the border is seeing robust engagement in recent scholarship on Ireland, and from a number of disciplinary perspectives. Borders and bridges, and borders as bridges, these are ideas at the fore of Irish consciousness, commentary, and writing today in response to numerous contemporaneous events: the advent of #Brexit as well as the disposition of the EU, the recent rise across the island of Sinn Féin, the hook-tying of ‘Together for Yes’ to the North, and other developments. But the border as organizing principle and cultural paradigm is conceivably as old as the island itself. Muldoon recognizes the “scrim” of the mythological cycles as a critical presence across Irish cultural production, the notion of “a contiguous world… coterminal with our own, into and out of which” figures travel, disappear, and transmogrify. In Irish studies theory, the border, in and with its interpretation as bridge or link, comprises a substantial presence and perhaps more intensely still in work on the North. Terence Brown once considered the presence of international reference and intertextuality in contemporary Irish writing as indicative of a place ever “in translation.” Hughes offered an aligned view, positing the North as a “border country,” a discrete territory that pushes back on its own limits, limits functioning more in truth as conduit or channel than geographical enclosure, a place “straddling the anachronistic and the contemporary,” “the indigenous and the international.” Wills, Lloyd and Deane all see Ireland similarly and, in different ways, as an uncanny place that is, however, not turned inward but is as ‘far and away’ from itself as it may be solipsistic or provincial. Whereas de Valera and Yeats famously dispatched traditional visions for the nation, Hume posits a contemporary Irish world that is “very open” indeed, and Kearney as one uncontained, “extending well beyond the limits of the Nation State[s].”

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting of the ACIS takes these ideas as inspiration. The theme—IRELAND:  Borders | Bridges—is meant to include all usages and references, all creative, cultural, conceptual, corporeal, theoretical, historical and disciplinary understandings. The border and/as bridge could be interpreted as theme, as history, as Irish political, conceptual or social reality, as real structures or systems, limits or frontiers, as threshold and checkpoint, carceral modality or praxis of capital.

We are eager to draw a broad swathe of folks to the meeting, from both in- and outside the region, hopeful that the event will represent an inclusive and diverse array of disciplines, research fields, topics and positions as well as types of session. Papers and panels are invited and encouraged on any area of inquiry in Irish studies. The theme is offered as stimulus and starting point, a way to underline a particular topic of concern across some (but not all) sessions. Interpretations and potential topics run the gamut and might include:

Borders and Irish literature, theater, art, music and photography, Poetry’s particular and critical borders
The trope of the border in Irish film
The official Irish language borders, the Gaeltacht
English as a border language, Irish as a border language, something we might call “the new Irish”
#Brexit and the [Irish] border, The partition, The partition comparatively considered, Legacies of partition
The North, internal Northern borders, Borders and/of [Northern] Irishness
Gender, borders, Ireland, The 8th Amendment and the Borders of/@ reproductive rights, Irish women and border matters
Sexuality borders, The Referendum on Marriage Equality, The borders of the closet
Legal borders and Irish law, Laws as a modality of borders
Comparative, world borders and Ireland, Ireland, the border and the EU
Provincial borders, County borders, Ancient clan borders/county alliances
The East – West border, Borders of the country and the city, Ireland’s urban borders
Borders of/in the mythological cycles, Muldoon’s “scrim”
Medieval Irish borders
Psychological borders: The borders of the Irish self, The borders of self and other
Temporal borders of Ireland and Irishness and Irish history
The border of home and world
The Murals: painting, imaging, “seeing” the border
The bogside, a border[lands], The midlands, a border[lands]
The peace bridge, The peace line, The sect line, The color line, Segregation borders
Crossing the water, the border of Irish flight/emigration, Crossing the Atlantic
Postcolonial borders: Lines of difference & proximity, Maps, borders, colonialism and Ireland, Neo-colonialism & borders
Hemispheric Orientalist borders and/of/in Ireland
History and Historiography of Ireland and the/its borders, limits of the archive / of historical representation
Borders as economic/capitalist modality, The political economy of the Irish border
Borders as provocateur of freedom and flight, site of translation, transit, transfer

We are deeply honored that Irish novelist, National Book Award winner and recent inductee to the American Academy of Arts, COLUM McCANN has agreed to join us as keynote speaker, that he will be with us to share thoughts and help us think through the organizing questions for the meeting. Prof. McCann will speak on Friday afternoon/evening. Continuing the celebration of creativity at this conference, we’ll hold a second Plenary Session on Saturday, a program for creative writers-and-readings—poetry, story, memoir and song .

The organizers—Maureen Fadem (KCC), Sarah Covington (Queens), and Jason Leggett (KCC)—invite proposals of 300 words for individual papers or 75-minute panel or roundtable sessions. Include a title for all paper and session proposals as well as a 50-word Bio for you, if an individual submission, or for all presenters if a session. We also welcome ideas for participation of graduate and undergraduate students working in Irish studies. Any questions or special situations, email Maureen: .

The deadline for submissions is August 15th, 2019. Submissions should be uploaded via the Proposal Submission Form on the ACIS site. All attendees will have a current membership with the ACIS. Finally, we are thrilled to announce that the conference will be held at Hunter College’s historic Roosevelt House on Manhattan’s upper east side.  

The Proposal Submission Form:

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