CFP – The Irish Proust

Call for Papers

The Irish Proust

Museum of Literature Ireland, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

28-29 October 2022

Keynote speakers:

Nathalie Mauriac Dyer (CNRS-ENS)

Barry McCrea (University of Notre Dame)

To mark the centenary of the death of Marcel Proust, this two-day, in-person conference will be devoted to exploring Proust’s influence on Irish literature and Irish themes within his work.

‘The Irish Proust’ will be held on 28-29 October 2022 at the Museum of Literature Ireland and is co-organized by the School of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics at University College Dublin and the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Proust’s work, which was briefly banned in Ireland, occupies a central position within the Irish literary and cultural imaginary. From Samuel Beckett and Elizabeth Bowen to Kate O’Brien and John McGahern, from Flann O’Brien to Nuala O’Faolain and Martina Evans, À la recherche du temps perdu has been a touchstone for generations of Irish writers.

Proust himself was captivated by the figure of Oscar Wilde and alludes to the Anglo-Irish author’s downfall in the Recherche and Contre Sainte-Beuve. His meditations on place names and mythology also attest to Proust’s fascination for the Irish-inflected Celtic substrate of French regional cultures.

This conference aims to explore the full indebtedness of Irish literary practice to Proust’s creative vision and to elucidate the presence of Irish literature, culture, and history within his own writing. ‘The Irish Proust’ will also include a round-table discussion with contemporary Irish authors about their creative connection to Proust.

The organizers particularly welcome proposals for papers about comparatively neglected Proustian intertexts in the work of authors including, but not limited to, Brendan Behan, Elizabeth Bowen, Monk Gibbon, Aidan Higgins, John McGahern, and Flann O’Brien. In the shared centenary of Proust’s death and the publication of Ulysses, James Joyce’s ambiguous connections to Proust represent another pertinent subject for proposals. Contributions that present original findings about Proust’s own debts to Irish literature and culture are also highly encouraged.

Potential topics for consideration include but are not limited to:

Proust and Beckett

Proust and Behan

Proust and Bowen

Proust and Joyce

Proust and McGahern

Proust and Flann O’Brien/ Myles na gCopaleen

Proust and Kate O’Brien

Proust and Wilde

Proust and the Second Celtic Renaissance

Proust’s critical and journalistic reception in Ireland

The history of Proust studies in Ireland

The censorship of Proust’s work in Ireland

Proust and the evolution of Irish LGBTQ+ writing

Representations of Proust in Irish popular media

Proust and Irish memoir

Proust and Franco-Irish literary relations

Proust in Irish literary education

Proust and Celtic toponyms

Proust and empire

Proust and postcolonialism

Proust and minority perspectives

Proust and Catholicism

The sinking of the Lusitania in the Recherche

Proust’s relationship with Alberta Victoria Montgomery

Henry Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, the model for the Marquis de Bréauté in the Recherche, whose Parisian mansion now houses the Irish Embassy

Saint Lawrence Toot (sic – i.e. Laurence O’Toole) in the Recherche

Presentations are limited to 20 minutes and should be given in English, French, or Irish. The organizers welcome proposals for individual papers as well as complete three-person panels.

To propose a presentation, please send a title, 300-word abstract, and short contributor bio to by Tuesday, 31 May. For complete panels, please submit a 600-word collective abstract as well as contributor bios.

The organizers will notify you by the end of June whether your proposal has been accepted.

The conference will include a drinks reception on Friday, 28 October and a gala dinner for conference speakers at MoLI on Saturday, 29 October. The organizers will cover the cost of both events.

The organizers hope to publish the proceedings either in book form or as a special journal issue.

Conference organizers:

Michael Cronin, Chair of French 1776, Trinity College Dublin (

Max McGuinness, Teaching Fellow in French and Francophone Studies, University College Dublin (