International Conference to be held at the University of Almería (Spain), 16-17 March 2023

Conference website:

The conservative measures implemented by successive governments of the Irish Free State between 1922 and 1940, including the banning of divorce and widespread censorship of printed materials, have projected an image of Ireland in the 1930s as opposed to the contemporaneous (artistic and) literary effervescence characteristic of continental Europe and North America. Historical analyses of the period are, at times, polarized between a deep provincialism supposedly located in Ireland and creative possibilities of exile for national writers. However, as recent studies on the ‘London Irish’ and on the work of almost forgotten writers have revealed, there existed in the 1930s a vibrant appreciation and response to international politics and artistic and literary innovations. Many Irish writers (Kate O’Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean O’Faolain, Liam O’Flaherty, to name but a few) felt at ease in this climate. Writers who were engaged in anti-fascist activities, for example, were at the center of a myriad of activities that eluded frontiers. Reconsidering Irish literature in the 1930s in light of recent critical work will further enhance an understanding of a decade of writing which, until recently, was subjected to narrow interpretations. At a time when a fledgling democracy was being created in Ireland, the influence of these and other connections in the realm of culture cannot be underestimated. This conference will draw together the existing scholarship on this period and will strengthen it with the critical literature that the conference will generate.

The organizers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Irish cosmopolitanism in the 1930s.
  • Irish writers’ connections, correspondence and/or collaborations with international artists and/or authors in the interwar period.
  • Irish writers’ response to the Spanish Civil War.
  • Irish women writers of the 1930s: Mairin Mitchell, Teresa Deevy, etc.
  • The repercussions of international culture and politics on Irish writing of the 1930s.
  • The writing of the ‘London Irish’.

Proposals (250 words), together with a short bionote, should be submitted via email at no later than December 18, 2022. An academic volume containing a selection of the contributions will be published with a Q1-Q2 (SPI) publisher after the conference.