Monday, February 7, 2011

The Irish Seminar 2011

Here is the press release for the Irish Seminar 2011, which will be held this summer at UCD:

'The IRISH SEMINAR 2011: Irish Modernisms

20 June – 8 July 2011


Modernism, marked by a strong self-conscious rupture with tradition and a formal and conceptual inventiveness, is often understood as a vigorous reaction against established religious, social and political views. Informed on one hand by the horrors of the Great War (1914-18) and governed on the other by a belief that our world is created in the very act of perceiving it, no absolute truth existed to provide guidance or solace. Dominated by a relativistic aesthetic, Modernists turned inward to examine the sub-conscious, advocating individuality and celebrating interiority. The crisis of representation, the rise of the cosmopolitan, cultural dislocation, the vexed issues of the subconscious, memory, sexuality, and gender all found expression in European modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Modernism exerted, and still exerts, a profound pressure on contemporary culture, literature, cinema, art and scholarship.

The Irish Seminar 2011 convenes a stellar cast of international scholars to examine Irish Modernism in its varied manifestations, as well as their interrelationships with Western and global Modernism. The contribution of Ireland’s English-language authors to Modernism is unparalleled: Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen, and O’Brien. Recent criticism has engaged with issues of national, regional and local origin to construct a ‘Modernism of the Margins’. A three-week series of presentations, lectures and workshops probes the paradoxical and opposed trends of revolution and reaction (1916, War of Independence, Civil War), the struggles of nascent political parties in their clashes with established forces and older vested interests, the attrition of traditional elites and the emergence of new states north and south.

Yet Modernism, no less than Ireland itself, cannot be reduced to a caricature or stereotype. A key concern of the Irish Seminar 2011 is the interrogation of the standard account. In addition to exploring Modernism of the margins, the Seminar examines minority languages, vernacular culture, the local and the national, and gendered identities in the Irish Modernist experience.

As well as concentrating on historical and theoretical issues, the Seminar will focus on modernism as a mode of creativity that emphasizes disruption and fracture, questioning expressiveness, originality, tradition, revolution, gender, sexuality, language and identity. Exploring the constant tension between nihilism and enthusiasm, energy and ennui that emerged in Ireland between 1880 and 1940, and which sparked this efflorescence of modernist works, the Irish Seminar 2011 will provide challenging perspectives on Irish modernism in its multi-faceted dimensions.

Full Information available at


The 2011 IRISH SEMINAR faculty includes the following speakers: Joe Cleary (Yale), Seamus Deane (Notre Dame), Wes Hamrick (Notre Dame), John Kelly (Oxford), Declan Kiberd (Notre Dame), José Lanters (Uni. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Joseph Lennon (Villanova), David Lloyd (Uni. of Southern California), Barry McCrea (Yale), Bríona Nic Dhiarmada (Notre Dame), Emer Nolan (NUI Maynooth), Brian Ó Conchubhair (Notre Dame), Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway), Kevin Whelan (Notre Dame).



'Tuition for the IRISH SEMINAR, which includes housing for the three weeks in Dublin, is €2,250. Participants will be responsible for their own food, airfare, and other travel expenses. Some open fellowships will be available, covering tuition, travel, and accommodation, but applicants are urged to seek financial assistance from their home institutions. For more information please contact Eimear Clowry ­'

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