The Country of the Young: Interpretations of Youth and Childhood in Irish Culture, November 12-13, 2010

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New England Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies
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New England ACIS Regional Conference, November 12-13, 2010, Framingham State College, Framingham, Massachusetts

The Country of the Young: Interpretations of Youth and Childhood in Irish Culture

"That is no country for old men," declared W. B. Yeats in "Sailing to Byzantium," describing his native land's fascination with youth and legends of rebirth. Some fifteen years later, Taoiseach Eamon de Valera summoned an idyllic version of Irish childhood when he pledged his commitment to an ideal Ireland of happy maidens, sturdy children, and athletic youths. Such images have been challenged by recent controversy over the experiences of children within Church-sponsored schools, as well as by popular memoirs such as Angela's Ashes and Are You Somebody? – all of which yield fertile ground for exploration and discussion in this year's New England ACIS regional conference. Papers are welcome on such topics as historical depictions of childhood, contemporary youth culture, schooling in Ireland, children's literature, definitions of Irish boyhood and girlhood, memoirs of childhood and adolescence, and images of Ireland as an infant or ancient nation. Our list of plenary speakers includes Dr. James Smith, playwright Damian Gorman, and Maurice Fitzpatrick, writer and co-producer of The Boys of St. Columb's.

Papers in all Irish Studies disciplines are encouraged, as are all papers on Irish subjects that do not specifically address the conference theme. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to participate. Proposals for panels are welcome.

Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Kelly Matthews, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Framingham State College, The deadline for submission is September 10, 2010.

We hope to publish a collection of essays on the conference theme, and encourage each presenter interested in publication to submit an expanded version of his or her conference paper for editorial consideration.

Essays to be considered for publication should be 6000-8000 words in length, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font. Please include a brief author's biography which lists affiliations and previous publications. Two hard copies and an electronic attachment of the manuscript should be sent to Dr. Kelly Matthews, Department of English, Framingham State College, 100 State Street, Framingham, MA 01701,

Framingham State College is located 20 miles west of Boston, with convenient access to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). The Sheraton Tara hotel in Framingham will offer a reduced room rate for conference attendees, and will provide complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and the college. An airport shuttle service is available from Logan Airport in Boston, with reduced rates for those sharing transport.

For more information, visit our conference website: