2nd CFP: Authority and Wisdom, DUCIS, Dalarna, Sweden, 12-14 Dec 2012

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The 8th Biannual Conference of the Nordic Irish Studies Network (NISN)
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The thematic focus of this interdisciplinary conference relates principally to the concepts of authority and wisdom as they apply, and have applied, to the Irish nation in times of change. In recent times, Ireland has witnessed a profound reconfiguration in terms of its cultural, political, constitutional, and religious identities, resulting in an unparalleled questioning of the discourses and narratives that had seemingly defined the nation. The last three decades have witnessed considerable challenges to the moral monopoly and temporal power of the Catholic Church; the introduction of liberal legislation in the realm of private morality; massive immigration (in the 2006 census a tenth of those living in the country had been born elsewhere); the Good Friday Agreement, which attempted to negotiate an end to the endemic and apparently insoluble sectarian conflict afflicting, in particular, Northern Ireland; rampant urban development which ostensibly eroded the existence of a coherent sense of place, and the development of a free market Celtic Tiger global economy, which - in its rise and inexorable fall - 'made Icarus look boringly stable' (Fintan O'Toole).

But the concepts of authority and wisdom are equally relevant in Irish history, where established discourses and narratives have been questioned for generations, resulting in sometimes momentous changes that have inevitably affected how Irish people see themselves as a nation. This conference will attempt to address these questionings of authority and what lessons have been learned from the experiences of the last decades and from history. How can the related concepts of wisdom and authority be seen in light of societal change? What role is played by the Arts, past and present, in providing vital commentaries and critical perceptions in relation to Irish identity? How do Irish people see themselves? And how do they wish to live their lives?

Confirmed plenary speakers include Prof. Ciarán Benson, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, UCD School of Psychology, Dublin; Prof. Patricia Coughlan, Professor of English, University College Cork; Emeritus Prof. John Wilson Foster, Honorary Research Fellow, Queen's University Belfast, and writer Mary O'Donnell.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent by email to Irene Gilsenan Nordin (ign@du.se), Billy Gray (bgr@du.se) and Carmen Zamorano Llena (cza@du.se). The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 September 2012. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 September 2012. A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be published in book form.

For further information about the conference, please check the DUCIS website at www.du.se/ducis.