Landlords and Tenants: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Famine Summer School

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House, County Roscommon, Ireland

Irish Famine Summer School, June 11-14th, 2020

"Landlords and Tenants: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House, County Roscommon, Ireland.

The Great Hunger of 1845 to 1852 has cast a long shadow over the subsequent history of Ireland and its diaspora. Since 1995, there has been a renewed interest in studying this event, by scholars, students, archeologists, artists, musicians, folklorists etc.  This interest shows no sign of abating. New research, methodologies and approaches have greatly added to our understanding of the causes, impact and legacies of this tragedy.

The theme of the 2020 Irish Famine Summer School at the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House (11-14th June) will be ‘Landlords and Tenants, the good, the bad and the ugly’. The summer school will explore the impact of Great Hunger in the mid-nineteenth-century on landlords and tenants and all classes in between on the Irish social spectrum.

One of the most notorious landlords during the Great Hunger was Major Denis Mahon, who evicted many of his tenants from his estate at Strokestown Park, County Roscommon, and assisted 1,490 of them to emigrate in May 1847.  They left Ireland and then Liverpool on some of the most notorious of the “coffin ships”, including the Virginius and the Naomi: almost half of them perished at sea or in the fever sheds of Quebec.  Denis Mahon was assassinated in November, 1847. Yet other Irish landlords, such as Stephen De Vere from Curragh Chase, County Limerick, and Stepney St. George from Castle Headford, County Galway, risked and gave their lives attempting to alleviate the suffering of their tenants and to help them escape from famine afflicted Ireland.

The 2020 Famine Summer School on ‘Landlords and Tenants, the good, the bad, and the ugly’ welcomes proposals for papers on mid nineteenth-century Irish property relations and class conflict and conciliation at the local, national, and transnational level. 

More broadly, proposals are also welcomed on the topics of:

–       Landlords, tenants, and gender, including women’s experiences of the Great Hunger from the Big House to fourth class cabins, the Work House, and homelessness

–       landlord and tenant relations as they relate to eviction, assisted emigration and the Irish diaspora; 

–       their cultural, folkloric, and social memory of the Great Hunger in Ireland and abroad;

–       their artistic, musical, literary, and visual renderings from the mid nineteenth-century until the present

–       the social demography, geography, and physical remains of the Great Hunger as experienced from the Big House to fourth class cabins and the creation of “famine roads”;

–       landlords, tenants, the Poor Law, and Famine relief;

–       philanthropy and charity from the perspectives of givers and receivers;

–       legacies and lessons to be learned from the Great Hunger in Ireland and abroad.

Scholars, students, family history enthusiasts, and researchers of all disciplines are welcome to submit a proposal.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Christine Kinealy (Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University, Professor Mark McGowan (University of Toronto), Professor Mary Corcoran (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), and Mike Murphy (University College Cork).

Please send abstracts of up to 350 words to Dr Jason King faminestudies@irishheritagetrust.ie by 15 January 2020.