CFP: Irish Feminist Thought (Ireland) (1/15/07; 4/13/07-4/14/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Maureen O'Connor

Irish Feminist Thought
13-14 April 2007

Women's Studies Centre, Centre for Irish Studies, Moore Institute (formerly
National University of Ireland, Galway

Guest Speakers:
Patricia Coughlan, University College Cork
Myrtle Hill, Queen's University Belfast

According to Margaret Ward, 'For women in Ireland, the Act of Union of 1800
not only defined the constitutional relationship between Britain and
Ireland, it also largely determined the nature of feminism within Ireland
and ensured a differentiation of Irish from British feminism'. In the last
fifteen to twenty years, Irish historians, sociologists, and literary
critics have recovered figures and events previously lost to history, but
central to Irish feminism and women's history. This conference seeks to
build on and extend this vital work, and invites proposals that argue for
(or against!) a body of specifically Irish feminist thought which has
developed over the course of the last two centuries following the Act of
Union, though contributions siting Irish feminism prior to 1800 will also be
welcome. While twentieth-century Irish feminist issues and debates have
received detailed critical attention, some less known contributions to
contemporary Irish feminism include Owenite socialist and west Cork landlord
William Thompson's 1824 treatise on feminism, the most significant to appear
between Wollstonecraft and Mill; nationalist historian Alice Stopford
Green's participation in the increasingly gendered debate about the
professionalization of her discipline; influential suffragist and animal
advocate Frances Power Cobbe's conservative radicalism, shaped by Ireland's
sectarian tensions; and New Woman writer George Egerton's ecocritical
fiction which drew on Irish folklore and is frequently situated in an Irish

Suggested topics:
. feminism's role in the distinctively Irish experience of social
reform including the cooperative movement and the development of socialist
. the difficulty¯or impossibility¯of mapping of the gendered spheres
onto Irish space
. feminism's relationship with Ireland's Celtic revivals
. the political and religious tensions and overlaps among feminisms as
imagined and advanced under such rubrics as Unionism, Republicanism,
Quakerism, Evangelicalism, Roman Catholicism
. the nation as feminine, eroticized landscape, its implications for
representing 'Irishness' and feminism's recasting of the 'natural',
among other considerations
. science and feminism, from race and eugenics in the nineteenth
century, to reproductive rights and the female cyborg in the twenty-
first century
. the interaction between agitation for women's rights and animal
advocacy in an Irish context
. the Irish New Woman writer, and the figure of the rural New Woman
. urban and rural working class women and political expression
. literary explorations and expressions of feminist thought, including
journalism; the deployment of 'feminine' genres, the unique crisis of
mimesis in Irish letters

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words (electronic submissions
preferred) by 15 January 2007 to:

Dr Maureen O'Connor
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Moore Institute (formerly CSHSHC)
National University of Ireland, Galway

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Received on Sun Nov 05 2006 - 21:37:27 EST