A New Ireland? Representations of History Past and Present in Literature and Culture (DUCIS, Sweden 3-4 November 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies, DUCIS - Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden
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History and the related memory processes of remembering and forgetting have been crucial concepts in the definition of communal belonging in Ireland, as especially underscored by the nation-building process that unfolded at the end of the nineteenth century. However, the globalisation and cosmopolitisation of Ireland as experienced in the last decade and a half, together with the strained socio-economic circumstances of contemporary Ireland, has arguably provoked the need for cultural and literary artifacts to concentrate on the present in an attempt to comprehend and come to terms with the momentous transformations that the island has experienced in the last few years. In this context, where the presence of the present seems more pervasive than the presence of the past, a re-examination of the role of history in the construction of Ireland, past and present, is called for.

The conference will examine representations of history and the changes in the narratives of individual and collective identities that Ireland, north and south, has undergone, from modernism to the current global epoch. The focus of the conference will be on past and present uses of history in definitions of national identity from the time of W.B. Yeats and the Celtic Revival to the post-Celtic Tiger and post-Good Friday agreement era, and how these are reflected in literature and culture.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

- postnationalism and nationalist identity
- migration and belonging
- images of home and the nation
- migration and earlier minorities in Ireland
- dual tradition vs. a culture of difference
- history of conflict
- historical representations of gender
- history and the visual arts
- Yeats and definitions of national and historical identity

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 30 April 2011. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 May 2011. A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be published in book form.

For further information about the conference, please go to: www.du.se/ducis/forthcoming