Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture 1990-2010, Galway, Sept 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Tony Tracy, Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway
contact email: 
tony.tracy@nuigalway.ie

From Jack’s Army to Jedward: Ireland Masculinity and Popular Culture 1990-2010, NUI Galway, Sept 2011

1990 was a watershed year in contemporary Irish history for several reasons, but perhaps the most resonant was the election of Mary Robinson, feminist, activist and lawyer, to the position of Irish President, a position previously reserved as a retiring ground for elderly male politicians A new and exciting phase of Irish history was suddenly in the offing and Robinson’s inclusive vision of Ireland looked beyond earlier understandings of the state to give a central importance to the women of Ireland and those forgotten by generations of emigration; the Irish Diaspora. Slowly but incrementally over the following two decades the patriarchal authority of Irish political and religious structures collapsed. During this period Irish popular culture generated a variety of masculinities across genres and forms. In fiction and theatre - the stage and screen plays of Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh and Mark O’Rowe; the soft masculinity of Louise Walsh’s boybands – Boyzone, Westlife, Jedward; the cinema of the Celtic Tiger; Irish TV drama - Bachelor’s Walk, Pure Mule, Love/Hate; national sporting moments circulating around male sports stars and teams. As traditional roles models and models of male authority gradually eroded, and Ireland became a more multicultural environment, popular culture assumed an ever-increasing centrality in exploring tensions in Irish manhood.

We invite papers and panels exploring manhood in Irish popular culture – sport, film and television, theatre and fiction, music and media - for a conference to take place at NUI Galway September 23-25th 2011. Proposals of 300-500 words) should be sent to tony.tracy@nuigalway.ie / conn.holohan@nuigalway.ie Closing date for submission is April 4th 2011.

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ethnicity_and_national_identity
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gender_studies_and_sexuality
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twentieth_century_and_beyond