CFP: Ireland: Going East (11/30/06; 3/16/07-3/17/07)

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“Ireland: Going East”

16-17 March 2007
Institut du Monde Anglophone
Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
5, rue de l’Ecole de Médecine
75006 Paris

The Groupe de Recherche en Etudes Irlandaises de l’Université Sorbonne
Nouvelle-Paris 3, will host the annual conference of the SOFEIR (Société Française
d’Etudes Irlandaises) on 16th and 17th March 2007. The theme of the
conference will be: “Ireland: Going East”. Proposals for papers (250 words max.)
should be sent to Wesley Hutchinson and Carle Bonafous-Murat, before 30th
November 2006. Contact:

Throughout history, “the West” has played a rich and varied role in the
development of the Irish imagination and Irish identity. This multidisciplinary
conference (literature, history, politics, visual arts, translation, etc.)
will look at an alternative to this obsessive focus on “The West” and explore
Ireland’s less well-known, but equally rich relationship with “The East”.
Rather than taking into account Ireland’s links with her immediate
neighbours to the East, the island of Great Britain, or even France, the conference
wants to look beyond to the continent of Europe, more particularly to the
influence of the countries of central and Eastern Europe.

Twentieth-century Ireland saw a particularly intense and ambiguous
relationship with the region. In the early years of the century, some in Ireland
looked to Central and Eastern Europe as a possible model for the resolution of
constitutional and ethnic problems. Today, things are even more complex: some
now see the countries of the region as a threat to Ireland’s own long-term
economic success; at the same time, Ireland has been one of the few countries to
open her workplace to people from the “New” Europe.

Possible topics include:
- political paradigms such as Griffith’s “Austro-Hungarian model”
- the drawing of borders along ethnic lines in the aftermath of the
First World War
- divided cities : Belfast, Berlin, Jerusalem
- connections between Irish poets and their Eastern European
counterparts (Heaney, Paulin, Mandelstam, Brodsky, Milosz, etc.)
- translations of Russian plays by Irish playwrights (Chekhov and
Friel, etc.)
- the fraught debate on the Treaty of Nice
- the arrival of considerable numbers of East Europeans North and
South of the border
- the recent debate within the Irish workplace on such issues as the
need to redefine workers’ rights (cf. Irish Ferries)
- etc.

Looking to countries further afield, especially in the Middle and Far East,
it would be of interest to look at mutual influences in areas such as:
- Irish and Indian nationalisms
- the role of Irish missionaries, soldiers and administrators in the
Indian subcontinent
- Ireland’s United Nations involvement in the Middle East
- the impact of eastern religions on Ireland
- Indian or Japanese literatures as offering alternative traditions
to American or British influences
- the East as metaphor or allegory of the Irish (cf. Swift’s An
Account of the Court and Empire of Japan)
- the East as both utopia and fantasy in Irish literature (Joyce)
- orientalism as a projection of the relationship between colonised
and coloniser
- the simultaneous rise of nationalism in Ireland and in the East
(cf. Turkey, Egypt) and the possible impact on visual representations of the
- trade links with China
- etc.
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Received on Sun Nov 05 2006 - 20:40:24 EST