American Conference for Irish Studies, Boston 2019

deadline for submissions: 
November 16, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
American Conference for Irish Studies
contact email: 

American Conference for Irish Studies

Boston Park Plaza Hotel, March 20-23, 2019

Declarations of Independence: Treaties, Transitions, and Tearing Away

In “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” W. B. Yeats asked, “But is there any comfort to be found? / Man is in love and loves what vanishes, / What more is there to say?” The old world had ended, and a new one was beginning. The year 1919 witnessed the first meeting of Dáil Éireann, the start of the Irish War of Independence, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the publication of several episodes of Ulysses in The Egoist, the release of the expanded version of Yeats’s The Wild Swans at Coole, and Éamon de Valera’s dramatic visit to America, among many other notable events. It was, in short, a year of treaties, transitions, and tearing away, a time when Irish writers, artists, historians, intellectuals, political parties, and social movements faced the realities of a continent beginning to recover from the Great War and a nation still fighting for independence. 

In the centenary year of these events, we invite Irish Studies scholars to gather in Boston, birthplace of the American Revolution and self-styled capital city of Irish America, to reflect on the 1919 era, its legacies throughout the twentieth century, and its resonances within the twenty-first.  We welcome papers and panel proposals in all areas of Irish Studies, with particular interest in topics related to independence, transitional moments, and negotiated treaties or agreements.

Possible topics might include but are not limited to: 

  • Formulations of political and/or artistic independence
  • Negotiated spaces
  • Contested territories
  • Peace agreements or broken treaties
  • Women’s rights
  • Domestic revolutions
  • Sexual orientation and transgender identities
  • Religious differences and interdenominational collaborations
  • Poetic statements of community or individualism 
  • Literary portrayals of individual and collective independence
  • Dramatic representations of rebellion on stage or screen
  • Ireland, America, and Paris
  • Brexit and devolution

Conference events will include a poetry reading by Michael Longley at the Boston Public Library, as well as keynote addresses by Aileen Dillane, Catherine McKenna, John Regan, and a reading by poet Leontia Flynn. The Boston Park Plaza hotel is centrally located, and conference participants are encouraged to make the most of the many archives and university libraries in the Boston area during their stay. The Burns Library of Boston College will host an onsite exhibit of artifacts from their Irish collections.


Submission Guidelines: Individual papers and panel submissions (3-4 participants) are welcomed, as are proposals for presentations in non-traditional formats such as roundtables, discussion groups, or seminars. Abstracts should be 250 words in length and should include a brief (100-word) bio of the presenter.  Proposals should be submitted via Please note that participation in ACIS 2019 is available only to American Conference for Irish Studies members in good standing. Details on joining ACIS or renewing your membership can be found at

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis, but the final deadline for submission is Friday, November 16, 2018.

Conference co-hosted by Boston College, Bridgewater State University, Framingham State University, and UMass Boston.  

Questions? Email