Ireland and Intangible Cultural Heritage

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Etudes Irlandaises
contact email: 

Etudes irlandaises

Appel à contributions / Call for papers

Numéro printemps/été 2022


Ireland and Intangible Cultural Heritage 

The forthcoming thematic issue of Etudes irlandaises will be dedicated to investigating the non-material social and cultural practices of the island of Ireland and of the Irish diaspora. We are interested in the “live”, the “immaterial”, in what UNESCO has defined as “intangible cultural heritage” ( In 2003, UNESCO acknowledged and set out to safeguard fluid objects such as “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills”. Differing from other forms of cultural heritage which focus on their materiality, intangible cultural heritage concentrates on processes, interactions and adaptations of traditions. It indicates practices that are not only those inherited from the past and passed on from generation to generation, but also includes contemporary urban and rural cultural practices which play a vitally important role in forging Ireland’s varied cultural identities.

The Irish government’s Decade of Centenaries (2012-2022) has so far celebrated key historical events and actors alongside everyday narratives of these events ( Also, much has been invested in the development of material cultural heritage, through museums or the revamping of cultural sites. This special issue on Ireland and intangible cultural heritage seeks to complement and complicate this important work.

Thinking of immaterial cultural practices also provides an opportunity to reflect on the relation of the “live” to the archive. At a historical moment obsessed with recording and data storing, we are keen to look at practices that elude and/or problematize the archive. 

Other questions that might be addressed could include: how can we read Ireland’s 2015 ratification of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage? What is the relation of these intangible cultural practices as expressions of cultural communities to the State?

We invite contributions focusing either on specific intangible cultural practices or on larger topics such as (the list is not exhaustive):

-       Performance arts (music, dance, theatre)

-       Embodied experience

-       The archive vs. the repertoire (as theorized by performance scholar Diana Taylor)

-       Oral traditions

-       Crafts

-       Knowledge and practices concerning nature

-       Cultural practices and sustainable development

-       Rituals

-       Cultural diversity

Articles should not exceed 6000 words in length and should be submitted by 15 September 2021 to AND

Guidelines for authors

Consignes aux auteurs

Hélène Lecossois and Fabrice Mourlon