CFP (Extended Deadline): ACIS Southern Regional Conference, March 9-11, 2017, University of Kentucky

Conference Theme: Literature, History, and Memory
March 9-11, 2017
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Extended Deadline: January 15, 2017

acis-south_no=backgroundWe are living through a decade of centenaries as we remember or reimagine the cataclysmic events of a century ago which helped to shape the modern world – the Great War, the Easter Rising, the Bolshevik Revolution. Each passing year provides an opportunity to reflect on the nature of commemoration and remembrance. This is not new: the themes of remembrance and revival are firmly embedded in the history of modern Europe, and Irish literature is permeated with the presence of the past, from Stephen Dedalus’s remark, “history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake” to Seamus Heaney’s image of writers and historians “vying with a fierce possessiveness / for the right to set ‘the island story’ straight.” This conference provides a venue to explore the relationship between remembering and the writing of literature and history, and to think about connections between personal, collective and national memories. Participants will explore the theme of “remembering” in its widest sense, from personal memories in diaries and oral histories, to collective memory embodied or transmuted in history, literature, folklore, and mythology.

Participants are invited to explore the ways in which memory is used, represented and produced in Irish culture. Presenters might focus on topics that include, for example: personal and collective memory; selective memory; nostalgia; literature and memory; literary history; art history; film; history and the novel; poetry and national memory; grief and elegy; historical fiction/poetry/drama; autobiography and life writing; journals and correspondence; oral history and folklore; digital memory and digital cultures; archives; book history; tradition and the individual talent; anxiety of influence; the author in history; cultural revivals; ghosts; historical writing and the shaping of the past; the Great War and modern memory; the Famine; 1916; the Troubles; the Missing; history and the postcolonial; nationalism and gender; new historicism; modernism/postmodernism; music and theatre history; revisionism; nationalist, republican, and unionist history; imagined communities; cultural studies; alternative histories; feminist history; LGBT history; politics of commemoration; anniversaries and centenaries; parades, memorials, monuments; funerals; Celtic languages; languages in Ireland. While preference may be given to proposals related to the conference theme, we encourage proposals on any aspect of Irish Studies.

We welcome individual and panel submissions (3-4 participants), as well as proposals for roundtable discussions, performances, dramatic readings. Interdisciplinary topics are encouraged. Individual proposals should be 250 words or less and include a sentence about the presenter. Panel proposals should be 500 words or less and include a rationale for the panel, a brief description of each paper and of the participants. Proposals of 500 words for other presentations should include a rationale and bios of participants.

Upload proposals and speaker bios at by January 15, 2017. Presenters must be members of the American Conference for Irish Studies.

For questions, please contact conference organizer Jonathan Allison at

Participants will be offered accommodation at the Downtown Hilton, Lexington at a conference rate, with free parking and wifi. Lexington is a thriving small city in the heart of the Bluegrass, at the center of the American Thoroughbred industry and the Bourbon industry. Lexington has Sister City status with County Kildare, Ireland; Newmarket, England; Deauville, France; and Shinhidaka, Japan. The university campus is approximately 20 minutes from Bluegrass Airport and 1.5 hours from Cincinatti/Northern Kentucky Airport.