Call for Panelists: ASECS Irish Caucus, Minneapolis, MN, March 30 – April 2

The Irish Caucus is given two panels at the annual ASECS meeting, to be held in Minneapolis, MN, from March 30 – April 2. For more information on the conference, see the call for papers.

Please see the descriptions of these panels below and consider proposing a paper for one of them. Graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged to submit proposals (please forward this CFP to any graduate students in your programs as well). If interested, please send an abstract of your paper (approximately 300 words) to the chair of the ASECS Irish Caucus, Scott.Breuninger@usd.edu by September 15, 2016.

Panel 1: The Irish Enlightenment IX

Over the past decade, scholars of the Enlightenment have increasingly recognized the contributions of Ireland to broader strands of eighteenth-century thought and the place of Irish thinkers’ work within the context of European and Atlantic intellectual movements. This research has spawned an increasing number of essays, books, and conference panels, illustrating the vitality of debate concerning the Irish dimension of the Enlightenment and collectively helping to define the nature of the Irish Enlightenment. This panel welcomes participants whose work focuses on Irish thought and/or its relationship to the Enlightenment world, especially papers that utilize new methodological approaches to the study of intellectual history; including (but not limited to) models drawn from the digital humanities, global history, and/or gender studies.

Panel 2: Aesthetics and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

During the eighteenth century, questions of aesthetics in Ireland were often linked to notions of political or social authority. Working in a society divided by religion, gender, and race, Irish artists were faced with the uncomfortably stark nature of political power and the (mis-)attribution of meaning(s) to their work. In this context, many of the themes explored by Irish poets, playwrights, and musicians (among others) were necessarily grounded in discourses that tried to walk a fine line between personal expression and social expectations. Some of these creative works explicitly drew from Ireland’s past to inform their meaning, others looked toward the future with varying degrees of optimism and pessimism. In this nexus of aesthetic creativity, artists were forced to negotiate with a wide range of pressures that were unique to Hibernia.

This panel welcomes proposals that address how issues of artistic representation related to questions of political and social power within eighteenth-century Ireland. Of particular interest are proposals that investigate how politically disenfranchised groups in Ireland addressed the connection between artistic representation, political power, and/or historical memory along lines associated with religion, gender, and race.

Updated: Additional Panels

Panel 3: New Directions in Irish and Scottish Studies
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and Irish Studies Caucus. Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University. E-mail: leith@sfu.ca

The nations which we now know as Ireland and Scotland have a long history of connection and conflict dating back to prehistoric times when, as Tom Devine puts it, the two formed a “single cultural, religious, linguistic and economic zone” (3). It was only in the late 1990’s, however, in the context of the growing political strength of the Scottish devolution movement and the gains of the peace process in Northern Ireland, that academics working in Irish Studies and Scottish Studies began to look at connections between their fields of inquiry. Putting Irish Studies and Scottish Studies in dialogue with one another has had important implications, although it has also revealed some limitations. This panel invites scholars to reflect on the scholarly dialogue between Irish and Scottish studies either in the past or present. Submissions may consider new theoretical perspectives and/or examine specific textual or historical examples of connections between Ireland and Scotland.

Panel 4: The Ulster Scots in Ireland and North America
David Clare, National University of Ireland, Galway. Email: DClare1@eircom.net

The Ulster Scots are an ethnic group descended from the Scottish people who settled in the North of Ireland during the reign of King James I. Today, they play an important role in Northern Irish political life and possess a vibrant, unique culture which is currently experiencing a revival. In the eighteenth century, the Ulster Scots emigrated in great numbers to North America, and, in the United States (where they became known as the “Scotch-Irish”), they contributed greatly to the development of American music, handicrafts, and political values. Despite their considerable impact on Irish and North American life, the Ulster Scots remain an under-regarded Irish subculture. For example, the excellent, eighteenth-century Rhyming Weaver poets are routinely omitted from “definitive” anthologies of Irish literature. Likewise, the Ulster Scots role in the 1798 Rebellion and their post-Rebellion transition to diehard British loyalty warrants further study. And there are still gaps in our understanding of the deep imprint that the Ulster Scots made on American politics and culture in the decades following their arrival. As such, this panel solicits papers which explore the impact of the Ulster Scots on Irish and/or North American political and cultural life in the long eighteenth-century.

If interested in this panel, please send an abstract of your paper (approximately 300 words) to DClare1@eircom.net by 15 September 2016.