ACIS Logo ACIS Mid-Atlantic Regional 2024

Risk is pervasive in contemporary Irish culture, from environmental hazards like water contamination to dangers for migrants crossing into Ireland, from conditions of economic precarity to the actual access to reproductive healthcare. Ulrich Beck reads modernity through the lens of “risk society”, characterized by both the distribution of goods like wealth and the distribution of “bads” like pollution and precarity. This conference offers an interdisciplinary space to test the durability of Beck’s idea of risk society, questioning, for one thing, his temporal boundaries as well as how the framing of risk affects individuals of diverse backgrounds and statuses. How does risk help us to see the way that Irish cultures have been shaped by technologization and the environment? And how does it obscure Ireland’s responsibilities and culpabilities both within its geographical boundaries and more globally? While risk is a prevalent term within the contemporary geopolitical context, from the economic fluctuations of the Celtic Tiger period up to the present, can we also engage the concept when thinking about earlier Irish historical periods? How do discourses of risk shape Irish Studies scholarship in geography, history, the arts, literary studies, and the social sciences?

The conference will be held at Baruch College, CUNY and will feature a special session on the work of photo and collage artist Seán Hillen, whose work enacts visually the contours of life in Ireland at Risk. The conference will feature a special session screening of the documentary Tomorrow is Saturday about Hillen’s life and work.

We welcome individual paper proposals, as well as panel and roundtable proposals; alternate formats are welcomed, as are papers that address any aspect of Irish Studies. We are especially interested in proposals that engage the following topics:
Migration, including historic emigration and the immigration of recent asylum seekers
• Economic risks such as financial speculation; the housing bubble, housing shortages, and homelessness; financial precarity; gig economy
• Biopower and environmental hazards such as water contamination, pandemics, climate change, and factory farming
• Technological risks such as cybercrimes, social media, power grids
• Risk in legal contexts, including in contexts like mother and baby homes; Magdalene laundries, political actions; reproductive justice; referenda; public protests and activism
• Risks to vulnerable communities including LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, Travellers, those in Direct Provision
• Public health and risk, including the vaginal mesh, cancer screening, and other medical scandals
• Alternatives to risk society such as clachans, rundales, mutual aid societies
• Academic risks, such as labor precarity, interdisciplinarity, culture of critique
• Aesthetic risks and experimentation with artistic and creative forms
• Reading-as-risk and histories/legacies of censorship
• Risk of political violence (e.g. Brexit border; anti-immigration discourses;
• Risks associated with testimony, witness, and advocacy
• Representations of risk and precarity in the arts

Please encourage graduate and undergraduate students to submit proposals–we plan a poster session for undergraduates as well as a session dedicated to their papers. Please submit a 200-400 word abstract, along with CV and bio by August 15, 2024 using the portal on this page.


Search members and presentations:

Filter Events