ACIS Logo ACIS Western Regional 2021

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***UPDATE: The originally planned date for April 2021 has been moved to September 23-26, 2021 in hopes of holding the conference in person. The new deadline for proposals is April 15, 2021. Proposals that have already been submitted will be automatically considered for the new date. Virtual proposals will still be considered for September.***

With mindfulness of the challenges we as a worldwide community face, and in anticipation of transformation and brighter days ahead, we are pleased to announce that the American Conference for Irish Studies (Western Region) will be held at the University of Colorado – Denver from April 15-18, 2021. The theme of the conference is Labor, Immigration, and Class. As we mark 100 years since the Government of Ireland Act and the Partition of the island, we are also witnessing the effects of Brexit on economics, borders, communal memory, and mobility. Our global community is also experiencing a rising consciousness around race, identity, and colonization.

The conference committee welcomes paper, panel and roundtable proposals that address any aspect of Irish Studies, including literary, historical, political, socio-economic, cultural, and visual arts. We also welcome creative presentations in dramatic or literary form, i.e. poetry readings, monologues, or group performance. Possible topics include:

  • Irish immigrant labor in the American West
  • Irish railroad gangs
  • Irish domestics in Rocky Mountain mining camps
  • Irish soldiers and American Empiricism
  • Irish Labor Radicalism in the Rocky Mountain West
  • Construction of class in Irish American mining communities
  • Autochthony/Indigeneity
  • Land-based ethics
  • Revolutionary Ireland
  • Sexual orientation and transgender identities
  • The North of Ireland conflict
  • Negotiated spaces/Contested territories
  • Border communities
  • Migration (specifically Irish settlement in Colorado)
  • Globalization
  • Empiricism, imperialism, colonialism
Free Coinage Restaurant in Leadville CO

Free Coinage Restaurant in Leadville CO

Conference events will culminate with a pilgrimage to Leadville on Sunday to see the construction of a memorial dedicated to approximately 1,000 Irish immigrants buried in unmarked graves in the pauper section of the town cemetery. Keynote and plenary sessions will include a panel discussing the construction of Leadville’s Irish immigrant memorial and a keynote address by Helen Thorpe. The conference will also address how the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BiPOC) Movements intersect with and inform Irish Studies.

Accommodations are available at the centrally-located Springhill Suites by Marriott on the Auraria Campus for a reduced rate of $169 a night. Reservations must be made by Tuesday, March 16th 2021. To book a room call 877-249-9279 x 2800 and say that you are with the CU Denver Conference. For more information about the hotel, visit

Conference participants are also encouraged to visit the Molly Brown House, the History Colorado Museum, the Western History Department of Denver Public Library, and Regis University in the Denver area during their stay.

We look forward to exploring these topics and more in this multidisciplinary event. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2020. All conference presenters and attendees must be current paid members of ACIS.

Submission Guidelines: Individual papers and panel submissions (3-4 participants) are welcomed, as are proposals for presentations in non-traditional formats such as poetry, monologues, roundtables, discussion groups, or seminars. Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length and should include a brief (100-word) bio of the presenter. Proposals should be submitted here  and should be between 15-20 minutes long.

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