ACIS Logo ACIS Western Regional 2021

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Cloud City Miners ribbon

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.

Featured sessions include Michael Patrick MacDonald on transformative storytelling, Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Dr. Erin Wecker, and Dr. Traolach O’Riordain on women’s contributions to independence, author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and local artists on the legacy of the San Patricios in Mejicanx and Chicanx communities, and a Keynote address at historic Casa Mayan on Auraria Campus by Helen Thorpe.

Full Schedule

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.

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.

Conference participants should register here.

Community members may attend individual events for a reduced fee. Please register here.


Jordan-Potts Award

The Jordan – Potts Award Competition is an integral part of the annual American Conference for Irish Studies – West Regional meeting. The ACIS-West offers this award in recognition of and encouragement to emerging scholars, advanced students, or those early in professional careers.

Selection is determined by a committee’s judgment as to who delivers the best presentation within a program session of the Denver, 2021, ACIS-West Conference. Session participants who choose to compete for the Jordan – Potts Award are required to note their eligibility when they respond to the “Call for Papers.”

Additionally, the Jordan – Potts Award includes a $500 honorarium and complimentary registration in the 2022 Conference.

For details and recent winners of the Jordan – Potts Award see:


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