Irish Seminar Photo

The IRISH Seminar

Since 1999, the IRISH Seminar has been nurturing a cosmopolitan community of young scholars and providing an intellectual infrastructure for scholarly collaboration. The Seminar adopts a flexible approach to Irish Studies, less constrained by the firmness of institutional boundaries and disciplinary consolidation. It is self-reflective about professional and intellectual formation, while seeking to foster a supportive environment that develops the intellectual poise of emerging scholars.

Seminar sessions elicit sustained feedback between faculty and participants. Ideas are taken seriously, the exchanges occur in a dialogical manner, and there is a real focus on fostering a community of learning. Alongside formal sessions, there are readings, theater visits, archive and library visits, and field trips. Participants have been drawn from third level institutions across the globe. The mingling of graduate students from various parts of the world and different disciplines provides a matrix for stimulating debate.

The IRISH Seminar has been presented annually since 1999 at Notre Dame Dublin in O’Connell House. A flagship program for Irish Studies at Notre Dame, the Seminar has taken place in Dublin, Kylemore, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Oxford.

Faculty have included two Nobel Prize winners (Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott), some of the world’s pre-eminent scholars (Edward Said, Fred Jameson, Giovanni Arrighi, Jacqueline Rose, Homi Bhabha, Benedict and Perry Anderson) and celebrated writers (Edna O’Brien, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, John McGahern, Medbh McGuckian, Ciaran Carson, Nuala Ó Faoláin, Alice McDermott). Leading figures in Irish Studies participating in the Irish Seminar have included Elizabeth Cullingford, Emer Nolan, Clair Wills, Marjorie Howes, Siobhán Kilfeather, Máirín Nic Eoin, David Lloyd, and Joe Cleary.

List of past seminars

2022 IRISH Seminar

The 2022 IRISH Seminar will take place online from 4-18 June, in Connemara and Dublin.

Irish Seminar 2022

1922 marked the final stages of the Irish revolutionary period. The year commenced with the ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the handover of power from Dublin Castle to the Provisional Government of Ireland and was followed by the outbreak of a bloody civil war lasting almost a year. The establishment of the Irish Free State in December 1922 and, with it, the consolidation of the partition of Northern Ireland brought the tumultuous year to a close. It was a year that saw the collapse of the British administration in southern Ireland and the transfer of sovereignty to a new, yet divided, order.

Efforts to establish and legitimise the new administration included the World Congress of the Irish Race or Aonach na nGaedeal in Paris in January, 1922, during which international delegates were brought together to coordinate support for the Irish State. Alongside discussions on Irish affairs, delegates attended performances of Irish music, theatre, and an exhibition of Irish art. Meanwhile, James Joyce was preparing to publish his masterpiece, Ulysses, in the very same city a couple of weeks later – an event disconnected from such displays of cultural diplomacy.

The IRISH Seminar 2022 will bring together graduate students and distinguished scholars to reflect on 1922 as a seminal year of state formation and one in which the culture and values of the nascent nation were showcased. The programme will also mark the centenary of the publication of Ulysses by James Joyce in a series of public talks.

One hundred years on, this seminal moment in Irish history remains controversial and so we must ask: how do we make sense of these divisions? What is the legacy of such violent division? How can we make sense of the violence that ensued? How have these events been remembered? What is the role of commemoration?

Finally, scholars will be asked to consider visions for the Ireland of the next one hundred years. The centenary year offers an opportunity to reflect on the Ireland of today and the issues that face Irish society and, importantly, to imagine new and inclusive futures.

Register your interest here

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The IRISH Seminar is interdisciplinary and open to all graduate students. Students applying from the University of Notre Dame will be admitted as participants while students applying from other universities will be admitted as associates.

Applicants from Notre Dame   Applicants from other universities