Keynote Speakers for the ISAANZ Conference in Adelaide

News Item by Fidelma Breen, Conference Organiser


Change, Commemoration, Com­­munity

22nd Australasian Irish Studies Conference

Flinders in the City, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, South Australia

29 November to 2 December 2016

Under the auspices of the Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand the 22nd Australasian Irish Studies Conference is set to take place in Adelaide later this year. Hosted by the Flinders University of Australia and supported by the 1916-2016 Centenary Programme and the Embassy of Ireland, this meeting will be the first time university-affiliated and independent scholars and interested community members will have come together in South Australia for this conference series.

The conference theme is Change, Commemoration and Community and a full programme under these three elements has been developed thanks to the participation of a wide range of researchers and writers from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Italy, America and Ireland. Preceding the conference proper, Tuesday 29 November will be a community day featuring a bus tour of Irish Adelaide organised by tourism students from Flinders University which will conclude with a catered lunch. The early afternoon is given over to a writing seminar, ‘Language, creative writing, and the Irish writer’, with special guest, Irish writer, Niall Williams. An ISAANZ planning meeting will commence at 3pm before conference registration opens at 5pm. From 6pm guests and delegates will be treated to a traditional indigenous Welcome to Country followed by the comhrá (chat), wine and light refreshments.

Presentation of papers will take place over three days from Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December. Each day will commence with a keynote lecture from one of our three eminent speakers.

image004Born in Melbourne, Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne and Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor David Fitzpatrick held various positions before becoming professor of Modern History at Trinity College, Dublin in 1979 where he is now Fellow Emeritus. The author of six books and over 100 other works, Professor Fitzpatrick specialises in Irish history since 1795, especially nationalism, republicanism, loyalism, demography, and emigration; the Irish in Australia, Britain, and elsewhere; the history of the Loyal Orange Institution, 1795-1995; the impact of the Great War on Ireland in the international context, and American and cosmopolitan influences in post-Famine Ireland. He promises ‘The Easter Rising: Four Fallacies’ as the keynote on day one, Wednesday 30 November.

image006-1Day two will commence with Professor Melanie Oppenheimer’s keynote entitled ‘Re-remembering 1916 and its aftermath: Áine Ceannt, the Irish White Cross and Voluntary Action’ on Thursday. Professor Oppenheimer holds the Chair of History within the School of History and International Relations at Flinders University.

Her research interests include the role of voluntary organisations and patriotic funds in times of peace and war; the history of volunteering and voluntary action; gender and imperialism; and more recently ARC funded projects on soldier settlement schemes post WWI; Meals on Wheels; and sustaining volunteering in Australia. Her centenary history of Australian Red Cross, The Power of Humanity. 100 Years of Australian Red Cross was published by HarperCollins in August 2014. Melanie is currently completing ‘The Last Battle of the Great War: Soldier Settlement in Australia’ to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.

image008On Friday, Dr Maggie Ivanova, Lecturer and Director of Studies in Drama at Flinders University, will give her lecture ‘1916 and The Irish Literary Theatre’. Dr Ivanova’s research interests include post-communist drama, theatre and performance in the context of EU integration, theories of translation, stage adaptation and performance theory, Cross-cultural performance and intercultural theatre, theatre historiography and aesthetic reception in Irish, British, Scandinavian, Russian, Bulgarian and East Asian contexts as well as nationalism and its influence on drama, literature and the arts.

The conference is shaping up to give a magnificent interdisciplinary scholarly blend as well as a fusion of Irish and Australian cultural elements. More information on the proceedings and conference registration can be found here: