News Release

REF NO.: 206

SUBJECT: Conference to examine Celtic connections

DATE: June 6, 2007

It won’t all be secrets and lies when scholars come together in St. John’s to examine Irish influences in Newfoundland, Canada, and the world this month – there will also be music, poetry and celebration.
Secrets and Lies and/or The Irish in Newfoundland is the theme of this year’s Canadian Association of Irish Studies (CAIS) conference, to be held at Memorial University from June 20-23.
“The discussions will ask questions about what the Irish connections are here – and if they are what we expect them to be,” said Dr. Danine Farquharson, a Memorial University English professor and the national president of CAIS.
Dr. Peter Hart, the Canada Research Chair in Irish Studies at Memorial and author of the acclaimed but controversial Mick: The Real Michael Collins, will lead off the conference with his keynote address, Conspiracies of Memory: Recalling the Irish Revolution. The lecture is open to the public.
Scholars from across Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the U.S., and Australia will discuss a range of topics, from 19th century Irish nationalism in St. John’s to contemporary poetry, film, politics and social issues.
Among the academic and independent scholars taking part will be world-renowned musician Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin. A recognized authority on the cultural impact of the great Irish famine and its resulting diasporas, Dr. Ó hAllmhuráin has dedicated his career to the preservation of Irish traditional music and culture, and is now a professor of Irish music at the University of Missouri.
On June 22, he will deliver a public keynote address: Beyond the Cold Embrace of Queen Victoria: Secrets and Lies Concerning the History of Irish Traditional Music in Canada.
That evening, he’ll join other musicians from Ireland, Scotland, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador to perform Celtic music at Gower Street United Church.
“The association tries to appeal to everyone who is interested in Irish studies, and encourage people in the campus and the larger community to attend,” Dr. Farquharson said.
While this conference explores the Irish influence on Canada, Dr. Farquharson noted that there’s a two-way exchange going on. “Our students and our films and our literature are having an impact in Ireland. In another five or ten years, I think we should have a conference there to talk about the influence of Newfoundland on Ireland.”
For more information on the CAIS conference, visit www.irishstudies.ca.
A high-resolution photo of Irish musician and scholar Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin is available.
Canadian Association of Irish Studies 2007 Conference Highlights
Secrets and Lies and/or the Irish in Newfoundland
Unless otherwise noted, all conference sessions will take place in the
Arts and Administration Building, Rooms 1046 and 1043 on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.
Wednesday, June 20
1 – 4 p.m. (A-1043)
Irish-Newfoundland Field Studies (Tilting) Centre Information Session.
Host: Wally Kirwan
Thursday, June 21
9:30 – 11 a.m. (Room A-1043) KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Dr. Peter Hart, Memorial University
“Conspiracies of Memory: Recalling the Irish Revolution”
2 – 3:30 p.m. (A-1046)
Ireland and Newfoundland
By Moral Agency, not by Physical Force: Irish Nationalism in St. John’s, 1840 – 1890 (Carolyn Lambert, Memorial University)
Irish Recruitment into the Royal Navy in Newfoundland, 1793 – 1815
(Keith Mercer, Dalhousie University)
No Cinema is an Island: The NFB’s Fogo Island Project and its Influence in Ireland (Jerry White, University of Alberta)
2 – 3:30 p.m. (A-1043)
Secrets, Lies and Failures
The Best Kept Secret and Most Interesting Lie in Irish-American Nationalism
(David Wilson, University of Toronto)
Lying Abroad: Constructing an Image in North America for Northern Ireland in the 1950s (Seamus Smyth, NUI Maynooth)
Intelligence Failures in Northern Ireland in the 1970s
(Conrad King, University of British Columbia)
Thursday, June 21
7:30 – 9 p.m.
Poetry of Newfoundland: The Irish Strain
Free public event
Emma Butler Gallery
111 George Street West
Exploring the nature of Irish influence on the poetry of Newfoundland, poets Mary Dalton, Carmelita McGrath and Patrick Warner will read their work and comment on Irish influences
Host: Shane O’Dea, Memorial University
Friday, June 22
9 - 10:30 a.m. (Room A-1043) KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, University of Missouri – St. Louis
Beyond the Cold Embrace of Queen Victoria: Secrets and Lies About the History of Irish Traditional Music in Canada
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (A-1046)
Brothers in Arms
‘God Save Ireland!’: Quebec City’s Fenians, 1861-1881
(Robert Grace, Laval)
A Hidden Story: The Impact of the Irish Question in Quebec, 1900-1925
(Simon Jolivet, Concordia University)
Kidnapped!: Bulmer Hobson, the IRB and the 1916 Easter Rising
(Marnie Hay, University College Dublin)
1:30 – 3 p.m. (A-1046)
Unexpected Connections
Overheard Conversations: Russian Writers and Northern Irish Poets
(Stephanie Schwerter, University of Ulster, Coleraine)
The Representation of Ireland and the Irish in German Nazi Film
(Anglea Vaupel, St. Mary’s University College)
Silenced Realities: Ireland and Canada in the German Mind
(Martina Seifert, Queen’s University Belfast)
4 – 5:30 p.m. (A-1046) Notions of Womanhood
Conceiving Silence: The Secret Lives of Infertile Couples in Ireland
(Jill Allison, Memorial University)
Perversion of the Maternal Instinct: Women Who Killed Children in Post-Famine Ireland (Pauline Prior, Queen’s University Belfast)
Unsilencing the Voice of the Country Girl: the Portrayal of Irish Girlhood in the Novels of Edna O'Brien (Siobhan Dunbar, University of Ottawa)
8 p.m.  GowerStreetUnitedChurch, 99 Queen’s Road
Crossroads – Celtic Music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada and Newfoundland
Featuring Franco-Ontarian fiddle sensation Pierre Schyrer, All-Ireland concertina champion and noted ethnomusicologist Gearóid ÓhAllmhuráin, Scottish guitarist Ian Clark, and the legendary Frank Maher with the Mahers Bahers. Tickets are $20. They are available at Fred’s Records, O’Brien’s Music and at the door.
Saturday, June 23
11 – 12:30 p.m. (A-1043) Ireland and Newfoundland
‘I saw no guns or pickets in the hands of the Riverhead men’: Secrets and Lies as Resistance Among Newfoundland Irish in the 19th Century
(Willeen Keough, Simon Fraser University)
The Influence of Irish Fiddle Playing in Newfoundland
(Bridget O’Connell, Waterford Institute of Technology)
Hidden Identities and the Irish in Newfoundland
(Louise Sheridan, University of Limerick)
For a complete program and more details, visit www.irishstudies.ca

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