Call For Papers: CAIS 2010

halifaxphoto1CAIS 2010: Saint Mary’s University

Ireland and its Discontents

Success and Failure in Modern Ireland

Canadian Association for Irish Studies/ l’Association canadienne d’études irlandaises

Annual Conference, 2010

Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

19-22 May 2010


“Anyone who is failing at one thing,” psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has suggested, “is always succeeding at another.” We invite proposals for papers interrogating the relationship between success and failure in modern and contemporary Ireland, as reflected in its politics, its economic policies, its literature, and its popular culture. The Celtic Tiger is one obvious recent example of a ‘success’ narrative that was intimately linked to a series of failures on the part of Irish society to safeguard its more vulnerable communities. With the recent publication of the “Ryan Report,” to cite another example, it is clear that the success of the Catholic Church in exerting its power over Ireland’s educational and reformatory institutions came at the price of a failure to guarantee the safety and welfare of Ireland’s youth. By the same token, it might be argued that Fianna Fáil’s longtime political success depended on the failure to engage with the ‘National Question,’ i.e., Partition and Northern Ireland. Success and failure, as manifested in language revival policies, in gender-related issues, in the lives of prominent public figures, and the reality and perceptions of the Irish diaspora, including the Irish in Canada, are also topics worthy of consideration.

We welcome papers that address other topics and proposals for special panels.

Please send proposals including contact information (250 words) by e-mail to:

Pádraig Ó Siadhail, D’Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3 ( by 15 January 2010.

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