Nationalism and Internationalism: Irish Modernist Poetry of the Interwar Years

Alanna Green's picture
Call for Papers
September 30, 2017
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Modern European History / Studies


The interwar years (1918-1939) were a turbulent time in Ireland. With the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Civil War and the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, Ireland was a nation in upheaval and at war with itself. The symbiotic relationship between the formation of the Irish Free State and the poetry that was produced during the interwar period is of particular if sometimes neglected importance to the canon of Irish Modernism. This panel discussion invites participants to look more deeply at the body of work that came at the end of the Irish Literary Revival and led to the formation of Irish Modernism. 

The reciprocal influence between major writers (James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats) and their minor writer friends (Denis Devlin, Brian Coffey, Thomas MacGreevy and George Reavey) is arguably at the heart of modern Irish poetry, an issue which this panel will debate. The work of these poets, including Irishmen who were actively trying to break free of recent Irish history by living in Europe and abroad, reflect tensions arising from differing attitudes to religious faith and national identity.

Throughout the interwar years, this nucleus of Irish poets wrote poems that bore witness to their country’s strife. As the poets lived and worked between Ireland and Europe, a symbiotic relationship between nation-based Irish Nationalism and modernist internationalism emerges. What results from this is a situation of complex and shifting identities and assertions of difference. This panel discussion will focus on the ways in which Irish Modernist poets dealt with emerging conflicts between national and international identities during the interwar years.

This panel discussion invites participants to look more deeply at the body of work that came at the end of the Irish Literary Revival and led to the formation of Irish Modernism. 

To submit an abstract or to view details of the seminar please go to the following webpage:

Please distribute this CFP as widely as possible so all who are interested in Irish Modernist Poetry are aware of the panel discussion and have the opportunity to submit an abstract.

Deadline for Submission is the 30th September 2017. 

Contact Info: 

PhD Candidate, University of Sussex, Brighton, England.