18 AEDEI CONFERENCE: Difference and Indifference in Irish Studies

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Call for Papers
May 19, 2019
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AEDEI 2019 “Difference and Indifference in Irish Studies”
29 - 31 May 2019, University of the Balearic Islands
The thematic focus of this conference revolves mainly around the concepts and realities of
“difference” and “indifference”, and how these have been articulated and represented in
Irish political, social and especially, cultural and literary texts and contexts. With these
themes, we hope to spark discussions and debates across disciplines that address how
intersecting categories of difference – notably, though not exclusively, gender, sexuality,
race, ethnicity, class, dis/ability, age, nationality, religion, or language – operate within Irish
culture and society. Following Sara Ahmed’s argument that “all actions are reactions, in the
sense that what we do is shaped by the contact we have with others” (2004: 4), we wish to
discuss as well how indifference emerges, in multiple forms and varied expressions, as a
highly problematic reaction towards those subjects whose bodies and experiences are
discursively and politically marked as “out of place”, either within the space of the nationstate
or across its borders. Hegemonic discourses of the Irish nation are disrupted by these
subjects and their constructed difference and thus, they become vulnerable to the violence
of geopolitical and social exclusion, forced to constantly “negotiate the discursive structures
that render [their] bodies Other” (Puar 1994: 93). Indifference appears in this context as an
affective and political response that may be interesting to appraise in relation to its double
meaning, as referring to lack of “affective solidarity” (Hemmings 2012: 157); and to the
assimilation of difference mainly through its cooptation by dominant neoliberal discourses,
which in no way alter or erode the unequal power hierarchies imbued in its operations.
From the perspective of Irish Studies, this conference thus seeks to interrogate the
discourses and processes that produce and reproduce what we can call a cultural politics of
in/difference, and its effects both in the material experience of Othered subjects and in their
representation in cultural and literary forms. At the same time, we also seek papers that
examine the strategies of dissent or resistance and possible alternatives that are being
articulated both in the socio-political and the cultural arena, contributing to our communal
thinking and imaginative creation of more effective forms of building community based on
solid equity and social justice grounds.
The conference’s critical focus on in/difference not only speaks to the present but seeks to
engage participants in discussions that consider the past, present, and even future. In the
end, as Elizabeth Grosz claims, “[t]he past is the virtual which coexists with the present. The
past, in other words, is always already contained in the present, not as its cause or its
pattern but rather, as its latency, its virtuality, its potential for being otherwise” (2003: 18)
We welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers coming from varied academic disciplines
(Literature, Media and Film Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies, History, Sociology, Political
Science, Philosophy, Linguistics, etc.) and theoretical approaches (Cultural Studies, Feminist
and Queer Theory, Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies, Globalization Studies, Eco-criticism,
Animal Studies, Affect Theory, etc.).
We invite contributions on topics including, but not limited to, the following:
• Race, ethnicity, and racism (colonization and decolonization, emigration,
immigration, asylum seekers and refugees, Direct Provision, Traveller culture…)
• Gender (violence against women, rape culture and sexual violence, masculinities,
• Sexuality (inequality, discrimination and violence, the marriage referendum,
transgender and transsexual rights…)
• Health, illness, dis/ability
• Age and aging
• Reproductive in/justice (Magdalene laundries, mother and baby homes, abortion,
obstetric violence and hysterectomy, austerity and lack of state support, the politics
of adoption…)
• The posthuman, the non-human, and the inhuman
• Class (poverty and homelessness, social marginalization, austerity Ireland)
• Nation, nationalism, globalization
• The environment, climate change, ecocriticism, sustainability
• Linguistic difference, translation and translatability
• Religious difference
A special panel will be dedicated to young scholars who deal with Irish Studies all over the
world. Thus, M.A. and PhD candidates who are starting or well into their research on Irish
studies at large will be able to present and introduce their research and interest in our
conference. This will provide ample space for debate, discussion and advice.
Confirmed plenary speakers:
Lisa McInerney (writer)
Melatu Uche Okorie (writer)
Anne Mulhall (University College Dublin)
Ailbhe Smyth (former head of Women’s Studies – UCD, activist)
Submission requirements and EXTENDED deadline:
Abstracts of no more than 250 words for twenty-minute papers should be sent to
AEDEI2019@uib.cat by 15 February 2019. Proposals for panels, roundtables and
workshops will be also welcome. Please, include “Abstract AEDEI 2019” in the subject line
of your e-mail. Author/s information is to be provided in a separate file, including name,
affiliation, contact address, paper title and author’s bio-note. Please, name the documents
as follows:
A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be published either in book form,
or in a special issue of an international journal.
Carretera de Alcudia - Pto. Pollensa, Km. 2
Special delegate rates on an ALL INCLUSIVE basis are offered to participants booking
before 28th February, 2019.
For more information, please visit our website: aedei2019.uib.eu
Conference Organiser
Aida Rosende Pérez


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