The Wild Irish: The Irish-American Experience
November 20-21, 2015
Valley Forge, PA
The Philadelphia metro will be home to the 2015 Mid-Atlantic ACIS Regional Conference. It is then fitting that we think about the foundations of the strong and proud Irish-American heritage that colors this region as well as the entire Mid-Atlantic coast. The rich industrial history of the region was built largely on the backs of those fleeing the Great Famine. The resulting legacies of the Molly Maguires, the Kensington Nativist Riots, Otis’s “Wild Irish” speech, and many other significant events and people form the foundations of a rich Irish-American history and resilient culture that still exists today. This conference seeks to explore this history by engaging in questions of identity, privilege, and intercultural negotiation.
Possible areas to explore include:
- The Irish and industry
- Irish nationalism in the United States
- Constructions of Irish-American identity
- The Irish political machine
- The Irish and the Mid-Atlantic coast
- Irish neighborhoods
- Irish imagination of life abroad
- Nativism and the Irish
- Molly Maguires, unions, trade organizations
- Irish/Irish-American celebrity (Grace Kelly, Connie Mack, the Barrymores, etc.)
- “Wild Irish”
- Contemporary Irish-American organizations (AOH, cultural centers, etc.)
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Ethnic hyphenation
- Claims to Irish ethnicity
- The Diaspora and the States
While we are interested in panels and papers of local connection to the Philadelphia and the greater Mid-Atlantic region, we welcome proposals for individual papers and panels focusing on all aspects of Irish Studies. Graduate students are encouraged to participate.
Both individual paper and panel submissions (3-4 participants) are welcomed, as are proposals for roundtables presentations. Papers and panels that take an interdisciplinary approach are particularly encouraged. Paper proposals should be 250 words in length, and should include a brief bio of the presenter. Panel proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include a description of the panel as well as brief descriptions of each paper and short bios for each participant. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and are due by August 31, 2015.
The conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Valley Forge and the surrounding suburbs are rich in American and Irish-American history and will provide a fitting backdrop for explorations of local culture.
Nicole R. McClure
Assistant Professor of English