After the gathering

This conference reflecting on the Irish diaspora in the aftermath of ‘The Gathering’ initiative was held on 6 June 2014.

Dissonant voices in Irish diaspora studies

The 2013 gathering led to the organization of 5,000 community events across Ireland, expressly aimed at celebrating Irish connections across the globe.  This symposium at PRONI addressed the legacy of this mass initiative, focussing on diaspora histories, representations, culture and politics following the events of the Irish Government’s gathering year.

Conference Introduction: Dr Michael Pierse, Queen’s University Belfast

Panel 1 – theorising the Irish diaspora

  • Chair: Jonathan Evershed, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Dominic Bryan, Queen’s University Belfast – ‘Defining Ireland: Those gathered for Irish studies’
  • Dr Johanne Devlin Trew, University of Ulster – ‘Whose diaspora, whose migration, whose identity?’ Migration and diaspora in the Northern Ireland context since 1921'
  • Prof Mark Boyle, NUI Maynooth – 'Recasting diaspora strategies within care frameworks: The case of the Ireland’s the gathering 2013'

Panel 2 – northern narratives

  • Chair: Dr Liam Kennedy, University of Ulster and Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Brian Lambkin, Mellon Centre for Migration Studies – ‘The gathering and the need for an Irish Diaspora Centre’
  • Dr Frank Ferguson, University of Ulster – ‘Genre diaspora and the return?: transatlantic literary connections and divergences’
  • Dr Carol Baraniuk, University of Ulster – 'Bringing it all back home: the fluctuating reputation of James Orr, Ulster-Scots poet and Irish patriot'
  • Dr Daniel Roberts, Queen’s University Belfast – 'A wandering harpist: James Cousins’ literary identity and posthumous reputation in Ireland and India'

Panel 3 – hidden diasporas

  • Chair: Dr Brian Kelly, School of History, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Bronwyn Walter, Anglia Ruskin University – ‘Hidden’ diasporas? Second and third generation Irish in England and Scotland'
  • Dr Tony Murray, London Metropolitan University – 'Narrative, dislocation and diaspora: The mechanics of migrant subjectivity in Edna O’Brien’s ‘Shovel Kings’
  • Dr David Gleeson, Northumbria University – 'The tree of liberty? United Irishmen and American slavery'
  • Ultan Cowley, independent historian – 'The hidden wound: The gathering and the Irish in Britain'

Keynote: Dr Barry Vann – ‘Natural Liberty in the Bible Belt: Ulster-Scots Emigration and Explaining Voting Patterns in Southern Appalachia’

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