ACIS-W 2015 CFP: Submissions Due July 1, 2015

Call for Papers

The 31st Annual Meeting
 of the
 American Conference for Irish Studies Western Regional

“Ireland: Memory and Monument”

Rapid City, South Dakota
Sponsored by the University of South Dakota

October 16-18, 2015

Submissions due July 1, 2015 to

We invite you to join us in Rapid City, South Dakota for the 31st annual ACIS-West conference. This interdisciplinary conference features a range of scholarly panels, lectures, readings, exhibits, and performances. We welcome papers on any aspect of Irish studies, including literature, theatre, film, dance, history, economics, sociology, music, religion, politics, language, culture, diaspora, conflict and border studies, the material and visual arts, and comparative studies. We particularly encourage papers and panels that explore the theme of “Ireland: Memory and Monument.” Topics may include, but are not limited to,

• Official forms of commemoration, like statues, plaques, monuments, parades, ceremonies, holidays, as well as their reappropriation
• Contested memorials and counter-memorials
• Buried or erased memories; modes of forgetting
• Private versus collective/public memory
• Memorialization and the sacred
• Geography and regional or local memory
• Literary and artistic commemorations
• Transnational memory (e.g. the Irish diaspora, immigrants to Ireland)
• The business of commemoration: tourism, financing, the media

We welcome not only papers that consider the question of the memorialization within Ireland, but also comparative work that addresses Irish intersections with the global circulation and preservation of memory.
The conference features keynote speaker David C. Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, and keynote performer Donal O’Kelly, award-winning playwright and actor who will stage his play Fionnuala for conference participants.

Western South Dakota, home to some of the nation’s most famous and contested monuments and counter-monuments, provides a rich site in which to explore the preservation and politics of memory. Downtown Rapid City, founded during a gold rush in the 1870s, is steeped in history—statues of U.S. presidents grace every corner, and stories of the Lakota are told through commemorative plaques and statues—while also boasting a lively arts and music scene, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. The conference will take place at the historic Hotel Alex Johnson, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places, has hosted six U.S. Presidents, and is also said to be haunted. The conference organizers invite you to explore Rapid City, “The Gateway to the Black Hills,” as well as its many nearby attractions, including Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, the historic Black Hills 1880 Train, the city of Deadwood, the Badlands National Park, and the Devil’s Tower.

Please submit your proposal by July 1, 2015 to Individual paper and panel submissions (3-4 participants) are welcome, as are proposals for live performances, dramatic readings, poster presentations, or exhibits. Individual proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include a brief biographical statement for the submitter (50 words). In the case of panel proposals, live performances, dramatic readings, posters, or exhibits, please submit a rationale (250-500 words), as well as biographical statements for each of the presenters. To recognize undergraduate research in Irish Studies, we will also organize a special undergraduate panel at the conference, and we encourage exceptional undergraduate students to submit individual paper proposals.

For more information, visit

Please direct any questions to Sarah L. Townsend, Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Dakota,

David Lloyd is a leading scholar of Irish literature and culture, colonialism, and nationalism. He is the author of Nationalism and Minor Literature (1987); Anomalous States (1993); Ireland After History (1999); Irish Times: Temporalities of Irish Modernity (2008); and Irish Culture and Colonial Modernity: The Transformation of Oral Space (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He has also co-published several other books, including The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse (1991), with Abdul JanMohamed; Culture and the State, co-authored with Paul Thomas (1997); The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (1997), with Lisa Lowe; and The Black and Green Atlantic: Cross-Currents of the African and Irish Diasporas (2008), edited with Peter D. O’Neill. Lloyd is also a poet and playwright, and he currently serves as Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside.

Donal O’Kelly is a playwright and actor. His award-winning solo plays include Catalpa, Bat The Father Rabbit The Son, Jimmy Joyced!, and Ailliliú Fionnuala. He has performed throughout Ireland, the UK, and North America, including New York’s Lincoln Center, Toronto’s Winter Garden, the Abbey Theatre, and the Peacock. His film roles include leading roles in Roddy Doyle’s The Van and in the acclaimed bilingual film Kings. He was a founder and artistic director of Dublin’s Calypso Productions, and is an associate director of the peace and justice organization Afri.

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ACIS West 2015 Poster

Hi all,

The Poster for ACIS-W 2015 is here!

ACIS-West Poster 2015

Click on the link below for a .pdf:

ACIS-West Poster 2015

Please forward the poster as far and wide as you wish.

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ACIS-W Conference Program

Hi all, here’s the final ACIS-W 2014 Program! See you soon in Santa Fe!

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Registration for ACIS-West Santa Fe is Now Open!

Hello all,

Registration for October’s conference is now open.

Rates are as follows. There is no additional charge for the reception on Friday night or the banquet on Saturday night. As the banquet will be a buffet, featuring a range of Native American and New Mexican options, you do not need to indicate your meal preferences.

Faculty/Staff $150.00:

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Student $100.00:

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Group (please contact me for more information about this rate) $500.00:

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Guest (please contact me for more information about this rate) $50.00:

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Click on the appropriate button above to register via PayPal. Please register by September 26th: after that date late registration charges will apply.

ACIS-Western Regional does not require a special membership fee; however, all conference participants must be members of the national ACIS organization. For more information about joining ACIS, please follow this link.

If you have any questions or problems, or if you would like to register by sending a check, please contact me at

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ACIS-W 2014: CFP Deadline Changed To July 14th!


We’ve changed the deadline for proposals: they’re now due July 14th.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend (tax-exempt) time with Irish Studies scholars in what is, in the autumn, the most beautiful place in the US (you wish, New England.)

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ACIS West 2014: Getting to Santa Fe


I’ve had a few e-mails from people with questions about getting to Santa Fe, and thought I’d address them generally here:

To fly to Santa Fe you don’t actually have to fly to Santa Fe: and in fact hardly anyone going to Santa Fe does. Santa Fe does have its own airport, but it’s fairly small and expensive to get to. (And largely used by people with only one name: Oprah, Cher, etc.) Most people fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport, which is only about 55 miles south and much more widely and inexpensively accessible.

From there, you can either take the train, which drops you off right across the street from the Hotel Santa Fe, the shuttle, or rent a car. Once you’re in downtown Santa Fe, everything you’ll need is within walking distance, so a car is not necessary, although if you plan to explore the wider environs it’s highly recommended.

Hope this helps. Contact me with any questions.


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ACIS West 2014 Update: Alice McDermott

Hi again,

I just had the news that Alice McDermott is going to be in Santa Fe on the Wednesday before our conference (October 22nd.) She’s speaking as part of the Lannan Foundation‘s Readings & Conversations series. So consider coming into Santa Fe a couple of days early to hear from one of our greatest Irish-American writers!

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