ACIS-West 2012: Park City, Utah — Conference Program

Ireland and Adaptation

 The American Conference for Irish Studies, West

 28th Annual Meeting

 October 26-28, 2012

 Park City, Utah

 Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley


The 28th Annual Conference for Irish Studies West is sponsored by:

  • American Conference for Irish Studies
  • The College of Humanities, Brigham Young University
  • The Department of English, Brigham Young University


ACIS-West Conference Organizing Committee: 

  • Chair, Brandie R. Siegfried, Nan Osmond Grass Professor of English Literature (Brigham Young University)        
  • Jodi Chilson (Boise State University)
  • Charlotte Headrick (Oregon State University)
  • Matthew Spangler (San José State University)

 Conference Assistants, Brigham Young University:

  •  Sari Carter
  • Lauren Fuller
  • Hillary Gamblin
  • Dan Giullian
  • RoseE Hadden
  • Laura Marostica
  • Rachel Payne
  • Patria Pusey
  • Kelsey Smith

 Officers, American Conference for Irish Studies, West

  •  President: Jodi Chilson (Boise State University)
  • Treasurer: Matthew Spangler (San José State University)



Friday, October 26, 2012


12:30-4:30  (Silver Alcove)


SESSION 1   Adaptations and Uses of Irish Identity

1-2:30 pm – Flagstaff

 Chair: Brandie R. Siegfried (Brigham Young University)

  • Peter Leman (Brigham Young University), “Impersonation and/as Adaptation: Irish Diasporic Identities in British Colonial Fiction”
  • Vincent Cheng (University of Utah), “The Memory of the Boyne: King Billy, National Memory, and Joyce”
  • Claudia Harris (Professor Emeritus, Brigham Young University), “F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Reluctant Irishman”


2:30-2:45 pm

Session 2   Irish Drama: Dissemination, Recognition, Transformation

2:45-4:15 pm – Flagstaff

 Chair:  Peter Leman (Brigham Young University)

  • Matthew Spangler  (San José State University), “Intercultural and Inward Migration in Irish Theatre: An Anthology of Plays”
  • Sarah Kate Anderson (San José State University), “Identity, Myth Bending, and Echoes of Sophocles in By the Bog of Cats
  • Melinda Marks (San José State University), “Found in Translation: Connecting through Otherness in Irish Theatre”


4:15-5:15pm – Flagstaff patio

Welcome:       Jodi Chilson, ACIS-West President
                      Brandie R. Siegfried, Program Chair

 Toast:            Matthew Spangler, ACIS-west Treasurer 



5:30-6:30 pm – Flagstaff

Professor Andrew Murphy (University of St. Andrews)

             “Adapting the Nation’s Taste: Ireland, Reading, and Cultural Nationalism



6:30-8:30pm – Flagstaff

Welcome and Introduction:

John Rosenberg, Dean of the College of Humanities, Brigham Young University


Distinguished Guest, Mr. Gerry Staunton, Consul General of Ireland

Awards Presentation:  

Jodi Chilson, ACIS-west President

                                   Foundational Scholar Award


Saturday, October 27, 2012


7:30-9:00am – Valhalla


Session 3   Genre, Adaptation, and Sociopolitical Critique

9-10:30am – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

Chair: Matthew Spangler (San José State University)

  • Jeanne Armstrong  (Western Washington University), “Garda (The Guard) as Contemporary Film Narrative: Gerry Boyle as Heroic Outlaw and Postcolonial Trickster”
  • Sandra L. Sprayberry  (Birmingham-Southern College), “The Quiet Man?  John Ford and W. B. Yeats”
  • Beulah Baker  (Taylor University), “Seeing Alfred Nobbs as a Mirror: Adaptations in Focus and Self Perception”
  •  James “JD” Patrick Jeans  (San José State University), “The Comic Critique of Irish Catholicism”





Session 4    Political Adaptations: Colonialism, Nationalism, Patriotism

10:45-12:15pm – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

Chair:  Mitch Harris (Clinical Psychologist, Valley Mental Health)

  • Raina G. Celnik-Hickey  (San Francisco State University), “Yeats and the Postcolonial Canon”
  • Bradford Green  (Salem State University), “‘Gaze in Your Omphalos’: Joyce’s Spiritual Inquisition and Protest against English Colonialism”
  • Justin Dolan Stover (Idaho State University), “Irish Political Prisoner Culture in Ireland and Britain, 1916-24”
  • Kelli Drimmel Magargal (San Diego State University), “Celebrating the Unlikely Patriot: Eavan Boland and the Voice of Valor”


LUNCH (on your own)



Session 5   Irishing Popular Monsters

1:45-2:45pm – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

 Chair:  Charlotte J. Headrick

  •  James E. Doan (Nova Southeastern University) and Barbara Brodman  (Nova Southeastern University), “Adapting Dracula to an Irish Context: Reconfiguring the Vampires”

[dramatic reading and discussion]



2:45-3:00 pm


Session 6   Questions of Silence, Legitimacy, Suspicion, and Adaptation

3-4:30pm – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

Chair: Claudia Harris  (Professor Emeritus, Brigham Young University)

  • Kathleen Heininge  (George Fox University), “Reading McGahern’s The Barracks”
  • Marguerite Quintelli-Neary (Winthrop University), “Illegitimate Conflicts: Brian Merriman and Denis Diderot on Bastardy”
  • Mary Power  (University of New Mexico), “Suspicion and Speculation: The Art of O’Brien’s Saints and Sinners
  • John L. Murphy  (DeVry University), “Kevin Barry’s Adaptations of an Unsettled Island”



4:30-5:00 pm



5:00-5:30 pm – Gold and Silver

                  Shelley School of Irish Dance

                  Director T. Shelley, A.D.C.R.G.


DINNER  (on your own) 6-8:00 pm

Various Irish-Themed Activities in Park City, 8:30-10:45 pm (see list)



Sunday, October 23, 2012



7:30-9:00am – Valhalla


Session 7       Staging Adaptation: Theatre and Local Culture

9-10:30am – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

Chair: Jodi Chilson (Boise State University)

  • Charlotte J. Headrick  (Oregon State University), “Adaptations: Irish Drama at Oregon State University”
  • Margaret McPeake  (University of San Francisco), “Portrayals of Irishness in Early San Francisco Theatre”
  • Maria Szasz  (University of New Mexico), “Romantic Irony: ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ in Faith Healer





Session 8       Across Time:  Ancient Texts, Language Quests, and Hypertext

10:45-12:15am – Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

 Chair:  Brandie R. Siegfried  (Brigham Young University)

 Blaine Elliott  (Independent Researcher), “The Best of Kings: HrÓlfs Saga Kraka and the Arthurian Kingly Paradigm”

 Robert Tracy  (University of California, Berkeley), “Another Look at the Language Question: Sebastian Barry’s Andersen’s English

 Oliver Wallis  (New York University), “Hypertextual Adaptations of Finnegans Wake in Online Space”





BUSINESS MEETING 12:30-1:00 / Flagstaff and Viking Boardroom

Presentation of The Willard Potts and Don Jordan Memorial Emerging Scholar Award




Distinguished Guest: Mr. Gerry Staunton, Consul General of Ireland

Gerry Staunton assumed duty as Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States, based in San Francisco, on 18 August, 2008. Born in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland, he has been a member of the Irish Foreign Service for almost thirty years. He is married to Mary (McDermott) and they have two adult children, Louise and David.

For the two years prior to this appointment as Consul General he served at his Department’s Headquarters in Dublin as Deputy Director of the Irish Abroad Unit. This policy unit was established by the Irish Government in 2004 to develop coherent policies on how best to reach out to Irish people, and people of Irish ancestry, throughout the world. The Unit currently provides funding support of in excess of $20 million to Irish Organisations and community groups in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico and Zimbabwe.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Consul General Staunton was assigned to the Irish Consulate in New York City to assist members of the Irish Community who were affected by the attack on the World Trade Centre. Afterwards, he served as Deputy Consul General in New York from 2002 to 2006; his particular responsibilities included political, economic and cultural matters.  During the period 1999 to 2001 he served as Head of the Irish Passport Service and initiated the Automated Passport Project, which has resulted in Ireland having one of the most technically advanced and secure passports in the world. He had the great privilege, in the period 1996 to 1999, to be a member of the Irish Government Talks Team which negotiated the Good Friday Agreement. The Agreement has brought peace, prosperity and a power sharing government to Northern Ireland, after decades of conflict.

He served at the Irish Embassy in Washington DC in the period 1991 to 1994 during which time he visited San Francisco on a number of occasions. He has also served at a variety of posts at the headquarters of the Irish Foreign Service in Dublin.  Mr Staunton replaced Ms Émer Deane as Consul General. Ms Deane has returned to Dublin on the completion of her assignment.


Keynote Speaker: Professor Andrew Murphy, University of St. Andrews

Dr. Andrew Murphy is Professor of English and Head of the School of English at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has published extensively both in the field of Irish literature and culture and in Shakespeare Studies. His Irish work includes Seamus Heaney (2nd edition, 2000) and But the Irish Sea Betwixt Us: Ireland, Colonialism, and Renaissance Literature (1999). His work on Shakespeare includes Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare Publishing (2003) and Shakespeare for the People: Working-class Readers, 1800-1900. He is currently working on a study of cultural nationalism in Ireland in the period 1880-1930.


Performers:  The Shelley Irish Dance Company

The Shelley Irish Dance Company is recognized by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (The Irish Dance Commission), and is Utah’s premier Irish dance performing group. Directed by Tina Shelley and Johanna Lambert, the company has brought innovative, traditional, and contemporary Irish dance choreography to the stage, delighting audiences across the Intermountain West.  Comprised of the finest Championship Irish step dancers in the region, dancers from the Shelley Irish Dance Company have performed at numerous theatrical events here and abroad. 

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