Adopting Literature, History, Memory as its theme, the 28th annual conference of ACIS-South—the Southern Chapter of the American Conference for Irish Studies—takes place from Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, 2017, in the city of Lexington, Kentucky. The host institution is the University of Kentucky. We welcome as keynote speaker W. Ronald Schuchard PhD, Goodrich C. White Professor of English Emeritus, Emory University. 


Call for Papers • Deadline: December 15, 2016

As we live through a decade of centenaries, we remember or reimagine cataclysmic events that helped shape the modern world, not least the Great War, Ireland's Easter Rising, and Russia's Bolshevik Revolution. Each passing year provides opportunities to reflect on the nature of commemoration and remembrance.

This practice is not new. The themes of remembrance and revival are firmly embedded in the history of modern Europe. For its part, Irish literature is permeated with the presence of the past, from Stephen Dedalus’s remark that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" to Seamus Heaney's image of writers and historians "vying with a fierce possessiveness / for the right to set 'the island story' straight.”

Our conference provides a venue to explore the relationship between remembering and the writing of literature and history, and also to think about connections between personal, collective, and national memories. Participants will explore the theme of "remembering" in its widest sense, from personal memories in diaries and oral histories to collective memory, embodied or transmuted in history, literature, folklore, and mythology.

Participants are invited to explore the ways in which memory is produced, represented, and used in Irish culture. Presenters might focus on topics that include, for example:

• personal and collective memory      • selective memory      • nostalgia      • literature and memory      • literary history      • art history      • film      • history and the novel      • poetry and national memory      • grief and elegy      • historical fiction, poetry, or drama      • autobiography and life-writing      • journals and correspondence      • oral history and folklore      • digital memory and digital cultures      • archives      • book history      • tradition and the individual talent      • anxiety of influence      • the author in history      • cultural revivals      • ghosts      • historical writing and the shaping of the past      • the Great War and modern memory      • the Great Hunger and other Irish famines      • 1916      • the Troubles of the early twentieth century      • the Northern Irish Troubles      • the Missing      • history and the postcolonial      • nationalism and gender  • new historicism      • modernism or postmodernism      • music and theatre history      • revisionism      • nationalist, republican, and unionist history      • imagined communities      • cultural studies      • alternative histories      • feminist history      • LGBT history      • politics of commemoration      • anniversaries and centenaries      • parades, memorials, monuments      • funerals      • Celtic languages      • languages in Ireland 

While preference may be given to proposals related to the conference theme, we encourage proposals on any aspect of Irish Studies.

We welcome both individual and panel submissions (three to four participants), as well as proposals for roundtable discussions, performances, and dramatic readings. Interdisciplinary topics are encouraged. Individual proposals should not exceed 250 words and include a sentence about the presenter. Panel proposals should be not exceed 500 words and include a rationale for the panel, plus a brief description of each paper and of the participants. Proposals of 500 words for other presentations should include a rationale and mini-biographies of the participants.


Click HERE to submit proposals and speaker bios

 Deadline: 5:00 pm Eastern on December 15, 2016

Please Note • Presenters must be members of the American Conference for Irish Studies

Should you have questions, please contact the conference organizer Jonathan Allison at


Participants will be offered accommodation at the Downtown Hilton, Lexington, KY, at a conference rate, with free parking and wifi. Lexington is a thriving, small city in the heart of the Bluegrass. Being at the center of America's Thoroughbred and Bourbon industries, Lexington has Sister City status with County Kildare, Ireland; Newmarket, England; Deauville, France; and Shinhidaka, Japan. The university campus is approximately 20 minutes from Bluegrass Airport and 1.5 hours from Cincinatti/Northern Kentucky Airport.

Best Debut Paper Award

If this year’s ACIS-South Conference will mark the first time you have presented at any ACIS conference (national or regional), you are are eligible to enter the competition for the Best Debut Paper Award. To do so, please send to the conference organizer, Jonathan Allison, an electronic version of the paper you will present in early March—the actual version, not a longer exploration of the same topic. The deadline for receipt of entries is 5:00 pm Eastern on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The email address is; and the subject line should read "Debut Paper Submission." Entries will be read by an illustrious, multi-disciplinary panel of judges. The result announcement will occur during the conference's business lunch. In addition to securing a point of distinction for her or his professional résumé, the winner will receive a full refund of the conference registration fee.

Venue Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington: heart of the Bluegrass.



Photo Credit: ms.akr

Conference registration of $200 (or $125 for current students) includes not just all conference sessions and the keynote address, but also the conference dinner on Thursday; the ACIS-South business lunch on Friday; and a concluding party on Saturday night. In addition, it covers morning coffee and pastries—plus some daytime snacks—on Friday and Saturday.

Keynote Ron Schuchard

Keynote speaker: W. Ronald Schuchard PhD, Goodrich C. White Professor of English Emeritus, Emory University.