Adopting Irish Archives as its theme, the 29th annual conference of ACIS-South — the Southern Chapter of the American Conference for Irish Studies — takes place from Thursday, March 22, through Saturday, March 24, 2018, in the city of Columbia, South Carolina. The host institution is the University of South Carolina - Columbia.

We welcome as keynote speakers Seán Kennedy, editor of Beckett and Ireland and co-editor of Samuel Beckett: History, Memory, Archive, and Paula Feldman and Brian Cooney, editors of The Collected Poetry of Mary Tighe


Call for Papers

Submission Deadline:
Monday, January 8, 2018

When, in early 2017, Sotheby’s announced that it planned to offer an enormous collection of William Butler Yeats's family papers and memorabilia at auction, scholars worried about the materials' leaving Ireland — and about their falling into private, rather than public, collections. “Shouldn’t Ireland’s university archives, as well as such organizations as Poetry Ireland, be consulted, alongside national institutions, about the export of literary archives?” asked poet John McAuliffe in the Irish Times in September 2017.

Signed by eighty Irish Studies scholars, a letter to the Irish Times argued that because of the light they shed on "the very making of modern Ireland," the Yeats materials constituted “much more than just a family collection." Even though the Irish State eventually purchased a portion of the collection, the remainder may end up in private hands. The entire controversy raises fundamental questions about the nature, value, and use of archives. This conference will offer a space for exploring the web of relationships between culture, archives, history, and scholarship. We invite presenters to think broadly about this theme, exploring such topics as:

•••   history and politics in the archive
•••   historiography
•••   literary history
•••   history from below
•••   archives and canonicity
•••   archives and marginal(ized) voices
•••   feminist archives
•••   queer archives
•••   migrant archives
•••   material history in the archive
•••   A History of Ireland in 100 Objects
•••   digital humanities and Irish Studies
•••   digital archives
•••   video archives
•••   documentary film
•••   museums and libraries
•••   cemeteries
•••   historical tours
•••   docents
•••   textual archives
•••   commemorations and archives
•••   the archive of place
•••   archival practices
•••   archival methods
•••   archive fever
•••   medical archives
•••   legal archives
•••   archives of abuse
•••   nontraditional archives
•••   ephemera
•••   pamphlets
•••   family collections
•••   oral histories
•••   footnotes and marginalia
•••   archival fragments
•••   archival absences
•••   time and temporalities
•••   anachronisms
•••   representations of space and time
•••   contextual readings
•••   (mis)appropriations
•••   stories of archival work
•••   archival discoveries
•••   archival (re)readings
•••   archives and memory studies

We invite both individual and panel proposals, as well as proposals for roundtables and performances. We also welcome papers on other topics in Irish Studies. Individual proposals should be no more than 250 words and include a two-sentence biography. Panel proposals should be 300-400 words, including a rationale for the panel and brief description of the papers and presenters. Please send proposals to the Conference Organizer, Dr. Ed Madden (University of South Carolina-Columbia) at by January 8, 2018. Presenters must be members of the American Conference for Irish Studies. Accommodations will be offered at the Inn at USC Wyndham Garden, the conference hotel.

Best Debut Paper Award

Submission Deadline for Completed Artifact:
Thursday, March 1, 2018

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, Dr. Ed Madden, an electronic version of the paper you will present — the actual version, not a longer exploration of the same topic. The deadline for receipt of entries is 5:00 pm Eastern on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The email address is; and the subject line should read "Debut Paper Submission." Entries will be read by a 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.