Southern Chapter • AMERICAN CONFERENCE FOR IRISH STUDIES • Annual Conference 2016
Conference Keynote Address • 5:00 - 6:15 pm • Thursday, April 14, 2016
Speakers' Auditorium • Georgia State University Student Center • 44 Courtland Street, Atlanta, GA 30303
"I Am Changing, and Things Around Me Change":
The Making of a Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1916
Keynote Address by Roy Foster PhD, Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford University
Since 1991, Roy Foster has been Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford's Hertford College—the only endowed chair of Irish history in Britain. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a Foundation Scholar in history, he subsequently became Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as holding visiting fellowships at St Anthony's College, Oxford; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; and Princeton University. The principal fruit of his three-year Wolfson British Academy Research Professorship, awarded in 2009, was the acclaimed study Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Professor Roy Foster was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1989, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1986, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1992, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2011. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen; Queen's University, Belfast; Trinity College, Dublin; Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; the National University of Ireland; and the University of Edinburgh. While he specializes in Irish cultural, social and political history in the modern period, Foster has also written about Victorian political history. He received much acclaim for his authorized, two-volume biography of the poet and playwright W.B. Yeats. Currently, he is working on a history of Irish literature.
Breaking down what can be hagiographical or inflexible views, Vivid Faces revises our understanding of the Irish revolutionary generation during the period between 1890 and the Easter 1916 Rising. It considers in particular the radicalization and "conversion- processes" of unexpected figures from middle-class backgrounds. The work examines such coteries as journalists, teachers, and civil servants—and such activities as feminism, suffrage agitation, agit-prop theater, and cultural propaganda. It highlights how circles of activists overlapped and interacted, and it emphasizes the importance of ideas from outside Ireland, as well as foreign parallels.
Foster's books include Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family (1976); Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life (1981); Modern Ireland, 1600-1972 (1988); The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland (1989); The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue: Selected Essays of Hubert Butler (1990); Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History (1993), The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland (2001), which won the 2003 Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism; W.B. Yeats, A Life, Volume I: The Apprentice Mage, 1865-1914 (1997), which won the 1998 James Tait Black Prize for biography; W.B. Yeats, A Life, Volume II: The Arch-Poet, 1915-1939 (2003); Conquering England: The Irish in the Victorian Metropolis (2005), co-written with Fintan Cullen; Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change, 1970-2000 (2006); and Words Alone: Yeats and His Inheritances (2011). Foster is also a well-known critic, reviewer and broadcaster.
Venue Downtown Atlanta
Most conference sessions occur in 25 Park Place, a modern building belonging to Georgia State University, one of the Southeast's leading research universities. The official conference hotel—Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown—is just two blocks away, and prior to 5:00 pm on March 26, 2016, conference attendees can avail of specially discounted room and parking rates.
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.
Author of Transforming 1916: Meaning, Memory, and the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Easter Rising (Cork University Press, 2012), Róisín Higgins of Teesside University presents a plenary on the politics of commemorating the events of Easter Week 1916. Currently, she serves as historical advisor for the Commemoration Zone in Dublin's General Post Office.