CFP: Post-Crash Irish Literature and Culture

POST-CRASH IRISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE: ITS EMERGENCE AND INFLUENCE

27-28 May 2016, Hong Kong

Keynote speakers:

Anne Mulhall

University College Dublin

Eugene O’Brien

Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick

Guest Poet: Trevor Joyce

In a 2003 Irish Times article, written at the height of the Irish economic boom and concerning the new trend for international publishers to set up shop in Ireland, editor Alison Walsh remarked upon a wider sense of expectation in the publishing world: “There is no great literary movement happening. […] There’s a feeling in the industry that we are waiting to see what happens next.” Few would have anticipated then that such a movement would come from the wreckage of that economic boom. Following a period of prosperity, in 2008 Ireland entered recession, the first country in the Eurozone to do so. Popular unrest and anger followed. In the years since, Irish culture has been coming to terms with that economic downturn. Within literary and artistic domains, the crash has given rise to a range of new voices, and has served to re-shape old ones. Continuities with older periods of Irish cultural resurgence and emergence are central to this new flourishing. Perhaps the idea of “emergence” can itself capture this incipient wave in all its complexity. Emergence describes a process whereby qualitatively new configurations arise from more basic constituent parts. Irish cultural production of the last decade offers one intriguing case study for such a phenomenon, drawing its significance from a shared experience of boom and bust which has prompted multiple forms of aesthetic departure in unforeseen directions. We believe that such developments call for examination. How has new Irish writing been spurred on or bruised by recent historical events? If certain cultural products have not registered these changes, what allows them to remain cloistered? While Ireland is something of a poster girl for economic recovery, how have new forms of expression (both in English and Irish) dealt with the social and cultural anger and angst that accompanies this “recovery”? How have these new works figured a new Ireland, or presented an alternative to the public narrative? And if the idea of a “new Ireland” implies a misplaced unity, where can the cracks be found in this picture? After all, this literary and cultural movement, if we can use such a term, is transnational in nature; these writers and artists are part of an expanding diasporic community and their work resonates with communities experiencing similar transformations.

This conference seeks to explore the parameters of post-crash Irish literature and culture—temporally, geographically and stylistically—from its origins to its influences. We are particularly interested in papers which address the question of emergence, and which take a transnational or comparative approach to the Irish situation.

Possible topics for papers could include, but are not limited to:

  • anger, responsibility, disillusion, culpability, blame, and activism in recent cultural products from, and about, Ireland
    • the current publishing landscape in Ireland, from big to small, e.g. new magazines such as Gorse and The Penny Dreadful
    • questions of periodization, demarcation, and tradition
    • representations of recovery, reform, re-building
    • the diaspora and the literature of the diaspora
    • class, race, and immigration
    • psychosis, mental health
    • language, hegemony
    • digital platforms/social media/multicultural online writing practices
    • The relationship of the individual to the community
    • Humorous and/or satirical responses to crash, recession and recovery
    • Futurity and the future

Please send abstracts of 200 words for papers of twenty minutes to post.crash.emergence@gmail.com by January 31st  2016. We are also open to suggestions for panels and roundtable discussions.

Conference Organisers:
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Hotels near our venues

For those who ae attending the conference from abroad, here are the closest hotels to both venues (CUHK and HKIED):

–          Hyatt Regency (University Station) http://hongkong.shatin.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

–          Royal Park (Shatin Station) http://www.royalpark.com.hk/hongkonghotel/eng/

–          Riverside (Shatin, but across the river) http://www.regalhotel.com/regal-riverside-hotel/en/home/home.html

Provisional Post-Crash Irish-Lit reading list

[If you would like to suggest a book for this provisional bibliography, please email us at post.crash.emergence@gmail.com]

Barrett, Colin, Young Skins (London: Vintage, 2014).

Barry, Kevin,  City of Bohane (London: Vintage, 2011).

—, Beatlebone (London: Canongate, 2015).

—, Dark Lies the Island (London: Vintage, 2013 [2012]).

Baume, Sara, Spill Simmer Falter Wither (Antrim: Windmill, 2015).

Bennett, Claire-Louise, Pond (Dublin: Stinging Fly, 2015).

Costello, Mary, The China Factory (London: Canongate, 2015).

Csengeri, Roíbeard, FIONN (London: Contraband, 2014).

Cummins, James, FLASH BANG (London: Veer, 2011).

Feeney, Elaine, The Radio was Gospel (Knockeven: Salmon, 2013).

—, Where’s Katie? (Knockeven: Salmon, 2010).

Frawley, Oona, Flight (Dublin: Tramp, 2014).

French, Tana, The Secret Place (London: Viking Penguin, 2014).

Gough, Julian, CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (DailyLit, 2013).

—, Jude in London (London: Old Street, 2012).

Hayden, Sarah, System Without Issue (Norfolk: Oystercatcher, 2013).

Healy, Randolph, HEX (Bray: Wild Honey Press, 2012).

Joyce, Trevor, Rome’s Wreck: Translated from the English of Edmund Spenser’s Ruines of Rome (Los Angeles, CA: Cusp, 2014).

—, The Immediate Future (Cork: RunAmok, 2013).

Kilroy, Claire, The Devil I Know (London: Faber, 2012).

Lynch, Paul, Red Sky in the Morning (London: Quercus, 2014).

—, The Black Snow (London: Quercus, 2014).

McBride, Eimear, A Girl is a half formed thing (London: Faber, 2014).

McCardle, Aodán, IS ing (London: Veer, 2011).

McInerny, Lisa, The Glorious Heresies (London: John Murray, 2015).

McKeon, Belinda, Solace (London: Picador, 2011).

—, Tender (London: Picador, 2015).

Mooney, Stephen, The Cursory Epic (London: Contraband, 2014).

Murray, Paul, Skippy Dies (London: Penguin, 2010).

Ní Chonchúir, Nuala, The Closet of Savage Mementos (New Island, 2014).

O’Carroll-Kelly, Ross, Downturn Abbey (London: Penguin, 2013).

—, NAMA Mia! (London: Penguin, 2011).

—, The Oh My God Delusion (London: Penguin, 2010).

—, The Shelbourne Ultimatum (London: Penguin, 2012).

O’Reilly, Ian, Gwaylga, Soogra, ogiss alawn kawka milish (London: Stoma, 2014).

Ryan, Donal, The Spinning Heart (London: Doubleday, 2013).

—, The Thing About December (London: Doubleday, 2014).

Toms, David, Tom O’Bedlam Sings His Song (Newton-le-Willows: Knives, Forks and Spoons, 2010).

Warriner, Rachel, Eleven Days (Cork: RunAmok, 2011).