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2012 International Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana
March 14 ~ 17
Erin at Home, Erin Abroad: Capturing the Irish Experience

From March 14th to March 17th, New Orleans is celebrating the conclusion of the 50th anniversary celebrations of ACIS at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. In recognition of this milestone, the Consul General of Ireland, Paul Gleeson, joined by Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs will extend an official welcome to our members at the opening reception.

2012 also marks the 50th birthday of Cecil Woodham-Smith’s ground-breaking book, The Great Hunger. In honor of these occasions, we are, therefore, particularly pleased to feature as this year’s plenary speakers Christine Kinealy as well as Cormac Ó Gráda to discuss the often controversial and even taboo aspects of this tragedy and how scholarship about the Famine has evolved during the last fifty years.

Stephen Watt, Professor of English, Theatre and Drama, whose research has made important contributions to the fields of Joyce, Irish literary as well as Irish drama and theatre studies will also join us at the conference. His talk will address misnomers about the economics of higher education—that the Humanities and Social Sciences are financial burdens - and outline the strategic positioning of Irish Studies within an emergent “international” or “global” studies movement.

In addition to these esteemed scholars, Pulitzer prize-winning writer, Dan Barry, from the New York Times will also be one of our speakers. His memoir, Pull Me Up, provides a bridge between the subjects studied by historians and those contemplated by poets and writers: identity, family, cultural memory and scars. His book speaks to the contemporary Irish American experience and is a valuable source to both historians as well as literature scholars.

The theme chosen for this conference, Erin at Home, Erin Abroad: Capturing the Irish Experience, continues to engage scholars in diverse fields from history to literature to art and anthropology. The unprecedented response to our call-for-papers attests to the pervasiveness of this theme: more than 475 scholars, writers, actors as well as theatre and film directors from 15 different countries will present and discuss their work. What a fitting way to conclude the 50th birthday of our organization!

We are also very pleased that CULTURE IRELAND provided the sponsorship for Ouroboros , Ireland’s celebrated theatre group, to participate in our conference. Denis Conway, the artistic director of Ouroboros, will give the address and also play Hugh O'Neill, while the part of Archbishop Lombard will be performed by Philip O'Sullivan, the two original actors in the well-known first production of Brian Friel’s Making History by Ouroboros. In addition, James McBride of Loyola University- New Orleans, will be joining them by reading the part of Harry Hoveden.

This is the first time that ACIS meets in New Orleans. Our city, true to its hospitable spirit, is rolling out the red carpet for us. Our large Irish-born and American Irish community has opened its arms, its doors and its pocketbooks to make this event the most memorable in our history. Specific events will take place in private homes and businesses, adn an outpouring of Sponsorship assures that libations adn nourishment will measure up to New Orleans' standards. We encourage everyone ot pay them a visit to say 'thanks'.
Specific events will take place in private homes and businesses, and an outpouring of sponsorship assures that libations and nourishment will measure up to New Orleans’ standards. We encourage everyone to pay them a visit to say ‘thanks’.

Thanks must also go to St. Patrick for making his day the last day of the conference. New Orleans is a city renowned for its celebratory spirit, and our beloved saint must feel quite at home here. We could not envision a more fitting conclusion of our conference. Please be sure to bring with you something green to wear to avoid standing out on that one day where all New Orleans is Irish.

Le gach dea-mhéin,

Laura D. Kelley, Ph.D. 
History Department, Tulane University

Terrence Fitzmorris, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, School of Continuing Studies, Tulane University

Murphy's NOLA
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copyright 2011 Laura D. Kelley