Navigating the Betweens of Irish Studies

Villanova University Center for Irish Studies will host the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American Conference for Irish Studies from November 8-10, 2018 at the Inn at Villanova and Villanova University campus.

The field of Irish Studies has been described as interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary.  This conference explores how Irish Studies, like many area studies, is lodged between larger disciplines, ideologies, and methodologies.  Betweenness differs from liminality—often seen as fluid, transitional, or temporary—and suggests a long-standing relationship to others.  If states of betweenness differ from hybrid states that suggest something new born of divergent sources, it may be that betweens are formed by external pressures, and are recognized only secondarily.

For four decades, Irish Studies conferences have featured overlapping studies, as different disciplines have informed one another, challenging methodologies, boundaries, and theories.  Irish Studies, like Ireland’s geography, also occupies in-between spaces, between continents, cultures, disciplines, and professions.  Northern Irish leaders regularly negotiate between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.  Irish ministers negotiate between North America and Europe.

This conference will consider the varied meanings, approaches and uses of betweens to probe the possibilities and limits in critical and scholarly inquiry.   We welcome papers that consider aspects of Irish Studies from the perspectives of being or thinking between.  Studies that forge new methodologies that go between disciplines, opening new spaces of inquiry, are particularly welcome.  Papers might also explore how “being between” is advantageous or disadvantageous, something desirable or something in need of resolution.

Conference highlights:

Philadelphia’s Inis Nua Theatre Company will perform Charolais by Noni Stapleton, acted by Corinna Burns on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:30 in the Communication Department Studio (reception at 6:30 in the Garey Alumni Event Room).

Irish philosopher William Desmond will "Poetic Porosity and Astonished Prayer: The Intimate Metaxu and the Poetics of  Seán Ó Ríordáin” in his keynote lecture.

Kathryn Kirkpatrick, scholar and poet, will deliver a lecture: “Betwixt and Between: Liminal Lagomorphs in Contemporary Irish Poetry" for her keynote address.

A transformational gift from the Connelly Foundation has given Villanova University the opportunity to develop a world-class Center that will bridge disciplines, nations and history.  Building upon the existing Irish Studies Program’s interdisciplinary focus, the Center will bring together local Irish groups, Villanova faculty, and visiting scholars in classrooms, lecture series, publications and public events to share knowledge and stimulate new ideas.  The Center will position Villanova as an academic leader in the field and will expand the university’s capacity for service and outreach to the global Irish community.

While the new Center will strive to make these broader impacts, Irish Studies at Villanova will also remain committed to Philadelphia’s Irish community. This conference reflects Villanova University’s goal of serving as the premier academic resource for the exchange of ideas and information about the Irish diaspora in Philadelphia, and thereby making a signal contribution to the Delaware Valley’s cultural landscape.

To register for the entire 3-day academic conference, please click here for the Mid-Atlantic ACIS website

To register for the performance or plenary events, please click here for the Villanova Center for Irish Studies Event registration.

* Navigating the Betweens of Irish Studies.pdf
Full program for "Navigating the Betweens of Irish Studies"



Charolais by Irish Playwright, Noni Stapleton

Join the Center for Irish Studies staff during Inis Nua's presentation of Charolais, ​a surreal, black comedy of love, longing and one woman’s intense rivalry with a Charolais heifer. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. for minors and faculty in the Garey Hall Communication Studio. The play will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Registration is required.

Charolais flyer

Contact Information

Center for Irish Studies
Villanova University, SAC Room 105E
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Dr. Joseph Lennon
Phone: (610) 519-4647

Assistant Director,
Dr. Jennifer A. Joyce
Phone: (610) 519-8953

Administrative Assistant, 
Kiersten Ludy

Phone: (610) 519-7517

apply now
* Newsletter Spring 2019 January.pdf
January Newsletter 2019
* Irish Studies Calendar SP 2019.pdf
Spring 2019 Calendar
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