Previous Conferences

NISN Conference 2010

“The Island and the Arts”

The 7th Biannual Conference of the Nordic Irish Studies Network (NISN) at the University of Tromsø, Norway, 2-3 December 2010

Patrick Kavanagh once claimed that Ireland could host an army of a thousand poets at any time. Perhaps that is a small number compared to the island’s rich tradition in traditional and popular music. Yet poetry, pop and folk are not its only creative outlets. Irish theatre contributes to cultural discussions at home and abroad, and visual arts include a range of powerful painters and an ever-increasing outlet of films. Furthermore, new media, generic transgressions, translations and border aesthetics enhance creativity. The island’s nature, its monastic tradition, contested histories, language diversity, social shifts, diasporic dynamics and tax legislation – all these likely and unlikely sources of artistic endeavour keep the cornucopia flowing. Today, as throughout history, the island holds a remarkable position in fields of creative arts, and questions concerning aesthetics and its relations to metaphysical speculation, ethic significance, historical conditioning, social becoming and identitarian processes are both more vital and more compelling than ever. The 2010 NISN conference focuses on the arts of the island and the conditions and critical discourses with which they interact. The organisers welcome 20-minute papers and planned panels of a wide variety connected to the theme. The call for papers opens on 1 November, with a deadline for submitted abstracts of 300 words on 15 June 2010. Confirmed keynote speakers include poets Ciaran Carson and Paul Muldoon, painter Rita Anne Duffy and Professor Michael Parker. The conference is by the University of Tromsø in cooperation with the Norwegian Research Council and the Irish Embassy.

Presenters of papers should be paid-up members of NISN. Contact NISN treasurer Charles Armstrong, for information on membership. Please send abstracts or inquiries to:

Papers may address but are by no means restricted to, the following suggestions:

* relations between the arts
* ekphrastic poetry and prose
* the future of the arts
* arts and language
* arts and politics
* arts and ethics
* arts and history
* arts and psychology
* arts and the environment
* critical discussions of the works of individual artists (e.g. writers, painters, playwrights, musicians, directors)

For further information and registration, please access:

Nordic Irish Studies Network Conference 2008

27-30 MAY 2008


The 6th Biannual Nordic Irish Studies conference is to be held in Vaasa, Finland, from Tuesday evening, 27th May, to Friday 30th May 2008. The conference is to be hosted by the Department of English at the modern campus of the University of Vaasa on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia on the west coast of Finland.

Click here for more information

Nordic Irish Studies Network Conference 2006

The Construction and Deconstruction of Irish Memory

3 – 4 November 2006, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Deadline for proposals and abstracts (200 words for 20-minute papers): 1 July 2006.
Contact: Michael Böss –
The conference will be held in conjunction with a Beckett symposium. The conference will be open to all members of NISN and EFACIS.

November 3: World Theatre: Samuel Beckett and the Theatre

The purpose of the symposium is to discuss the contribution of Beckett’s drama not only to European theatre, but also to the notion of a “world theatre”.

Speakers: Prof. Ronan McDonald (University of Reading), Prof. Werner Huber (University of Vienna), Prof. Claudio Vicentini (University of Naples), Dr. Tatiana Chemi Strøm, Dr. Torunn Kjølner and Dr. Janek Szatkowski (University of Aarhus), M. Phil. Brynhildur Boyce (University of Iceland)

See programme below.

The symposium is organised by The Centre for Irish Studies and the Department of Drama.

November 4: The Construction and Deconstruction of Irish Memory.


Fee: DKK 850 (120 Euro)


Nordic Irish Studies Network Symposium 2006

Remembering and Forgetting in Irish Literature and Politics

Dalarna University College: 8 May 2006 9.45-10.15: Registration and Refreshments (Main Entrance Hall)10.15-10.45: Official Opening (Lecture Room 3) Högskolan’s representatives

with the Irish Ambassador to Sweden, Mr Barrie Robinson

10.45-11.45: Plenary Lecture (Lecture Room 3)
Prof Richard Kearney (Philosophy Dept, Boston College): “Poetics of Remembrance in Contemporary Irish Culture”

11.45-12.00: Refreshments (Main Entrance Hall)

12.00-13.00: Plenary Lecture (Lecture Room 3)
Docent Helena Wulff (Dept of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University):
”Memories in Motion: Place and Travel of Irish Dance”

13.00-14.00: Lunch (Vildgåsen) (Lunch is free of charge for NISN members)

14.00-15.00: Plenary Lecture (Lecture Room 2)
Dr Shane Alcobia-Murphy (School of Language & Literature, University of
Aberdeen) “Unfinished Narratives: Memory and the Representation of Bloody Sunday”

15.00-16.30 Sightseeing or Project Meeting (Lecture Room 2)
NISN (Nordic Irish Studies Network) Memory Project Meeting.

16.30 Post-conference Gathering

Welcome to Dalarna!

Irene Gilsenan Nordin

Symposium Convenor


NISN Conference 2004

The 4th Biannual Conference of NISN (Nordic Irish Studies Network)

Liminal Borderlands: Ireland Past, Present, Future

Interdisciplinary Conference in Irish Studies

took place 22-24 April 2004, at Dalarna University College, Falun, Sweden

The conference was opened by (from left to right) Kerstin Öhrn, Chair of Research Committee, Dalarna University College, Tore Nilsson, Prefect of Dept. of Arts and Languages, University College Dalarna, Ingrid Dahlberg, County Governor of Dalarna, Patrick McCabe, Irish Ambassador to Sweden, and Irene Gilsenan Nordin, Conference Co-ordinator and Host.

Plenary talks were given by (from left to right) Professor Emeritus Bo Almqvist (Dept of Irish Folklore, UCD), Professor Cheryl T. Herr (Dept of English/Cinema and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa), Dr Anthony Roche (Dept of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, UCD), Medbh McGuckian (Queens University), who also gave a poetry reading.

Plenary Speakers and Readers

Plenary speakers: Professor Emeritus Bo Almqvist (Dept of Irish Folklore, UCD), Professor Cheryl T. Herr (Dept of English/Cinema and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa), Dr Anthony Roche (Dept of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, UCD), Medbh McGuckian (Queens University)

Readings by: Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, Medbh McGuckian

Organising committee

Irene Gilsenan Nordin, tel + 46 23 77 8308, email:

Elin Holmsten, tel + 46 23 77 8301, email:

Lil Ersson, email:

Ragnhild Nilsson, email:

Satu Sundström, email:

Loretta Qwarnström, email:

For general inquiries, please email


The 4th Biannual Conference of NISN was sponsored by:

Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Cultural Relations Committee, Ireland

PUD, Pedagogiskt utvecklingscentrum Dalarna (Dalarna Centre for Pedagogical Development)

The International Committee, Dalarna University College

The Irish Embassy in Sweden

The English Department, Dalarna University College

Department of Art and Languages, Dalarna University College


4th Biannual Conference of NISN

Liminal Borderlands: Ireland Past, Present, Future

Interdisciplinary Conference in Irish Studies

Plenary Speakers:

Prof Emeritus Bo Almqvist (Dept of Irish Folklore, UCD)
Prof Cheryl T. Herr (Dept of English/Cinema and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa)
Prof Richard Kearney (Dept of Philosophy, Boston College)
Dr Anthony Roche (Dept of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, UCD)

Readings by

Medbh McGuckian
Eilís Ní Dhuibhne

22 – 24 April, 2004

The 4th Biannual Conference of NISN (Nordic Irish Studies Network) will be
held at University College Dalarna, SWEDEN.

The conference theme is Liminal Borderlands: Ireland Past, Present and
Future. The conference will be interdisciplinary and we welcome submissions
for panels and papers in literature, language, drama, film, art, music,
history, politics, philosophy, cultural studies, folklore, and other
relevant academic disciplines that can relate the conference theme to the
subject of Irish Studies. Possible topics include, but are not limited to

* exile; hybridity; nomadism

* local/global communities; nationalism/postnationalism

* postcolonial subjectivity; migration studies; cultural/linguistic identity

* translation; language politics

* liminal bodies/spaces; threshold experiences; memory

* transgressive identities; cyborgs

* gender; queer theory

Please submit 250-word abstracts/panel proposals, including a short CV, by
15 December, 2003. Papers should be limited to 20 minutes in length.
Presenters of papers are required to be members of NISN (Nordic Irish
Studies Network) by March 04. For information on membership see the NISN
website on

Those who wish to co-ordinate special interest sessions are very welcome to
do so and should notify the conference organiser of the topic and names of
participants. Topic proposals for round-table discussions are also welcome.

The following panels have been proposed:

Negotiating Ethnicity and Identity in Irish American Literature

What are the realities of being Irish and American? How is it different from being Irish or American? Papers addressing questions of subjectivity,identity and ethnicity, or any other other issues related to Irish American literature, are welcome.

For this panel please send abstracts of 250 words no later than 31 January, 2004, to:
Dr Mats Tegmark
Assistant Professor of English
Dalarna University College
SE-79188 Falun, SWEDEN

Hiberno English and the construction of identity

How do Hiberno English dialect and accent affect the construction of identity? How and when is dialectical identity marked? How are language features modified in Irish vs. non-Irish contexts? Papers addressing the linguistic construction of identity, or any other other issues related to Hiberno English, are welcome.

Send abstracts of 250 words no later than 31 January, 2004, to:
Una Cunningham
Associate Professor of English
Dalarna University College
S-79188 Falun
Address all abstracts, proposals and inquires to

Conference organiser:
Dr Irene Gilsenan Nordin
DUCIS (Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies)
Dept of Arts and Languages
University College Dalarna
Campus Lugnet
SE 791 88 Falun, SWEDEN

E-mail:; Phone: +46 23 77 8308; Fax +46 23 77 8080

NISN 2002


It is a great pleasure to invite you all to the third biannual NISN (Nordic Irish Studies Network) conference in Bergen 15-16 (17) May 2002.NISN2002 will be hosted by the University of Bergen, Norway, with the possible support of other academic institutions and take place at Rica Travel Hotel. The conference takes place on 15-16 May and all guests are encouraged to enjoy the felicitous celebrations of the Norwegian National Day on 17 May. We wish all delegates welcome. If you would like to give a paper, the conference will focus on literature and poetics, but papers from all fields of Irish studies are welcome. The conference will be organised into plenary addresses, poetry readings and (parallel) panels of 20 minutes papers according to the number and interests of the delegates.
Guest Speakers:
Edna Longley, Professor, Queen’s University Belfast.
Michael Longley, Whitbread Poetry Prize Winner.
Paul Muldoon, Oxford Professor of Poetry, Howard G.B. Clark Professor in Humanities at Princeton University

NISN 2000

Uppsala University, English Department

Conference programme

Friday May 19
9.00-9.30 Registration
9.30-10.00 Opening (Arne Axelsson, Monica Fryckstedt)
10.00-10.45 Presentation of The Irish Section (Mícheál Ó Flaithearta, Astrid Sandberg, Karin Hansson)
10.45-11.15 Coffee
11.15-12.30 Session 1:
Michael Böss, “Nation and Nationality in the Writings of Eavan Boland”.
Elin Holmsten, “The Abrahamic Journey in Medbh McGuckian’s Poetry”
Irene Gilsenan Nordin, “The Sacred and the Profane: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and the Language of the Body”
12.30-13.30 Lunch at Matikum
13.30-14.45 Session 2:
Marie Arndt
Björn Thysdahl, “Narrative Motifs in Joyce’s Dubliners”
Ruth Sherry, “Irish Jail Journals and Prison Literature”
14.45 -15.15 Coffee
15.15-17.00 Workshop on inter-disciplinary research
19.00-23.15 Boattrip to Skokloster. Dinner and music on the boat.
Saturday 20
9.00- 10.15 Session 3:
Ruben Moi, Crossing the Lines: The Postmodernism of Paul Muldoon’s Poetics within the Contexts of Northern Ireland
Britta Olinder: “The Magic World of Michael Longley”
10.15-10.45 Coffee
10.45-11.45 Session 4: Jacob Nielsen on Colm Tóibín
Åke Persson?
12.00-13.00 General Meeting
13.00 Lunch

NISN 1998 Inaugural Symposium

Refocusing Ireland

30-31 October 1998, Aarhus University, Denmark

John McGahern “Confined Settings”

Professor Lars Ole Saurberg, Odense University “Irish Imagination: New Fiction”

Dr. Christopher Murray, University College Dublin: “New Dramatic Voices”

Michael Longley: Readings of own poetry

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