February 2016

Dear members and friends of the Nordic Irish Studies Network,

I hope that you have all had a great start of the spring term. Please find below a short report on past events and information regarding a number of relevant activities relating to Irish Studies which will be taking place during the coming months in the Nordic countries. There is, once again, a lot to look forward to.


Nordic Circuit of the Irish Itinerary, Gothenburg, Aarhus, Kristiansand and Bergen – September 2015

In Gothenburg the Irish Itinerary was combined with the celebration of the 150 years since the birth of W. B. Yeats. Thus, the event began with Professor Margaret Harper from the University of Limerick giving a talk on Yeats and particularly on A Vision, her new edition of which was published a few days later in Dublin. This was followed by a brief account of Yeats’s significance in Sweden and Thomas Sjösvärd discussing his translation of The Tower. Both sessions were followed by many questions and interesting answers. In addition to reading her own poetry, Vona Groarke analysed and commented on a selection of poems by Yeats, both presentations evoking lively discussions. As in the other Nordic venues of the Irish Itinerary, Steafán Hanvey presented his multimedia performance of life in Northern Ireland.

The whole programme attracted teachers, students and an interested general public, the latter supported by notices in the largest daily paper. The success was enhanced by the visit of the new Irish ambassador, who travelled down from Stockholm. The part of the project focusing on Yeats was financially supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

In Aarhus Vona Groarke read from her most recent collection X, and Steafán Hanvey again performed his piece Look Behind You! which addresses the conflict in Northern Ireland.

In Norway, the Irish Itinerary took place at the University of Agder in Kristiansand and at the University of Bergen in mid-September. Vona Groarke read her poetry and Steafán Hanvey performed “Look Behind You!” at the University of Agder Library and the Kristiansand Public Library, and at Ad Fontes café and restaurant in Bergen.

Other events in Denmark

CISA, Aarhus University: Two lectures by Stephen Hopkins, Leicester University: ‘The Irish Republican Movement and Contested Memories of the 1980-81 Hunger Strikes’, on 26th November, and ‘Memoir-writing and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: New Labour and the Politics of Self-Justification’ on 27th November.

Other activities organised by the Irish Embassy in Denmark

  • Seminar to celebrate the 150th anniversary of W. B. Yeats with Mark Leslie, Creative Director of Martello Media who designed ‘The Life and Works of WB Yeats’ at the National Library of Ireland. Nordatlantens Brygge, 2nd December.
  • Exhibition ‘New Architecture of Ireland’ at the KDAK Library,19th October

Other events in Sweden

DUCIS, Dalarna University: During the Autumn Term 2015, Irish poet and playwright Maria McManus collaborated with the Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies by running a poetry workshop with literature students on the master’s programmes. Maria was at the time a writer-in-residence at the Yeats International Residency, at Litteraturcentrum in Tranås, which was part of the worldwide 150th celebrations of the birth of the Irish poet and Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats.


Nordic Irish Studies – publication of vol. 14 (2015)

The latest issue of Nordic Irish Studies came out just before Christmas 2015. It includes the following:


  • ‘Transnationalism and Transculturality in Twenty-First-Century Irish Novels’ (Margarita Estévez Saá)
  • ‘Ireland on the Waves: Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic as Intergenerational Female Immram’ (Miriam Mara and Andrew Mara)
  • ‘Pregnancy and Abjection in James Joyce’s “The Dead”’ (Barry Ryan)
  • ‘The Evidential Artist: A Conversation with John Banville’ (Aurora Piñeiro)

Politics, History, Sociology, Cultural Studies

  • ‘Representing Post-Conflict Space: Belfast, Cape Town and Cruel Optimism in The Good Man’ (Fiona McCann)
  • ‘“God the father and Joseph the carpenter”: Faith and Fatherhood in Bruce Beresford’s Evelyn’ (Lisa McGonigle)
  • ‘“Hiberniores ipsis hibernis”: The Book of Fermoy as Text-Carrier of Anglo-Irish Identity?’ (Cathinka Dahl Hambro)
  • ‘Martin Glynn’s Newspaper Editorials: Constructing Albany’s Answers to the Irish Questions, 1913-1924’ (Margaret Lasch Carroll)
  • ‘Irish Dance during the Gaelic Revival: Conflicts of Consciousness’ (Sharon Phelan)


This section includes book reviews on the following texts: The Theatre of Brian Friel: Tradition and Modernity (Bloomsbury 2014), Selena by Mary Tighe: A Scholarly Edition (Ashgate 2012), Romantic Ireland: From Tone to Gonne; Fresh Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014), Recollecting Hunger; An Anthology: Cultural Memories of the Great Famine in Irish and British Fiction, 1847-1920 (Irish Academic Press 2012), Irish Theatre in Transition: From the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty-First Century (Macmillan 2015).

Nordic Irish Studies – CFP for 2016, regular issue (deadline: 31 March 2016)

Submissions on any aspect within the field of Irish Studies are welcome for the 2016 regular issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nordic Irish Studies. The journal is listed in MLA, JSTOR, EBSCO-Host databases and classified as category INT-1 in the European Research Index for the Humanities, ERIH. Submissions should be anonymous and accompanied with an abstract, five key words, as well as a separate file containing the author(s)’ information – full name(s), affiliation, contact information, and a short biographical note of approximately 150 words. Submissions should be made electronically to Carmen Zamorano Llena ( for articles on literature, and to Billy Gray ( for articles on politics, history, sociology and cultural studies. The deadline for submissions is 31st March 2016. For further information on submissions, please visit

Nordic Irish Studies – special issue in 2016

A special issue on the theme of ‘Discourses of Inclusion and Exclusion: Marginal Identities in Irish Writing’ will also be published in 2016. This will be guest-edited by Dr. Pilar Villar-Argáiz, University of Granada, Spain, and is expected to appear by the end of August 2016.

NISN book project – update

The book project Ireland and the North, edited by Fionna Barber, Heidi Hansson and Sara Dybris McQuaid, is now well under way. The collection will be divided into three sections, focusing on material culture, political culture and print culture, with contributors from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as from Ireland. Contributions cover the history of Nordic-Irish relations, from before the Viking Age until today, as well as the engagement with northernness as a concept and a specific political phenomenon within Ireland itself. Publication is planned for late 2016.

Nordic Association of English Studies (NAES) conference, University of Agder, Norway – 4-7 May 2016 (deadline for abstracts: 15th February 2016)

The 12th triennial conference of the Nordic Association of English Studies (NAES) will take place in Kristiansand, at the University of Agder, from May 4 to 7. A second and final call for papers has been issued, with a deadline for abstracts on February 15. Papers on Irish-related topics are most welcome! For further information, please visit .

NISN conference – University of Oulu, Finland

The 10th Biannual Conference of the Nordic Irish Studies Network will be held at the University of Oulu, Finland, coinciding with the celebration of the Irish Festival of Oulu. The provisional dates for the conference are October 6 to 7, 2016. Further information will follow soon.

Events in Denmark

CISA in collaboration with Authors in Aarhus presents: Oona Frawley will talk about her book Flight and Donal Ryan about his book Spinning Wheel at Dokk1, April 20th, 2016.

In collaboration with the Irish Embassy, there will also be a visit in late April (date tbc) by Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity College, Dublin. Professor Ohlmeyer will give a series of lectures covering topics such as the Rising, First World War, nationalisms (constitutional, cultural and republican) and their consequences for Britain and the Empire, and Modern Ireland.

All the best,

Carmen Zamorano Llena

NISN chair







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