IRELAND AND AMERICA: THE WRITER AND THE NATION
April 4-5, 2014
Department of English
St Patricks College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Ireland has long been recognised for its rich literary heritage, and its writers have frequently become mythologized figures at home and internationally. However, this literary reputation often belies the much more complex relationship between Irish writers and their homeland. Across the Atlantic, American writers have often become the subjects of national debate for their attempt to confront the scale of the American landscape. Known as a nation of nations, the diversity of the American experience complicates the idea of an American national literature. This conference will explore the nature of the complex relationship between writer and nation with a focus on Irish and American writers. It will examine how ideas about the role of the writer impacts on how the writer and the work are received at home and abroad. The writer is often seen as a chronicler of the times who is expected to engage with the social, political and economic life of the nation. As such, the writer is frequently regarded as a visionary, prophetic figure. However, how are the writer/the work perceived if they move beyond a celebration of the nation to a critique of its values? Is the writer revered or ostracised? Does the native reception of a writer/text differ abroad? These issues also raise debates about the notion of the crossing of actual and figurative boundaries by the writer, the complexity of the portrayal of home, and the issue of identity on individual and collective levels.
Topics might include:
The writer as critic of nation
Creating a nation
Reception of text
Issues of individual and collective identities
Notions of home
Celebration of nation
Transgression of boundaries
Figure/role of the Writer
Papers addressing these ideas specific to the Irish or American context are invited, alongside those that confront both settings.
Please submit the title of the proposed paper and an abstract of 250 words with name and affiliation to Dr Louise Callinan at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 20, 2014.
Papers are welcome from established and emerging scholars. Please note that time slots of twenty minutes are allocated to presentations.
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