CFP: Multilingual legacies of Ireland’s revolution

Multilingual Legacies of Ireland’s revolution & civil war
24 March 2023, in-person symposium with online presentation options

Ireland’s revolutionary period (1916–1923) is generally studied and approached in terms of the English language. This does not reflect the rich linguistic landscape of early-twentieth century Ireland: large sections of the country were still Irish speaking, the travelling Mincéir community were strongly grounded in their own linguistic traditions, while regional dialects and language varieties, including Ulster Scots, were not just a marker of geographic background but also of socioeconomic class.

Ireland was also home to various ethnic communities, including migrants from France, Germany, Switzerland, as well as a vibrant Jewish community from Russia.

Many Irish revolutionaries were well versed in multiple languages, including Irish, French, German, and Latin. Equally, commentators from across the world were drawn to the contentious events of Ireland’s revolutionary period.

Themes to include:

  • Writing the Irish revolution for non-English language audiences
  • Comparative studies of Ireland’s revolutionary period
  • Translating the Irish revolution
  • Creative responses to Ireland’s revolution (including in fiction, poetry, drama, film)
  • The sociolinguistic impacts of partition
  • Folkloric retellings (particularly in Irish, Cant/Shelta, and Ulster Scots)
  • Language learning among Irish revolutionaries
  • Linguistic collaborations among Irish revolutionaries (including across the Celtic languages)
  • Gender/race/class in considerations of language politics
  • Irish-language publishing & commemoration
  • Perceptions of the Decade of Centenaries internationally/among minority language groups in Ireland today

This symposium invites contributions from scholars working across different languages. It aims to explore how the events of the Irish revolution and civil war were conceived and reconceived in various languages at home and abroad at different points in time and during different political moments. In an increasingly diverse Ireland, what can we learn from these multilingual legacies?

The deadline for paper proposals is 10 December 2022 and the symposium will be held on 24 March 2023. Send proposals (100-200 words) for 15 minute presentations to: Specify if you wish to present in person or online, and if you wish to be considered for a bursary.

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