22 August 2023. In 2018 the Board of the Queensland Irish Association appointed Rodney and Robin Sullivan as Honorary Historians, and commissioned a history to mark its 125th anniversary in 2023. When they asked President Jeff Spender what sort of book he had in mind he replied, ‘a comprehensive history, warts and all.’ They endeavoured to fulfill this request without incurring legal consequences, investigating themes that threaded their way through the history of the Club and Irish Queensland. These included sectarianism, commemoration, and gender. Club premises were a further preoccupation. This paper surveys their presence in A Hundred Thousand Welcomes, and the vistas they offer on Irish Queensland.
25 July 2023. The period between the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries saw the Australian-Catholic middle classes grow in both size and confidence. Those developments were aided in part by the temporal progress of élite Jesuit schools in Sydney and Melbourne. This paper will explore these developments, and place them within the wider context of middle-class Catholic identity, and social and sectarian divisions between the 1890s and 1920s.
21 July 2023. The Irish Government has selected Sydney this year as the international venue for the National Famine Commemoration Day. This year's Commemoration will be on Friday 21st July at 2pm, at the Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine, at Hyde Park Barracks. Irish Minister of State Thomas Byrne TD will be in attendance. On this day we remember all those who left Ireland during the Great Irish Famine, on the long journey to Australia and other parts of the world.
15 July 2023. At the Melbourne General Cemetery, a few members of the Celtic Club had the pleasure of touring Melbourne with historian, Val Noone. This event was pioneered by Prof. Ronan McDonald and Fergal Coleman who worked together to bring their idea to fruition. Val’s vast knowledge offers incredible insight into the lives of our fellow Irishman over the last 200 years in Melbourne.
12-14 June 2024, Irish College, Leuven. Irish Literature and the Global Marketplace. Ireland, with a relatively small domestic population and literary market, has constantly looked outward and developed strong ties with marketplaces beyond its borders. By exploring the relationship between Irish literature and the global marketplace, this conference aims to forge a layered understanding of Irish literary production as an industry, intersected by economic concerns, material infrastructure, human labor, consumerist culture, and the neoliberal system.
16 June 2023. From the recent disruptions of the pandemic to those of emigration and diaspora, Irish history and literature include both large-scale and personal divergences from anticipated futures. These disruptions have initiated transitions to new cultural, political, social, and disciplinary terrains that are often connected to Australia and New Zealand. For ISAANZ 26, the convenors welcome papers on any aspect of Ireland, Irish Australia or Irish New Zealand, or the Irish diaspora generally. In particular, we invite papers addressing the themes of disruption and transition.
15-25 June 2023. Exiles by James Joyce, presented by Bloomsday in Melbourne. Why has James Joyce’s only play been so overlooked? Ahead of its time, featuring free love, polyamory, homoeroticism, bisexuality and thruppledom, Exiles subverts the 19th century adultery comedy in a darkly funny and strange exploration of not one but two sets of partner exchanges… and for good measure throws in a daring undercurrent of homoeroticism, in an era when the open presentation on the stage of such subject matter was strictly taboo. Even avid Joyceans will be startled. Beneath its deceptively conventional surface, Exiles is a gripping psychological drama about love, honesty and fearlessness in intimate relationships. Its characters are complex, shifting, troubled.
2023 Winner of AJIS/ISAANZ postgraduate essay prize is Laoighseach Ní Choistealba for her essay titled "Donegal Anti-Pastoral: Masculinity And Landscape In Two Poems By Francis Harvey And Cathal Ó Searcaigh". The editors received a wide field of excellent essays and wish to thank all those who entered the competition.
9 May 2023. Prof. Stephen Regan speaking on "W. B. Yeats: Culture and Politics in 1921". 1921 was a crucially important year in modern Irish politics. It was the year in which Ireland was partitioned under the Government of Ireland Act, in which a ceasefire brought an end to the most intense phase of the War of Independence, and in which the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. It was also a crucially important year in the life and work of W. B. Yeats. It marked the publication of one of his most powerful books of poems, Michael Robartes and the Dancer, containing ‘Easter 1916’ and ‘The Second Coming’. The birth of his son Michael amid political violence prompted some of his most ambitious work, combining tender family sentiments with anxious fears about the future of civilisation. This talk will look at the key events in Yeats’s life in 1921 and assess the significance of the work he produced in that momentous year. It will close with a critical analysis of one of the great poems that Yeats composed in 1921: ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’.