MISS Programme

An Inter-University Forum for Irish and Irish-Australian Studies

MISS will continue online for the second half of the year, and speakers from outside of Melbourne have been invited to contribute. Zoom links for seminars will be sent closer to the meeting dates. Arrangements for in-person meetings will be confirmed in line with the current government advice. The MISS committee is also considering options that will allow online attendance at in-person seminars (hybrid events). 

Unless otherwise indicated, seminars start at 6:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (Melbourne); 8.30pm New Zealand Standard Time (Wellington); 9:30am Irish Standard Time (Dublin). Recordings will also be available on this page. For zoom details please RSVP to melbirishstudies [at] gmail.com. General queries may be addressed to melbirishstudies [at] gmail.com or dianne.hall [at] vu.edu.au


Semester 2, 2021

Tuesday 10th August, 2021 at 6:30pm (AEST) on Zoom
A/Prof. Katie Barclay, University of Adelaide
In conversation about her recent book: Men on Trial: Performing emotion, embodiment and identity in Ireland, 1800–45

Tuesday 14th September, 2021 at 6:00pm (AEST) at Newman College, Melbourne
Prof. Peter Kuch, University of Otago
The Sydney Theatre and the Irish play in the 1830s

Monday 27th September, 2021 at 6:30pm (AEST) on Zoom
Prof. Fearghal McGarry and Dr Darragh Gannon, Queen’s University, Belfast
In conversation about their new book, Ireland 1922-2022

Semester 1, 2021

Tuesday 29th June, 2021 at 6:30pm (AEST) on Zoom
Dr Jeff Kildea, Dr Perry McIntyre and Dr Richard Reid
To Foster an Irish Spirit – writing the centenary history of the Irish National Association of Australasia

Tuesday 18th May, 2021 at 6:30pm (AEST) on Zoom
Dr Sophie Cooper, Teaching Fellow in Irish History, University of Leicester
Women and the shaping of Irish identities in Melbourne 1857-1920

Tuesday 20th April, 2021 at 6:30pm (AEST) on Zoom
Clive Probyn, Emeritus Professor of English, Monash University.
Anglo-Irish roads to Jonathan Swift

Tuesday 23rd March, 2021 at 12:00 noon (AEDT) on Zoom
Prof. Jane McGaughey, Concordia University, Canada.
“These raving maniacs”: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Irish in Canadian Colonial Lunatic Asylums, 1832-1868


Details for any upcoming seminars are listed immediately below. Recordings and details of past seminars are provided further down the page.


After seminars the speaker usually joins any interested audience members for dinner at a local cafe or hotel. Queries about the seminar series may be directed to any of the MISS convenors: Philip Bull (La Trobe University), Frances Devlin-Glass (Deakin University), Dianne Hall (Victoria University), Elizabeth Malcolm (University of Melbourne), or Ronan McDonald (University of Melbourne)


29 June 2021, Dr Richard Reid, Dr Jeff Kildea, and Dr Perry McIntyre
To Foster an Irish Spirit – writing the centenary history of the Irish National Association of Australasia

18 May 2021, Dr Sophie Cooper
Women and the shaping of Irish identities in Melbourne 1857-1920

20 April 2021, Prof. Clive Probyn
Anglo-Irish roads to Jonathan Swift

23 March 2021, Prof. Jane McGaughey
“These raving maniacs”: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Irish in Canadian Colonial Lunatic Asylums, 1832-1868

8 December 2020, Prof. Jeff Kildea
Hugh Mahon’s expulsion from the Australian parliament in 1920

1 December 2020, Dr Robert Lindsey
Vincent Hearnes and the cultural landscape of Irish Australia

17 November 2020, Dr Craig Pett
The death of Swift’s printer John Harding: new evidence that implicates Swift

13 October 2020, Prof. Sonja Tiernan
Commemorating controversy: Women and the shaping of Modern Ireland


MISS Online: Women and the shaping of Irish identities in Melbourne, 1857-1920

18 May 2021. Traditional migrant histories have emphasised the role of male ‘culture brokers’ in the shaping of migrant communities to the exclusion of influential women. This paper will argue that the priest, the politician, and the publican need to be joined by the teacher and the nun when assessing the influences on multigenerational Irish and Irish Catholic identity in Melbourne.

Keep Reading

MISS Online: Anglo-Irish roads to Jonathan Swift

20 April 2021. What was the relationship between Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and his own experience of contemporary Anglo-Irish travel? The Irish Sea made Swift into a restless and necessary traveller capable of living in the space between an imperial England and a colonised Ireland, never at home in any one place.

Keep Reading

MISS Online: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Irish in Canadian Colonial Lunatic Asylums, 1832-1868

23 March 2021. No study has yet undertaken a detailed analysis of how the Great Irish Famine and negative stereotypes about the Irish affected the rate of their incarceration in Canadian lunatic asylums. Drawing on asylum admission records, case files, annual reports, casebooks, and administrative letters, this paper investigates how being Irish affected the medical treatment offered in Canadian colonial lunatic asylums and the gendered significance these medical determinations had on beliefs about the Irish before Canadian Confederation in 1867.

Keep Reading

MISS Online: The expulsion of Hugh Mahon in 1920

8 December, 2020. November 11 is a date that resonates in Australian history. But more than a half century before Kerr’s coup, November 11 was associated with another dismissal. For on that day in 1920 the Labor member for Kalgoorlie, Irish-born Hugh Mahon, was expelled from parliament for his criticism of British rule in Ireland. Jeff Kildea will discuss how that dismissal came about and how the echoes of the controversy continue to be heard down to the present.

Keep Reading


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