MISS: Melbourne’s Gaelic Concerts

MISS: Melbourne’s Gaelic Concerts

11 October 2022. Rhys Ryan’s creative fellowship at the State Library of Victoria examines original manuscripts documenting the annual céilithe held in Melbourne in the early twentieth century. By focusing on the specific dances performed at these concerts and the context in which they occurred, his research considers how, in a period of burgeoning Gaelic cultural consciousness, these choreographies both preserved and promulgated Irish identity throughout the diaspora.

MISS: Irish Convicts and Penal Catholicism

MISS: Irish Convicts and Penal Catholicism

11 September 2022. Fr John Joseph Therry, one of two official Roman Catholic priests appointed to colonial New South Wales in 1820, is widely credited as the 'Founder of the Catholic Church in Australia'. This presentation draws upon correspondence and case studies from the extensive Fr John Joseph Therry Collection held at the State Library of New South Wales to challenge dominant themes in early Irish-Australian historiography, including the religiosity and contributions by convicts and emancipists to the fledgling Catholic Church, and Therry’s role as a community as well as spiritual leader.

MISS: The Crisis of Captain Moonlite

MISS: The Crisis of Captain Moonlite

23 August 2022. Andrew George Scott was born in County Down, Ireland in 1845.  He was raised in a privileged family and as a member of the Irish Church.  After moving to New Zealand with his family, his father was employed as a lay reader for the Church of England.  Shortly afterwards, Scott relocated to Australia and was himself employed as a lay reader in Victoria.  Scott’s father would go on to be ordained a priest and would serve his community in that capacity until his death.  Scott would go on to become one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers (Captain Moonlite) before being hanged in Sydney at the age of 35. This paper explores how a young man who began his career in Australia in the service of the Church ended up as a convicted criminal.  It will be demonstrated that no account of the extraordinary trajectory of Scott’s life is adequate without regard for his personal religiosity.

MISS: Seamus Heaney in Australia

MISS: Seamus Heaney in Australia

19 July 2022. What kind of relationship did the Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney have to Australia? How did his interactions with Australian poets shape his own work, and how has his poetry been received in the country? This paper will survey the relationship between Heaney and Australia: drawing on a range of archival material; exploring his friendships with writers including Vincent Buckley and Les Murray; and revisiting his 1994 appearance at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, a significant moment in the poet’s career.

MISS: An Irish Family in Trinidad

MISS: An Irish Family in Trinidad

10 May 2022. Ulsterman John Black left Belfast after the Seven Years War to establish a Caribbean node in his family’s Atlantic network. He became enmeshed in transatlantic slavery in Grenada and Trinidad as a slave trader, planter and colonial administrator. His daughter Adele was born in Spanish Trinidad and spent most of her childhood in Belfast, before returning to the Caribbean to raise a family with her Irish husband. Both yearned for a return to Ireland but lived out their lives in Trinidad. Father and daughter illuminate the ways of being Irish in a dysfunctional, crisis-ridden slave society, with the complexities and challenges that entailed.

MISS: Ireland Questions

MISS: Ireland Questions

22 March 2022. The transnational history of the 'Ireland Question' in the imperial and ethico-political imaginary of radical and labour movements in (White) Australia during the 'Irish revolutionary period', broadly conceived, are explored in this paper by Dr. Jimmy Yan. It traces the contestation of 'Ireland' as a political signifier, with attention to its constitutive differences, transnational circuitries, utopian investments, relations of recognition and desire, and articulatory practices. Combining attention to settler-colonial difference with the discursive articulation of political forms, it situates the 'Ireland Question' firstly in relation to the political as a signifier of settler ambivalence, and secondly to politics as a social movement.

MISS: Becoming Aussie

MISS: Becoming Aussie

30 November 2021. Research into sociolinguistics shows accents are not fixed or static and can change throughout the lifespan. The way we speak can also shift depending on who we are speaking to, what we are speaking about, and how we position ourselves in given moments in interaction with others. These changes can be more apparent among highly mobile individuals, such as migrants, expatriates, or international students, who frequently move between cities, regions, and countries. In this seminar Dr Chloé Diskin-Holdaway will explore the role that identity and motivation can play in both the conscious and unconscious processes behind our speech production and perception.

MISS Online: Ireland 1922

MISS Online: Ireland 1922

28 September 2021. This seminar will be about the forthcoming collection of articles, Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition, Civil War, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry and to be published by Royal Irish Academy. The collection examines 1922 through key incidents and different perspectives including material culture, violence, gender, politics and the diaspora. A pivotal year in Irish history, 1922 saw the ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty leading to the establishment of the Irish Free State, the outbreak of the Irish Civil War, and the consolidation of partition as Northern Ireland opted out of the Free State settlement.

MISS Online: Sydney Theatre and the Irish play

MISS Online: Sydney Theatre and the Irish play

14 September 2021. Prof. Peter Kuch on The Sydney Theatre and the Irish play in the 1830s. For the most part, Irish roles in the plays produced at the Sydney Theatre Royal throughout the 1830s are notable for their wit, whimsy, sociability and fortuitous problem solving. But as the decade progressed, a reaction set in that saw the re-emergence of the Stage Irishman. The story of the Irish on the Sydney stage throughout the 1830s is a story of Irish character roles and ‘ersatz Irish’ commercial forms.