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    Canadian Association for Irish Studies: Halifax, May 2010

    Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

    Call for papers for the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies to be held at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, May 19-22, 2010.

    IRELAND AND ITS DISCONTENTS
    Success and Failure in Modern Ireland

    Canadian Association for Irish Studies/ l’Association canadienne d’études irlandaises Annual Conference, 2010
    Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    19-22 May 2010

    “Anyone who is failing at one thing,” psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has  suggested, “is always succeeding at another.” We invite proposals for papers interrogating the relationship between success and failure in modern and contemporary Ireland, as reflected in its politics, its economic policies, its literature, and its popular culture. The Celtic Tiger is one obvious recent example of a ‘success’ narrative that was intimately linked to a series of failures on the part of Irish society to safeguard its more vulnerable communities. With the recent publication of the “Ryan Report,” to cite another example, it is clear that the success of the Catholic Church in exerting its power over Ireland’s educational and reformatory institutions came at the price of a failure to guarantee the safety and welfare of Ireland’s youth. By the same token, it might be argued that Fianna Fáil’s longtime political success depended on the failure to engage with the ‘National Question,’ i.e., Partition and Northern Ireland. Success and failure, as manifested in language revival policies, in gender-related issues, in the lives of prominent public figures, and the reality and perceptions of the Irish diaspora, including the Irish in Canada, are also topics worthy of consideration.

    We welcome papers that address other topics and proposals for special panels.

    Please send proposals including contact information (250 words) by
    e-mail to:
    Pádraig Ó Siadhail, D’Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3
    (padraig.osiadhail@smu.ca) by 15 January 2010.

    Primary documents

    Friday, July 24th, 2009

    Archives of the Irish experience throughout the world can be found in destination countries, and some of these are online. These are useful for scholars but are also fun for just browsing around – there’s a host of gems here!

    Britain

    Archive of the Irish in Britain

    US

    Archives of Irish America – Includes several exhibitions, including an oral history project called “New York Stories?.

    Library of Congress Memory Project: Immigration

    Canada

    The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf – an exhibition of Irish-Canadian documentary materials held by Library and Archives Canada

    Moving Here, Staying Here: The Canadian Immigrant Experience

    The Ships List – Comprehensive set of documents related to ships and the immigrant experience around the world.

    Australia

    Australia: Convict Transportation database

    More on Irish convicts at Rootsweb.com: Irish Convicts Transported to Australia

    Leaving from Liverpool – an excellent educational site highlighting the experience of migration to Australia through the port of Liverpool.

    Latin America

    Society for Irish Latin-American Studies

    Oral histories

    Friday, July 24th, 2009

    There has been a wonderful trend in recent years of collecting emigrants’ oral histories. Many of those contributing their memories are elderly, and these books, films and websites are an invaluable record of the struggles and triumphs of ordinary people, many of whom have extraordinary stories. Know of any other oral history projects? Drop me a line or fill in the comment box…

    Britain

    Irish Oral History Archivea reference archive and resource for the contemporary and historical spoken narratives of Irish people at home and abroad, especially as they relate to the story of emigration.

    MovingHere.org.uk: Luton Irish Forum – a variety of individuals detail their moves to England

    I Only Came Over For a Couple of Years… 2005 – Interviews with Irish elders in England who arrived between the 1930s and 1960s. (Half-hour documentary, £7 plus postage and packaging)

    Irish Elders Now project

    Dunne, Catherine. An Unconsidered People: The Irish in London. Dublin: New Island, 2003 – a book detailing the experience of older emigrants.

    Canada

    A story to be told: Personal Reflections on the Irish emigrant experience in Canada (book)

    Memories of the Past: Reflections from Ottawa’s Irish Drop-In group – a collection of memories and recipes

    United States

    Archives of Irish America – Interviews with a range of notable people in the New York Irish community, discussing their life history and sense of identity.

    When Mem’ry Brings Us Back Again – the stories of 35 people who moved to New York between 1927- 1964. Available as both book and DVD.

    An Irish (American) Story (film, 1997) – The 96-year-old grandmother of the filmmaker recalls her emigration as a 17-year-old in 1911.

    The Gathering: Collected Oral Histories of the Irish in Montana – Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, this project is based in the University of Montana.

    Irish Dance in Arizona – Tracing the history of Irish dance in the American southwest since 1942.

    Crossroads Irish Oral History Project Archives of the San Francisco Bay Area – Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the project looks at the Irish and Irish-American communities of the San Francisco Bay area.

    Molloy College – documenting the Irish of Long Island and the greater New York area.

    University of Notre Dame – Director of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology Deb Rotman is working on a developing an online archive of Irish-American oral histories.

    Australia

    The National Library of Australia – has a number of Irish-related recordings in its oral history catalog.

    New Zealand

    National Library of New Zealand – has several oral history collections; contact them for Irish-related materials.

    Global and Irish-based

    GAA Oral History Project – recording what the GAA has meant to the Irish people, in their own words.

    Breaking the Silence: Staying at home in an emigrant society – examines the impact of emigration on those who stayed through 78 oral narratives and 12 text contributions.

    Returning to Ireland

    Narratives of Migration and Return – Stories of returning emigrants

    Coming Home: “Stories of young men and women who left Ireland and, after many years in exile, closed the circle of emigration by coming home again? – produced by the Safe Home project – also see their True Lives page.

    A look at unemployment rates in destination countries

    Monday, June 15th, 2009

    With the increasing number of news reports about unemployed people seeking to emigrate, it’s useful to look at unemployment rates in a number of destination countries. These are, of course, only guidelines – no doubt there are national differences in the methods of compiling these statistics that make it difficult to make accurate comparisons.

    Ireland’s unemployment rate is 11.8%. Here are the rates in some of the countries most commonly considered by those seeking to emigrate:

    Working Abroad Expo: Dublin, 21-22 March; Cork, 26-27 March

    Friday, March 20th, 2009

    An event aimed at those considering relocating to work abroad in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and the UK will be held on 21-22 March in the RDS in Dublin and 26-27 March in the Silver Springs Moran Hotel.

    Organisers say the Working Abroad Expo will include immigration officials from Australia, New Zealand and Canada giving visa advice, relocation services, employers and recruitment consultants, and financial advisers. Information on volunteering abroad will also be available.

    For more information, see the Working Abroad Expo website.

    Related article:

    IrishExaminer.com: Destination anywhere

    News report highlights costs of emigration

    Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

    The Irish Independent has run a feature story on the costs associated with emigration, highlighting the visa fees and associated costs.

    It reports, for example, that the General Skilled Migration programme to Australia costs over €5,000 for the visa, for example, while Canada requires that a would-be emigrant show they have at least CA$10,833 (about €6,717) to support themselves while looking for a job.

    Read the entire article at the Irish Independent website: If you want to escape, it will cost you.

    For more advice and information on migrating, check out our “Need Advice?” section.

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