SYMPOSIUM

SUNDAY 10 OCTOBER 2021
CREATIVE ACTS: THE DYNAMICS OF ARTISTIC IRELAND

Click here for the symposium Press Release. 

 

The idea that the Irish possess a natural disposition towards creativity is a long standing and durable one.  Indeed, it might be argued that Matthew Arnold’s nineteenth-century conception of “Celtic Genius” still has traction today, as recognition of Ireland’s artistic prowess grants the island cultural status disproportionate to its size, economic, or geopolitical power.  How and why this image of an “artistic Ireland” developed, who and what it includes and excludes, and how it operates, are the central questions that this symposium seeks to address. 

The aim of this symposium is therefore not to prove or reject specific narratives about Irish artistic achievement, but to find ways to engage and assess the scale and scope of this phenomenon.  In order to explore the stories of Ireland’s creative cultures, this symposium will bring together artists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines.  Through discussion and debate we will ask how culture has been wielded politically, and to what extent narratives about artistic Ireland have emerged organically or been used instrumentally in Ireland’s nation-building process.  Of particular interest is the capacity of artistic cultures to adapt to the increasing heterogeneity of Irish society.  With that in mind, participants will consider issues of diversity and inclusion, past and present, in the contexts of gender, sexuality, nationality, race and ethnicity, at home and abroad. 

This project begins with open-ended questions posed to leading scholars across a range of disciplines.  Villanova University’s Center for Irish Studies will bring a group of over ten scholars together at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco for a symposium focused on the dynamics of artistic Ireland.  Following the symposium, publishing options will be explored (special issue of a journal or an edited collection). 

Participants presented on relevant topics that addressed the theme. The symposium sessions were closed to the public, however, it is planned that findings will be published in the future. 

 

Press Coverage

Irish Central, a widely read publication in North America, featured an article (Nov 2021) on the symposium:  

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/rethinking-irish-culture-princess-grace-irish-library

 

© G. Luci/Palais Princier

Participants of the symposium led by Villanova University (Philadelphia) and guests at the welcome reception at the Prince's Palace.

Symposium participants outside the Princess Grace Irish Library.

 

Click here for the symposium Press Release. 

 

Directors of the Symposium, Joseph Lennon, PhD, associate dean, International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Emily C. Riley Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University and Susan Kelly vonMedicus, co-director of the symposium, niece of the late Princess and instructor in Villanova’s Irish Studies program and department of Theatre and Studio Art
Directors of the Symposium, Joseph Lennon, PhD, associate dean, International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Emily C. Riley Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University and Susan Kelly vonMedicus, co-director of the symposium, niece of the late Princess and instructor in Villanova’s Irish Studies program and department of Theatre and Studio Art
In session at the symposium with academics from the USA and Ireland
In session at the symposium with academics from the USA and Ireland
Directors of the Symposium from Villanova University and members of the Princess Grace Irish Library staff
Directors of the Symposium from Villanova University and members of the Princess Grace Irish Library staff
Participants of the Villanova University symposium visiting the Eileen Gray E-1027 villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
Participants of the Villanova University symposium visiting the Eileen Gray E-1027 villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
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