Introducing the 2014–15 Staff–Postgraduate Seminar Series
Welcome to our website and, of course, welcome/welcome back to Trinity College for the new term. Please find all the relevant contact and scheduling details in the pages above.
While you’re here, have a look at the exciting abstract for our inaugural seminar by our resident Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing, Christopher Morash. This will take place on Thursday the 25th of September at 5.15 p.m. in the Neil/Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub.
On the Value of Irish Studies
The editors of what was intended as the first textbook for the wave of new Irish Studies programmes appearing in 1980s—Irish Studies: A General Introduction (1988)—began by listing what they considered to be the three key factors that made ‘Irish Studies’ in those years a worthwhile field of concern: a reconfiguration of ethnicity in the United States since the 1960s; the interest of Ireland as ‘a case-study for students in post-colonial states and societies’; and, finally, ‘perhaps the most immediate and specific factor which has led to the growth of academic and general interest internationally in the Irish experience has been the conflict in Northern Ireland during the past two decades’. As an analysis of the motivation behind many Irish Studies programmes, this now seems not only perceptive, but almost prescient: at the same time, it can be read as defining an object whose referent would all but disappear within a decade. This seminar will approach the question of how Irish Studies has coped with what has been at the very least a shifting object by addressing the question of value. What has been the value of Irish Studies over the past three decades? What values has it promoted, and how has it valued itself? Or has it simply proliferated in an epidemic of value, as Baudrillard might put it? This first seminar in the series will take the occasion to ask questions about the concepts of value that underwrite Irish Studies as a field in the Humanities.
Best wishes, and see you soon,
James, Anne & Stephen