Iva Yates, a PhD candidate at the School of Culture and Communication, presented her paper titled “Cathleen Ní Houlihan and Antígona Pérez: A Nationalist Irish-Puerto Rican Connection” at the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) conference, which took place at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore from 24-28 July.
The paper analyses the representation of women as nation in W. B. Yeats’s Cathleen Ní Houlihan and The passion according to Antígona Pérez, a play by Puerto Rican writer Luis Rafael Sánchez. It closely examines the portrayal of the main characters as symbols of the nation, how blood sacrifices are required in different ways to fulfil this role, and how the colonial condition of both island nations at the time the plays were written influenced the texts.
This research is part of her doctoral thesis for the PhD in Creative Writing, provisionally titled The Golden Comb: A Novel and Critical Analysis. The novel’s plot is constructed using the mythology and folklore of Lough Gur goddess, Áine. The research aspect examines the use of mythology and folklore in contemporary and popular literature, and seeks to establish an Irish-Puerto Rican connection through literature.
UL was well represented at the conference with participation from Dr Tina O’Toole, association treasurer; Dr Tina Morin; and former UL Writer in Residence Julian Gough (pictured above). It is the first time it has taken place in Southeast Asia.