By Elizabeth O’Neill, PhD candidate, School of English, Irish and Communication
The summer between the first and second years of my PhD was an excellent time to attend the 2019 International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures Conference, which this summer was held in Trinity College Dublin.
IASIL 2019 was a five day conference compromised of presentations, book launches and papers composed and written by those researching and working within the Irish Literature sector. I specialise in contemporary Irish women’s writing so I found it incredibly beneficial to attend a conference that hosted such a wide variety of papers and presentations from across the field of Irish literature.
In particular, I enjoyed attending the “Are We Doing Diversity Justice?” panel which was hosted on Wednesday night in the Royal Irish Academy, and was thrilled to hear new voices outside of the traditional Irish literary canon read their poetry and writing. While it was intriguing to hear about new evaluations of more traditional Irish writers, it was particularly fascinating to hear about the work that academics and students within the field are working to produce in relation to voices that have been neglected within the canon. I found these new writings and readings particularly beneficial in regards to my own research.
As a first time conference attendee, I was also delighted to be able to attend the various papers that my colleagues from the School of English presented throughout the conference. Tracy McAvinue and Tara Giddens in particular provided excellent presentations on Tuesday morning of the conference.
I wish to thank the AHSS Faculty Postgraduate Research Committee for providing me with the opportunity to attend this conference as it allowed me to garner new insight into the field of Irish literary studies and to be able to support my UL School of English researchers at the conference.