Famine Arrival ship sculpture by Behan
   'Arrival - The New Dawn' by John Behan

Ireland's Great Hunger Institute announces "Women and the Great Hunger" conference to take place June 3-6, 2015

As Margaret Ward has demonstrated, Irish women have been systematically "excluded and silenced" in written history, thus denying them their rightful position as agents of change. In regard to Ireland's Great Hunger, while many contemporary depictions of the Famine have been dominated by female imagery, the involvement of women in other ways (e.g., as landowners, as relief-givers or providers for the family) has received little attention. This conference asks: how did women experience-and shape-the tragedy that unfolded in Ireland between 1845 and 1852? And how does the Great Hunger compare with the experience of women in other famines?

Registration details can be found below.

We hope that you will join us for this exciting and ground-breaking conference.

Professor Christine Kinealy
Founding Director
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute

Call for Papers

This conference seeks to explore the diverse-and still largely unexplored-role of women during the Great Hunger. Where appropriate, a comparative approach is encouraged. Abstracts of 300 words are invited. Please include a short biography (maximum 50 words) including your institutional affiliation and contact address. Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length with 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Proposals for specialist panels are welcome. Postgraduates also are encouraged to submit abstracts.

Please send abstracts (no more than 300 words) by February 1, 2015.

Suggested themes:

  • Philanthropy
  • Irish orphan emigration scheme
  • Relief-victims or victors?
  • Children
  • Religious orders
  • The Famine queen
  • The travellers' gaze
  • Nationalist voices
  • The big house
  • Memory and memorialization
  • Visual representations
  • Historiography
  • Emigration
  • Hidden histories
  • Women and the workhouse

Organizers and Keynote Presenters

Margaret Ward, PhD, Honorary Research Fellow in History, Queen's University, Belfast

Jason King, PhD, Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, Moore Institute at NUI Galway

Ciarán Reilly, PhD, Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, NUI Maynooth 

Registration and Conference Information

Registration is offered as a package or by individual days.

Rates are as follows, and include some meals:
Wednesday - $70 - includes lunch and evening reception 
Thursday - $70 - includes breakfast, lunch, and bus to New Haven 
Friday - $90 - includes breakfast, lunch, and conference dinner with entertainment 
Saturday - $70 - includes breakfast and trip to Ireland's Great Hunger museum

All events package - $200 Student rates are $30 per day, or $75 for all events

Online registration details will be forthcoming.

Accommodations and Travel


We are pleased to offer simple on-campus accommodations from Wednesday to Saturday on a first come, first served basis to 35 attendees at the rate of $150 per person.

The single-occupancy rooms are located in our Eastview dormitories and include a bed with linens and towels, as well as a shared bathroom. Please note that guests will need to bring all personal items such as toiletries, clocks, or hair dryers. In order to receive on-campus accomodations, registration must be complete by May 18, 2015.

Click here to take a virtual tour of our campus and conference facilities.


Quinnipiac University is located near many major highways, approximately 20 minutes from New Haven, CT. 

To travel via air transportation, we are just 50 minutes from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT, and less than two hours from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Both have several options for ground transportation upon arrival.Regional ground travel:

  • Metro Taxi (services greater New Haven area) - 203-777-7777 
  • Amtrak Train (nationwide service)
  • Metro North (train services greater New York City, with nearest station being Union Station in New Haven)

Quinnipiac University will have plenty of free parking available on campus.

View directions to Quinnipiac University's York Hill Campus.