Famine Arrival ship sculpture by Behan
   Photo courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

"Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland" conference to take place June 3-6, 2015

We are pleased to welcome you to Ireland's Great Hunger Institute's conference to be held at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut in June.

The conference will examine the role of women during a period of sustained hunger or famine. We are delighted to have three prominent and distinguished keynote speakers:  Jason King, PhD, of Galway University; Ciarán Reilly, PhD, of Maynooth University; and Margaret Ward, PhD, of Queen's University, Belfast. We look forward to hearing about their research on this largely disregarded topic. 

Details of the conference can be found below. Please check back regularly for updates to the program.

Papers are welcome from both established and starting scholars - 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

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?

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. Selected papers may be published in a collection following the conference.

Abstracts must be submitted online by February 1, 2015.

Suggested themes:

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

For academic queries please contact Sarah Churchill at sarah.churchill@quinnipiac.edu.

Print the Call for Papers

Submit your abstract 
(Please note - you are required to submit a short bio at time of abstract submission.)

Keynote Presenters

Jason King, PhD, has been a lecturer at the University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth, an Assistant Professor of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, and a visiting professor at the Université de Montréal and University College Cork. He has published extensively in the areas of the Irish famine and famine memory, as well as literary, and theatre studies.  His publications include journal special issues Irish Global Migration and Memory: Transnational Perspectives of Ireland's Famine Exodus (Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, 2014), Memoir, Memory, and Migration in Irish Culture (Irish Review, 2012), and the three volume Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (2008). In 2012, he established a digital Irish famine archive that contains the translated and transcribed annals of the Grey Nuns of Montreal who cared for Famine immigrants, especially widows and orphans, in the city's fever sheds in 1847.  He is now expanding this digital archive in partnership with the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, and the Irish National Famine Museum.

Ciarán Reilly, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates in the department of history at Maynooth University, where he is carrying out research on the Strokestown Park House Archive, which is presently housed in the OPW/NUI Research and Archive Centre at Castletown. The centre is a collaboration between the Office of Public Works and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and located at Castletown House in County Kildare. Reilly has contributed to numerous journals and publications, and is author of a number of books concerning the Great Irish Famine, including: Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine (2014); The Irish Land Agent 1830-1860 (2014) and John Plunket Joly and the Great Famine in King's County (2012).

Margaret Ward, PhD, was the Director of the Women's Resource and Development Agency, based in Belfast, from 2005 until her retirement in December 2013. She has also worked as an academic at Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England. She is a feminist historian, whose first book Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism (1983) was a pioneering study that continues to be influential.  Her other publications include biographies of Maud Gonne and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington as well as many articles on the current situation of women in Northern Ireland. Ward is a Trustee of Museums NI and a board member of Libraries NI and is currently a Visiting Fellow in the School of History and Anthropology at Queen's University, Belfast.

Registration and Conference Information

Registration for the conference is available in two package options, which is for all activities and includes most meals. General registration is available for $240, and student rates are available for $120.

Online registration details and an event schedule will be available in the coming weeks; please check back with us regularly to access our registration system.

Accommodations and Travel

Accommodations: 

On-campus:
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 other personal items such as toiletries, clocks, or hair dryers. In order to receive on-campus accomodations, registration must be complete by May 18, 2015.

*Please note - a car is necessary to travel off campus. Ample parking will be provided.

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

Off-campus:
Please mention "Women and the Great Hunger" conference to receive discounted rate.
Best Western PLUS 
Conference rate: $99 (reserve by June 10)
201 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
203-239-6700

Clarion Hotel & Suites
Conference rate: $116 (reserve by May 3)
2260 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
203-288-3831

The Study at Yale
Conference rate: $239 (reserve by May 2)
1157 Chapel Street
New Haven, Ct 06511
1-866-930-1157



Transportation:

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.