Insular Cultures

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On behalf of ISAS and the conference organizing committee, I would like to invite you to ISAS 2013 in Dublin. We are confident that this will be a wonderful event, providing an opportunity to enjoy papers from all the disciplines represented in ISAS, as well as trips to famous Irish medieval sites and receptions in venues such as the National Museum of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy and the Long Room in Trinity College, the eighteenth-century library which houses the Book of Kells.

The conference will take place from 29 July to 2 August 2013 and will be hosted jointly by University College Dublin (29 and 30 July) and Trinity College (1 and 2 August). It will begin with an opening reception in the National Museum at 5.15 p.m. on 28 July, at which Seamus Heaney will read poems translated from and inspired by Old English and Old Irish texts, and will end with a conference dinner, preceded by a reception in the Long Room, on 2 August. On Wednesday, 31 July, we are planning an excursion to Glendalough and Powerscourt and there will be a post-conference excursion to Kells, Tara and Clonmacnoise on 3 and 4 August.

The conference theme is “Insular Cultures”, interpreted very broadly. The focus will be on relations between Anglo-Saxon England and Ireland in the early Middle Ages but we also welcome papers on relations between the Anglo-Saxons, their other Celtic neighbours and their non-Celtic neighbours. Related topics, such as continental influence on insular cultures and relations with Iceland, will also be included.Papers on other topics are also most welcome.

The conference will be preceded on July 27-28 by a pre-conference graduate student workshop on databases in the UCD Humanities Institute. We will be giving further details of this in the near future and we hope to provide spaces for up to fifteen students, to be selected by an international competition.

The conference has been supported by UCD and Trinity College, in particular by the UCD School of English, Drama and Film and the TCD School of English, by the Royal Irish Academy, the National Museum of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Bord Bia.

There is plenty of interest for medievalists in Dublin – the National Museum, the Chester Beatty Library, Trinity College Long Room, the Royal Irish Academy, which will mount a display of manuscripts from the period to coincide with ISAS, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Marsh’s Library, the remains of Viking Dublin and much, much more. Dublin is full of good restaurants, cafes, pubs and theatres and we hope that you will get a chance to explore and enjoy the city. We look forward to welcoming you to ISAS 2013 in Dublin.

Prof. Mary Clayton

ISAS 2013 Conference Chair