Performing Famine Memory:
Irish Theatre and the Great Hunger Symposium
National University of Ireland, Galway, February 12-13, 2015.
Date: Thursday February 12, 1-7pm. Friday February 13, 10am -12pm.
Venue: Hardiman Research Building, G010.
Conference Convener and Contact: Dr. Jason King (Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org)
This symposium examines Irish Theatre and Famine Memory between the periods of the Irish Revival and the rise and fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger. It places special emphasis on the performance of Famine remembrance to register moments of national crisis and forced migration in Ireland, both past and present. The symposium brings together leading Irish theatre and famine scholars and theatre practitioners to explore recent productions about the Great Hunger in the era of the Celtic Tiger, such as DruidMurphy’s revival (2012) of Tom Murphy’s Famine (1968), Sonya Kelly’s How to Keep An Alien (2014), Moonfish Theatre’s bilingual English and Irish language adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s novel Star of the Sea (2014), Jaki McCarrick’s Belfast Girls (2012), Fiona Quinn’s The Voyage of the Orphans (2012), Caroilin Callery and Maggie Gallagher’s “Strokestown – Quebec Connection Youth Arts Project – ‘The Language of Memory and Return’” (2011-2014), Donal O’Kelly’s The Cambria (2005), and Elizabeth Kuti’s The Sugar Wife (2005). Representations of the Great Famine during the Revival in Maud Gonne’s Dawn and early plays staged at the Gate Theatre will also be discussed. The performance of traumatic remembrance of the Famine and pivotal historical events in W.B. Yeats’s The Dreaming of the Bones (1916) will be explored in a keynote address by Professor Chris Morash. Dr. Marguérite Corporaal will also deliver a keynote address on the development of international Famine studies and research networks and opportunities for collaboration.
Symposium Schedule Thursday Februrary 12:
1-2pm. Irish Famine Memory and Migration in Contemporary Theatre Productions:
Barry Houlihan (NUIG), Overview of Irish Theatre Archival Resources at NUI Galway.
Dr. Jason King (NUIG): “Performing the Green Pacific: Staging Female Youth Migration in Jaki
McCarrick’s Belfast Girls (2012) and Fiona Quinn’s The Voyage of the Orphans (2012)”.
Dr. Charlotte McIvor (NUIG): ‘The Cambria (2005) and How To Keep An Alien (2014): Famine Traces and the Palimpsestic Time of Irish Migration’
2-3pm. Staging Famine Memory: Theatre Practitioner Perspectives
Máiréad Ni Chroinin (NUIG and Moonfish Theatre): “Moonfish Theatre’s production of Star of the Sea, based on the novel by Joseph O’Connor” (2014).
Caroilin Callery (Cultural Connections Theatre Group): Strokestown – Quebec Connection Youth Arts Project – ‘The Language of Memory and Return’.
3:30-5pm. DruidMurphy and Early Twentieth-Century Representations of the Great Famine on Stage:
Professor Patrick Lonergan (NUIG): DruidMurphy (2012) and Abbey Productions of Tom Murphy’s Famine.
Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen): “Starvation in the Shadows: (Un)staging the Famine in Maud Gonne’s Dawn (1904)”.
Ruud Van Den Beuken (Radboud University Nijmegen): “’My blessing on the pistol and the powder and the ball!’: Prospective Memories of Landlord Murders in the Earl of Longford’s Ascendancy (1935)”.
6pm. Keynote address: Professor Chris Morash (MRIA, Trinity College, Dublin):
“Re-placing Trauma: Yeats’s The Dreaming of the Bones”.
Plenary Workshop: Dr. Marguérite Corporaal, “Building Irish Famine Research Networks”.
Deputy Thom Kluk from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will introduce keynote speaker Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen). Dr. Corporaal will discuss her European Research Council funded project Relocated Remembrance: The Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847-1921 (http://www.ru.nl/relocatedremembrance/) and her Dutch Research Council funded International Network of Irish Famine Studies (INIFS) (http://www.ru.nl/irishfaminenetwork/). She will consider the challenges of building international research networks and explore the opportunities and themes for research collaboration.