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Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS)


The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) is a research centre focused on bringing together academic staff and postgraduate students at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and establish strong links to other national and international networks and centres of research.

Drawing on the expertise in the departments of German Studies, French Studies, History and Philosophy, our aim is to provide a unifying framework for the research outputs of staff with interests in the area of Transnational Studies across the departments at Mary Immaculate College and Plassey Campus, University of Limerick, and to enhance inter-institutional links with researchers in Ireland and abroad. We will publish research, thus acting as a nodal point for future research collaboration and inter-institutional co-operation to improve teaching and learning in this field, and in the teaching at postgraduate and undergraduate level. Our goal is hence to put in place a unifying intellectual milieu for research interests across different departments and to inform teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level by laying a foundation for interdisciplinary exchange and transdisciplinary research collaboration. Internationally speaking, we aim to foster inter-institutional links across Ireland, Europe and on a wider international scale and to attract external funding on a national and international level.

The ICTS hopes to contribute to the exploration of processes of exchange, mutuality and influence between individuals, communities and nations in the past and present. This includes questions of identity, migration and diasporic formations across intra- and transnational contexts. In particular, we aim to foster openness towards questions of the transitional nature of cultural identity and communication across cultures in thought and written, visual and musical expressions of culture, and the conceptual spaces that open up between traditionally defined cultural systems. The formation of these spaces, from an ethical, aesthetic and historical point of view, is of special interest to the ICTS.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS)
+353 61 204996

Transnational Approach

The need for a transnational approach within different academic disciplines has become even more pressing in light of the current processes of globalisation and migration. While collective and individual identities seem increasingly hybrid, questions of alterity and exclusion remain relevant issues. This also applies to Ireland, not least because of its own history of migration, and the more recent experience of immigration following the EU-enlargement in 2004.

While global phenomena traditionally have been defined in terms of the nation state, this concept is insufficient to account for complex networks and the movements of people, goods, and ideas throughout history. Transnational networks have been instrumental in shaping the course of Irish and other national histories and in the formation of cultural identities. Our experience is never only ‘national’ but rather a complicated dialectic of diverse ethnic, linguistic, regional, institutional and migrant identities. Transnational Studies brings these dialectics into focus and helps to rethink the borders of traditional assumptions about identity, sovereignty and citizenship. The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) offers a distinctive, interdisciplinary postgraduate and research environment, dedicated to scholarly and public discussion of these ideas.


Executive Board

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS)
Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland
Phone: +353 61 204996 (Arts Office)

Executive Board Members

Dr Sabine Egger, Joint Director
Dr Sabine Egger, Joint Director

Dr Sabine Egger, M.A., PhD 
Joint Director ICTS
Department of German Studies, MIC

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Dr Mairead Ni Bhriain, Joint Director
Dr Mairead Ni Bhriain, Joint Director

Dr Mairead Ni Bhriain, M.A., PhD
Joint Director ICTS
Department of French Studies, MIC

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Dr Ailbhe Kenny
Dr Ailbhe Kenny

Dr Ailbhe Kenny BEd, MEd, PhD
Department of Arts Education, MIC

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Dr Richard McMahon
Dr Richard McMahon

Dr Richard McMahon, M.A., PhD
Department of History, MIC

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Dr Gillian Jein, D.E.A., PhD
School of Modern Languages
Newcastle University
United Kingdom


Dr Britta C. Jung
Dr Britta C. Jung

Dr Britta C. Jung, M.A., PhD
Teaching Fellow in German Studies, MIC

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Advisory Board

Donatella Di Cesare
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Research, History, Philosophy, and Pedagogy
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Joachim Fischer
Jean Monnet Professor of European Studies
University of Limerick, Ireland

Anne Fuchs
Professor and Director of the UCD Humanities Institute
University College Dublin, Ireland

Sara Heinämaa
Lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
University of Helsinki, Finland

Ernest W. B. Hess-Lüttich
Professor Emeritus of German and Linguistics
University of Bern, Switzerland

Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Former President of the Association for Intercultural German Studies

Michael Kelly
Professor Emeritus of French in Modern Languages and Linguistics
University of Southampton, UK

Walter Koschmal
Professor of Slavic Philology/Literature and Cultural Studies
University of Regensburg, Germany
Director of the Europaeum

Dan Maier-Katkin
Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Florida State University, USA
Fellow of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (Florida State University)

Bill Marshall
Professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies
School of Languages, Cultures and Religions (SLCR)
University of Stirling, Scotland
Director of the Institute for Germanic and Romance Studies (University of London, England)

David Murphy
Professor of French Studies
School of Languages, Cultures and Religions (SLCR)
University of Stirling, Scotland

Past Advisers

Eoin Bourke
Professor Emeritus of German Studies
School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
NUI Galway, Ireland

Institutional Affiliations

ICTS Community

Maria Beville
Independent Scholar
Tony Bonfield
Department of Learning, Society, and Religious Education, MIC

Research interests: The exploration and analysis of concepts pertinent to social inclusion and exclusion in education, national and international identities as embedded in curriculum, the investigation of aspects of comparative education in the European context, and the review of a range of concepts attending the nature of educational studies when conceptualised as a field or form of knowledge.

Liam Chambers
Department of History, MIC

Research interests: Eighteenth century Irish history, Irish migration to early modern Europe, history of Catholicism, Irish students, and clergy and colleges in early modern Paris.

Dereke Clements
Department of French Studies (Postgraduate Researcher), MIC
Aoife Connolly
Department of French Studies
Technical University Dublin (City Campus)
Nessa Cronin
Department of Irish Studies
NUI Galway
Aileen Dillane
Lecturer in Ethnomusicology
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
University of Limerick
Philip Dine
Department of French Studies
NUI Galway
Sabine Egger
Department of German Studies, MIC

Research interests: 18th- 21st century literature, comparative literature, intermediality, inter-/transculturalism, memory, topography, alterity and identity, technology and connectivity discourses, travel writing, aesthetics of physical movement, migration, European borderlands.

Deirdre Flynn
Department of English Language and Literature, MIC

Research interests: Contemporary World Literature, Literary Urban Studies, Haruki Murakami, Dystopian Literature, Irish Studies, Migration in contemporary Literature.

Lorenzo Girardi
Department of Philosophy, MIC
Helmut Grugger
Department of German Studies, MIC
Loїc Guyon
Department of French Studies, MIC

Research interests: Issues of crime and justice in 18th and 19th century France, 19th century French travel literature and 19th century French romantic literature.

James Hanrahan
Department of French Studies
Trinity College Dublin
Garbiñe Iztueta Goizueta
Department of English and German Philology
University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Research interests: 20th-21st century literature, comparative literature, memory, topography, body, alterity and identity, travel writing, Herta Müller.

Clíona Hensey
Department of French Studies
NUI Galway
Brian Hughes
Department of History, MIC
Gillian Jein
Department of French Studies
Newcastle University

Research interests: Urban Humanities, esp. French urban cultures of the modern and contemporary period; entanglement of aesthetics, politics and urban environments; materiality, meanings and experiences of the city, most recently in the era of the Anthropocene. (Link to staff profile)

Britta C. Jung
Department of German Studies, MIC

Research interests: 20th and 21st century literature, esp. German, Dutch and American literature; migration literature, border crossings, transculturality, memory and identity formation, medialisation of National Socialism & the Holocaust, youth literature.

Niall Keane
Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
University of Padua

Research interests: Phenomenology, hermeneutics, ancient philosophy and 19th century German philosophy.

Lorraine Kelly
Department of Spanish Studies
NUI Galway
Michael Kelly
Emeritus Professor of French
University of Southampton

Research interests: Modern French culture and society, especially the history of ideas and intellectuals; public policy in the area of languages and language education, in the UK and in Europe more broadly. (Link to staff profile)

Marieke Krajenbrink
Department of German Studies
University of Limerick
Kathryn Laing
Department of English Language and Literature, MIC

Research interests: Late Nineteenth-Century Irish Women’s Writing, Irish Women’s Writing Network (1880-1910), Modernism, Modernist Women’s Writing, Periodical Studies and Archives.

Tony Langlois
Department of Media and Communication Studies, MIC

Research interests: Ethnomusicology, sound media and music, North Africa, popular music, Islamic culture, soundscapes, Eurovision and media ecologies.

Chris Lawn
Department of Philosophy, MIC
John McDonagh
Department of English Language and Literature, MIC
Research interests: Contemporary Postcolonial literature and theory; Contemporary Irish Poetry; Translation studies and the Life and work of Brendan Kennelly and Paul Durcan.
Richard McMahon
Department of History, MIC

Research interests: Modern Irish, Scottish and American history with a particular focus on the comparative and transnational history of violence and the law.

Barry Nevin
Department of French Studies
Technical University Dublin (City Campus)
Mairéad Ní Bhriain
Department of French Studies, MIC

Research interests: French colonial history and the trials of decolonization, French intellectual history, representations/constructions of the French Republic and national identities, impact and legacies of World War II and 20th-century French & Francophone literature.

Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain
Lecturer in Ethnochoreology
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
University of Limerick
Úna Ní Bhroiméil
Department of History, MIC

Research interests: Irish America 1850-1920, visual research in history – political cartoons and photographs in particular, 19th and early 20th century newspapers in Ireland and America.

Róisín Ní Ghairbhí
Roinn na Gaeilge, MIC
Eugene O’Brien
Department of English Language and Literature, MIC
Breandán Ó Cróinín
Roinn na Gaeilge, MIC

Research interests: Litríocht an 18ú hAois, an Fhiannaíocht, an nua-litríocht, foclóireacht na nua-Ghaeilge, teanga agus litríocht Chorca Dhuibhne.

Tony Ó Floinn
Roinn na Gaeilge, MIC

Research Interests: The life, letters and poetry of Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún (1777-1857). Native Irish and Gaelic speakers in North America prior to 1900. The life and works of Dáibhí de Barra (1757/8-1851). The later Irish manuscript tradition in Waterford and adjacent counties.

Rebecca O’Grady
Department of French Studies (Postgraduate Researcher), MIC
Julie Rodgers
Department of French Studies
NUI Maynooth
Hanna Rompf
Department of German Studies (Postgraduate Researcher), MIC
Christiane Schönfeld
Department of German Studies, MIC

Research interests: intercultural adaptation practices (especially German-language literature on film from the late 19th century to the present); migration and exile; cultural representations of alterity and exclusionary practices. (Link to staff profile)

Marc Scully
Department of Psychology, MIC
Catherine Swift
Department of History, MIC

Research interests: Medieval Ireland with particular interest in ogham stones, St Patrick, Old Irish historical sources, Scandinavian society and settlement in Ireland, Brian Boru and the kingdom of Thomond, Anglo-Norman colony of the Mid-West and DNA studies of medieval Irish population.

Basil Vassilicos
Department of Philosophy, MIC
Sandra Aline Wagner
Department of German Studies, MIC

Research Interests: Fantastic Literature and theories about the Fantastic, Transmedia Adaptations, Posthumanism, H. P. Lovecraft, Game Studies, 21st Century Horror, Monster Theory (Zombies, Vampires, Werewolfs), Paranormal Romance, Popular Culture, Psychoanalysis.

Francis Ward
Lecturer in Music Education
Dublin City University
Paula Wojcik
Assistant Professor in World Literature
University of Vienna

News & Events

Royal Irish Academy, Dublin - 12 December 2023

The launch event for #languages250 at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin (12 December 2023) is designed to open up conversations around the value and significance of languages across a range of sectors, including education, business, technology, science, politics, peace-building, diplomacy and culture. Panels include a number of high profile speakers, such as Micheál Martin, Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, language rights activist Linda Ervine, and writer and documentary-maker Manchán Mangan. We will explore ways in which policy can support languages to overcome existing challenges and harness potential opportunities. In short, we will emphasise why languages matter. Ireland can boast of having the longest tradition of 'institutionalised' modern language teaching in academia in the world, thanks to the first university positions in French, German, Italian and Spanish, established in Trinity College Dublin in 1776.

Topics and questions to be addressed at this and following events include: How can we enhance the offering and uptake of languages from early childhood years through to university and beyond? What might an all-Ireland languages strategy look like? How can we sustain and share best practice, also in view of migration and the increasing number of languages spoken in Ireland? How can languages be better supported in the Technological Universities and Further Education colleges? What do developments in Artificial Intelligence mean for the field? To what extent are languages integrated into the broader Irish academic landscape and discourse? How does this impact on Ireland in an increasingly transnational, European and global context?

Full programme here.

The opening event in December 2023 in the RIA will be the first of four annual events, followed by an event in Queen’s University Belfast in 2024, in Limerick in 2025 and finally in Trinity College Dublin in 2026, where the first chairs were established 250 years ago.

In 2025, the Limerick event, co-hosted by MIC and UL, will take into account language learning at primary and secondary level in an international context, with migration as a key focus. We will be inviting contributions by colleagues and practitioners closer to the date, and welcome expressions of interest at any point.

This event series is organised by the Royal Irish Academy’s Languages, Literature, Culture and Communications Committee (LLCC) and the higher education institutions in Ireland.

The '250 Years of Modern Languages at Third Level' working group includes:

  • Prof. Gisela Holfter (UL)
  • Prof. Jürgen Barkhoff (TCD)
  • Prof. Janice Carruthers (QUB)
  • Dr Úna Carthy (ATU)
  • Prof. Michael Cronin (TCD, member of RIA LLCC, 2022-26)
  • Dr Sabine Egger (MIC, member of RIA LLCC, 2022-26)
  • Tanya Flanagan (One Voice for Languages & St Farnan’s Post Primary School)
  • Dr Déirdre Kirwan (former Principal, Scoil Bhríde Cailíní)
  • Prof. Bettina Migge (UCD)
  • Prof. Isabel Torres (QUB)

The launch event is kindly supported by the Faculty of Arts, Roinn na Gaeilge and the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies. The Limerick conference in 2025 will be supported by all Modern Language departments at MIC.

University of Augsburg
University of Augsburg

University of Augsburg (Germany)

From 3 - 5 November 2023 three MIC postgraduate students associated with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) participated in the graduate conference Taking the Bull by the Horns. Humanities and Social Science Perspectives on the Idea of Europe. PhD students Hanna Rompf (German Studies); Rebecca O’Grady (French Studies/German Studies); and Amélie Gaillat (History), discussed the idea of Europe as a transnational space from the perspective of their current research projects.

This was the first step toward a new interdisciplinary graduate network reaching across disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. Networking partners are the University of Augsburg (Germany), University of Verona (Italy), University of Bucharest (Romania), the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and a French partner institution (tbc). The aim is to support graduates at PhD and postdoctoral level from participating institutions to collaborate, access international funding, and support them on their further career paths. Contact person at MIC: Dr Sabine Egger.

Programme and further information here.

Event date/venue: 3-5 November, 2023, Mary Immaculate College.

Dr Áine McGillicuddy, Dublin City University

In 2012 the Italian branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY*) established a library on Lampedusa Island, Italy for use by the local children but also for the many refugee children arriving there from Africa and the Middle East. The challenge was to find books to appeal to children of different ages and from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds - books that could provide some respite for children traumatised by displacement and conflict. Wordless picture books were identified as an ideal genre, given they can be enjoyed by children of all ages without the restriction of language barriers. The Lampedusa Library initiative led to the creation of a collection of wordless picture books, comprising more than a hundred titles, donated from over twenty countries. One set of this collection remains in Lampedusa while another has evolved into a travelling exhibition, the 'Silent Books Project'. Since 2013 this exhibition has toured many countries with the aim of inviting readers, young and old, and from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, to engage with these wordless picture books in diverse ways. The lecture will provide an introduction to IBBY* and its Silent Books project, and discuss responses by different groups of readers. Questions arising may include how picture books with and without text challenge young readers narratively but also enable them to attain agency through the silent power of pictures.

All welcome!

Dr Áine McGillicuddy (B.A., M.A., Ph.D) is Assistant Professor in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) where she lectures in Children’s and YA Literature Studies. She is co-editor of Politics and Ideology in Children’s Literature and has authored articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Alsatian Expressionist writer René Schickele (1883-1940), child exiles from the Nazi era to picturebooks engaging with migration in contemporary contexts. She was a long-standing executive committee member of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (ISSCL) and Vice-President / President of the Irish branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) as well as a board member of the Irish Humanities Alliance from December 2017-2020. She is a member of DCU’s Centre for Translation and Textual Studies (CTTS), was the CTTS Director from January 2017-August 2020, and a member of the DCU research team for the EU co-funded Creative Europe project G-Book 2: European teens as readers and creators (2020-2022).

Event date/venue: 23 March, 2023, Mary Immaculate College.

Dr Sabine Egger, MIC

In 2023, the Faculty of Arts at MIC celebrated 30 years of its landmark BA Liberal Arts this year. In celebration, a series of public lectures took place from January to March showcasing some of the excellent academics who form part of the Faculty and the various subjects which fascinate them.

Elizabeth Shaw was an Irish artist and illustrator with an extraordinary 20th century life story. Born in Belfast in 1920, Shaw spent most of her adult life living in communist East Berlin. She worked as a caricaturist for Neues Deutschland, the newspaper of the ruling Socialist Unity Party. However, Shaw is best known as an author of books for children. Generations of German children, also outside the GDR, have read the picture books she wrote and illustrated, which remain in print to this day. But in Ireland, Elizabeth Shaw has remained largely unknown.

What made Shaw’s work such a success, including its ongoing popularity in today’s Germany? How are her work, private and political life interlinked? How has this influenced her perception through media in Ireland and abroad? What role does her Irish background play in all of this? And, last but not least, what answers can be found in Shaw’s autobiography Irish Berlin, published in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in her recently found Stasi secret police file?

Drawing on her research, and on previously unpublished Stasi archive material found by her colleague, Dr Fergal Lenehan of the University of Jena, Dr Egger’s talk will open new insights into the fascinating life and work of a woman the Irish historian Damian Mac Con Uladh called the “GDR’s most prominent resident from Northern Ireland” - and the recent interest of Irish and British mainstream media in her.

Event date/venue: 23 February, 2023, Mary Immaculate College.

News & Events Archive


Dr Marita Ryan, MIC

The digital world has fundamentally changed how we engage with feminist theory, research and practice. This paper explores the opportunities and challenges presented by digital feminism. It takes, as a starting point, a study by Josiane Jouët who, as part of a three-member research team conducted a two-year research project on feminist activism in France that focused on the role of digital media, analysing its impact on feminist practice and organisation, where as she attests ‘many results have broader implications for the evolution of feminism in Western countries’. The paper examines the implications of a selection of these results in an Irish context and considers the nature of feminisms in Ireland in the present day. It considers how digital media mobilises awareness of feminist causes in both a local and global context and promotes feminist activism in both online and offline environments. Considering forms of digital feminist activism in Ireland facilitates a discussion around the level of material change that may emerge and the transnational spaces and communities that arise from these practices.

Dr Marita Ryan is a Lecturer with the Department of English Language and Literature in Mary Immaculate College where she teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her research interests include literary and cultural theory, French Feminist theory esp. the work of Luce Irigaray, and Contemporary Irish Literature. She was co-editor of Passages: Movements and Moments in Text and Theory and has published articles on Luce Irigaray’s work in a multicultural context. Her doctoral research explored the representation of the migrant in a range of contemporary Irish literature.

The ICTS spring series of lunchtime webinars focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities is presented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies, MIC, and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 4 May, 2022.

Algeria – Ireland: Resistance Cultures Festival
Algeria – Ireland: Resistance Cultures Festival

Curated by: Martin Evans (Sussex University), Mairéad Ní Bhriain (MIC), Dónal Hassett (UCC), Aoife Connolly (TU Dublin)

2022 marks one hundred years since the independence of the Irish State and sixty years since Algerian independence. Bringing together Algerian and Irish photographers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, scholars and writers for the first time, this three-day festival will explore the common anti-colonial resistance histories across these two key moments in the global end of European Empires. Exploring identities, violence, memory, futures, and women’s histories, this unique cross-cultural conversation of rare screenings and performances accompanies the two live cine-concerts of the Battle of Algiers by Asian Dub Foundation. Speakers include Elaine Mokhtefi, Rabah Aissaoui, Steve Savale, Alan O’Leary, Nadja Makhlouf, Martin Evans, Sarah El-Hamed, Paul Torley, Hédia Yelles-Chaouche, Liz Finnigan, Djamel Mrah, Jane Ohlmeyer, Mairéad Ni Bhriain, Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain, Síobhra Aiken, Pat Crowley, Aoife Connolly, Dónal Hassett, Belkacem Belmekki, Sarah Dunstan, Fearghal McGarry, Miriam Nyhan, Mary McAuliffe, Maurice Casey, and Azzedine Haddour.

Event date/venue: 16-18 Sep, 2022, The Sugar Club, Dublin.

Karen Sugrue (Activist & TUS), Dr Carole Quigley (Post-Doc, MIC)

Sociologist, psychotherapist and activist Karen Sugrue (TUS), Dr Carole Quigley, Post-Doc Teaching Fellow in Drama & Theatre Studies (MIC), creator and host of two podcasts, will be joined by a postgraduate student to discuss online abuse and trolling of women and people with vulnerable identities in digital spaces. The event is facilitated by Dr Deirdre Flynn (English Language & Literature) and Dr Sandra Wagner (German Studies).

Karen Sugrue: Women’s Stories from the Frontline of Political Activism

In the last three years I have worked closely with two women while they ran for election and afterwards. I am also co-chair of a national lobbying group working to bring in legislation to put Safe Access Zones around hospitals, GPs, & medical centres to prevent the harassment and intimidation of people by anti-abortion protesters. Women entering political spaces, spaces that were traditionally the almost exclusive domain of men, encounter very specific forms of hate and misogyny from groups who see their power being challenged. Women lobbying for reproductive rights, and any issue related to the bodily autonomy of women and pregnant people, also encounter hate and vitriol from these same groups. A large amount of this hate and anger manifests in online abuse and trolling of women and people with vulnerable identities inhabiting these spaces. I want to talk about the experiences of women who are working to challenge the misogyny that is endemic in political spaces, what that looks like on the ground, how we recognise it, and what we can do collectively to address it and work to co-create spaces that are safe for women to engage with politics.

Dr Carole Quigley: What it means to be The Feminist Babysitter

Rape culture is not a new or emerging problem. It has arguably existed as a product of hegemonic patriarchy since patriarchy was established. It absolutely has a negative impact on those who identify as men, but it has an overwhelming negative impact on those who identify as women. It belongs on a spectrum, where the act of physically carrying out sexual violence against another person or persons exists at the extreme end, but at the other, lives a culture that supports, condones and maintains sexual violence through consistent and sustained performative speech acts. Arguably, rape culture has demonstrably become more visible, dangerous, and unfortunately, accepted, through the rise of social media and ease of access to the Internet. This presentation aims to examine the ways in which rape culture is continually proliferated online, and looks at some of the ways in which we can begin to tackle it.

Karen Sugrue has been with the Social Care Work team in TUS/ Limerick IT for the last 20 years where she works as a sociologist and psychotherapist and teaches the best students in Ireland. She is passionate about inclusive, intersectional feminism, supporting women in politics, and activism in the space of reproductive rights, equality, social justice, and mental health advocacy. She lives close to the college with her kids, her cats, and constant reruns of Star Trek and the West Wing. Dr Carole Quigley (she/her) is a Post-Doc Teaching Fellow in the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. She is the creator and host of two podcasts; The Feminist Babysitter, which tackles contemporary feminist issues, and, Irish Theatre at Play, which examines all aspects of Irish theatre. She is heavily focused on embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles in the workplace, with a specific focus on deconstructing implicit biases. In relation to theatre, her main research interests include; women on the contemporary Irish stage, the female body in performance, representations of feminisms and femininities in Ireland, sexual violence against women and the construction of a global ‘rape culture’, and navigating the sexual and sexualised female performer.

This roundtable is part of our spring series, focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities, organized in association with the Institute of Irish Studies and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 6 April, 2022.

Sandra Binnert, Justus Liebig University of Gießen

The question of whether there is such a thing as female writing or reading has been a recurrent topic in literary studies. Research shows that canonical literature is defined in masculine terms and that these are passed on through our reading habits and educational systems. The same applies to contemporary book markets. My lecture discusses the perspectives of two female literary scholars on the issue: Ruth Klüger, who looks at how literatures are being read, and Nicole Seifert, whose book FrauenLiteratur, published in 2021, is currently a bestseller in the German-speaking countries. In it Seifert not only rediscovers ‚forgotten‘ women writers and exposes structures in the literary industry that still put female authors at a disadvantage, but also challenges the term ‚forgotten‘ in this context. Furthermore, I will look at the way Seifert is using social media and her blog to raise awareness for international women writers.

Sandra Binnert is working on a PhD on Unterdrückte Narrative – zu Leben und Werk Karl Gerbers (Suppressed Narratives - on the Life and Work of Karl Gerber) at the Centre for Holocaustliteratur of the Justus Liebig University of Gießen (JLG). She teaches on programmes for international students at the JLG’s Department of English and is currently visiting the Department of German Studies at MIC as part of an ERASMUS+ staff exchange.

The ICTS spring series of lunchtime webinars focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities is presented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies, MIC, and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 23 March, 2022.

The Visibility Trap
The Visibility Trap
Sexism, Surveillance and Social Media

Dr Mary McGill, Carlow IT

For many demographics, online visibility has become a non-negotiable aspect of selfhood in the digital age. On platforms like Instagram, there is a distinct emphasis on certain modes of feminine visibility while others are side-lined or rendered invisible. On platforms like Twitter, women’s visibility is both generative in terms of self-expression and political organising, and restrictive when such activities are met with digitised sexism that goes unchallenged. This landscape is characterised by what I call the visibility trap, a neoliberal conception of agency-through-visibility where one is at once ‘free’ to be visible but also held responsible for the unpredictable outcomes of ‘choosing’ visibility. This talk will explore the punitive and deeply gendered effects of the visibility trap, exploring how platforms and their ideological underpinnings enable and encourage visibility (and happily profit from it) while constraining and policing its potential, producing outcomes that are often regressive rather than progressive.

Dr Mary McGill is a Media Studies lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Technology, Carlow. She is a former Hardiman Scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her doctoral research explores issues of homosocial surveillance, digital visibility and representation in young women’s selfiepractises. She is a regular contributor to RTÉ Radio One’s nightly arts show Arena and the Irish Independent. You find her book at New Island and at O’Mahony’s.

The ICTS spring series of lunchtime webinars focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities is presented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies, MIC, and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 9 March, 2022.

Dr Marc Scully, MIC

This paper gives a partial overview of a recent project on the experiences of transnational families between Ireland and Britain during the period of Covid-related restrictions on international travel. My collaborators on this project were Dr Sara Hannafin (now of the Dept of Geography at UL), and Dr Niamh McNamara (Dept of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University). Previous research has highlighted the extent to which ease of movement is central to the identities and support networks of transnational migrants, which raises the question of the psychological consequences of such mobility no longer being possible. We designed an online qualitative survey, which explored participants’ accounts of the extent to which their mobility has been disrupted by the pandemic, and the effect this has had on their support networks and sense of identity and belonging. Through press releases and social media, we recruited Irish migrants in Britain and British migrants in Ireland as well as their close family members. The survey ran between November 2020 and January 2021 with 496 completed responses. In giving an account of participants’ responses to the survey, my focus on this paper will be on two aspects:

  1. The high degree of alienation expressed by transnational migrants, with a previous sense of belonging in both countries, replaced by a sense of belonging in neither.
  2. The underacknowledged networks of transnational care between Ireland and Britain, the specifically gendered nature of this care, and how these networks were disrupted by the pandemic.

Dr Marc Scully is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts at Mary Immaculate College. His research interests centre around discursive approaches to identity and authenticity, particularly in the context of migration, diaspora and transnationalism.

The ICTS spring series of lunchtime webinars focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities is presented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies, MIC, and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 2 March, 2022.

Margaret Moloney from Glin, Co. Limerick

We are delighted to welcome local historian Sharon Slater and two international performative artists, Angie Smalis and Colin Gee. Their current projects are opening new perspectives on a Limerick woman, born in 1868, who embarked on an exceptional career but has been largely forgotten about.

Sharon Slater: How much does a plaque actually tell us? The bust of Margaret Moloney, Glin.

The plaque beneath the bust of Margaret Moloney, in Glin, contains thirteen words spread over five lines. These mere thirteen words set out to inform the public of the life of an extraordinary woman, but how much does this plaque tell us, and just as importantly, what is missing. This talk will explore the importance of public monuments in local communities and how the information on plaques guides the perception of the individual immortalised by it.

Colin Gee & Angie Smalis: 'Moloney' – A Video Installation

'Moloney' is a video installation of a script-based dance work about Margaret Moloney (1868-1952), Glin’s final harbour master and the only known woman in this role. The installation shows how its female protagonist 'Barbara' contemplates on Moloney as a woman in a position of power, managing the flow of maritime traffic. Reflecting on the latter and on the perspectives of men that Moloney encountered, Barbara explores ways of learning both from nature and history, especially how to navigate, and negotiate, between people. 'Moloney' is part of the trilogy Persuasion in which Smalis and Gee explore historical and artistic perspectives through the use of storytelling techniques and place-based narrative for dance. The installation is touring the following venues between February and April 2022: Dance Limerick (What Next Dance Festival); Firkin Crane, Cork; Glor Theatre, Ennis; Irish Chamber Orchestra Studio; Nenagh Arts Centre; Dance Ireland, Dublin; Brandeis University Boston (Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts).

Sharon Slater is currently the Historian-in-Residence at Ormston House. Her most recent publication, 100 Women of Limerick, is due for release in March 2022. This publication details the lives of women who, for the most part, have been forgotten in their native county.

Angie Smalis is a contemporary dance artist from Athens, artistic director of the Limerick Youth Theatre and Patterns Dance Collective. She has performed internationally with ensembles including the Vienna Volksoper and Daghda Dance Co.

Colin Gee is a performing artist based in New York City. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, and has performed internationally as a clown with Cirque du Soleil. In their work together they have been described by the New York Times as “poetic in their efficiency”, “uncannily absorbing”, and "with their subtle physical shifts come emotional ones, in mercurial succession”.

The ICTS spring series of lunchtime webinars focusing on Digital Spaces and Transnational Femininities is presented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies, MIC, and the Irish Women’s Writing Network.

Event date: 22 February, 2022.


Dr Yvonne Zivkovic, University of Graz

In the 1980s, a group of Eastern European dissidents resuscitated the notion of “Mitteleuropa” or Central Europe, previously associated with Germanic cultural and economic eastward expansion, to protest against the disappearance of the Soviet occupied part of the continent from the cultural map of the West. Debates over whether this Central Europe was an imagined, nostalgically distorted space have continued to this day, gaining new relevance with the postSocialist rise of right-wing nationalism in the states of the so-called Visegrad group (Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary), while running counter to progressive ideas associated with the Central Europe imagined in the 1980s. Polish director Stanislaw Mucha, based in Germany, captures different myths and notions about Central Europe in his documentary, “Die Mitte” (The Center). The camera team visits locations in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, all of which claim to be located at the center of Europe. Merging the genres of road trip and documentary, Mucha places sometimes humorous, sometimes somber interviews with residents between vistas of ‘eastern’ wilderness and dilapidated urban landscapes. These encounters with the residents of various Central European towns and villages and the stories they tell emphasize that “Mitteleuropa” is embodied and narrated through its people as much as in historically palimpsestic spaces. Filmed in several languages and released in 2004, the year of the EU ‘Osterweiterung,’ it highlights the ambivalent notions of center and periphery, development and backwardness, but also of mobility and belonging that are still associated with the European East

Yvonne Zivkovic is a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Graz, where she is working on her second book on the representation of heritage by contemporary migrant authors in Germany and Austria. Her first book, The Literary Politics of Mitteleuropa – Reconfiguring Spatial Memory in Austrian and Yugoslav Literature after 1945 was published in February with Camden House. She received her Ph.D. in German and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, New York. Her research focuses on the relationship between German speaking lands and Eastern Europe, with particular interests in migration, memory, gender, affect, film and Jewish Studies.

To watch the complete film, you can to access it here.

Event date: 15 December, 2021.

Dr Hannelore Roth, University of Leuven

Focusing on the autobiographical Freikorps novel Die Geächteten (1930) by Ernst von Salomon, Dr Hannelore Roth will investigate the relationship between territorial borders on the one hand and symbolic, corporal borders on the other. I argue that the vitalistic impetus of the national revolutionary discourse in the text implies a specific conception of borders, which is closely linked to the geopolitical works of Friedrich Ratzel and Karl Haushofer who popularised the term Lebensraum (living space). In accordance with Ratzel’s and Haushofer’s distinction between ‘abstract’, i.e. political borders and ‘real’ borders, which have their bellicose origin in the migration of the Germanic peoples, Salomon localizes the German nation not within juristic-cartographic state borders, but “at the frontier”; this frontier is not imagined as a clear ‘line’ but as a dynamic fighting zone. Like the skin of the biological body it can shrink or endlessly expand. In line with this anthropogeographical conception of borders, territorial and corporal borders merge into one another. This lecture examines how the national and individual subject constitute each other through the ambivalent dynamics of border crossing and re-stabilization. Of particular interest are representations of masculinity in this context. In Salomon’s book the German Freikorps is not only fighting at the frontier for a national regeneration but also for maintaining or restaging their male identity, which has become fragile after the lost World War.

Dr Hannelore Roth is a research scholar at the University of Leuven (Belgium), where she obtained her PhD on images of Prussia in 20th and 21st century German literature. In her current research project she investigates the literary and cultural afterlife of the Thirty Years War in 21st century German culture. Her research interests include modern and contemporary German literature, politics and literature, gender, in particular men’s studies, and pop culture.

Event date: 16 November, 2021.

Mr Ross Higgins, University of Limerick

There is increased emphasis on the need to reduce car dependency and to encourage more sustainable travel. While cycling rates have increased in many countries, including Ireland, women are often less likely to cycle than men and research shows that the differences can be seen from an early age. This research examines the modal choices of school-going students, and the attitudes of their parents/guardians to their modal choices. The results show multi-factorial barriers to cycling to school for girls compared to boys. Uniforms, traffic concerns, physical efforts of cycling, effects on personal appearance, and peer-influences were factors affecting girls more than boys. Fathers did not significantly differentiate by the gender of their children in relation to factors associated with cycling to school, unlike mothers who were found to be less supportive of their daughters than their sons. Further research must be carried out to determine how to shift the perceptions of the efforts associated with cycling, especially among girls, and how to encourage female parents/guardians to better support their daughters to cycle to school.

Ross Higgins lectures on the Civil Engineering programme in the University of Limerick. He is the Chair of the Irish Transport Research Network and his area of research is sustainable travel.

Event date: 3 November, 2021.

Organised by the Departments of German Studies and Media and Communication Studies, MIC, in co-operation with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS), MIC, and the Centre for European Studies, UL.

Co-organised by Dr Sabine Egger (German Studies, MIC) and Dr Marcus Free (Media and Communication Studies, MIC), the event includes panels on “Sport and Questions of Identity in European Film and TV”, “Dance, Media and Embodied Identities” and “Lola Montez: Spanish Dancer from Ireland, European Femme Fatale, 19th Century Media Celebrity?”

Dr Seán Crosson (Huston School of Film, NUIG) will discuss representations of sport, the body and national identity in two recent European co-productions, The Racer(2020), which featured the commencement of the 1998 Tour de France in Ireland as its context; and The Keeper(2018), which dramatized the career of former German PoW, Bert Trautmann, as Manchester City goalkeeper. Papers by Prof. Rebeccah Dawson (University of Kentucky) and Dr Marcus Free (MIC) focus on football in early German cinema, and migration and ‘Irishness’ in television representations of Gaelic games. Former lead dancer and director of Riverdance, Dr Breandán de Gallai (IWAMD, UL), will speak on the (de)construction of images of ‘Irishness’ through Irish Dance, while papers by Dr Eoin Flannery (MIC) and Dr Gert Hofmann (UCC) will discuss dance and embodied identities in literature and philosophy. Prof. Marita Krauss, historian at the University of Augsburg, will present on Lola Montez, an international media celebrity of the time, born in Ireland in 1821. Montez’ performance on and off stage was regarded as scandalous, including her love affair with King Ludwig I of Bavaria, while her political impact was seen as a threat by church and secular authorities. Krauss’s fascinating book on Montez, based on new sources, came out in 2020 and has received enthusiastic reviews. Prof. Joachim Fischer (European Studies, UL) will take a closer look at fact and fiction surrounding the ‘Irish dimension’ of Lola Montez. The event will close with a screening of the recently restored film Lola Montez/Lola Montès (1955) by Max Ophüls, introduced by Dr Christiane Schönfeld (MIC).

The symposium will bring together national and international perspectives from different disciplines, including film and television studies, literary and cultural studies, sport science, performing arts and history. Panels will focus on the spheres of sport and dance as codified physical and popular cultural activities that have historically connected individuals and peoples across the continent of Europe but also – paradoxically – highlighted its internal divides, fractures and boundaries through their rituals (international competitions, performance practices) and representation in literature, film and media forms. Sporting events both reinforce national identities and geographical boundaries through their competitive structures and body images, and unite peoples through the spectacle of live broadcasting or the way athletes’ bodies are choreographed on screen. Focusing on the screening of bodies in motion and corporeal interactions, participants in the sports panel will discuss how the intersections and tensions between national, gender, ethnic and racial identities are represented in examples of European film and television featuring sporting events and athletes. Papers in the dance panels will discuss how (trans)national identities and gender images are reinforced and transgressed on stage, on screen, and in different cultural or historical contexts, and how such dynamics are adapted in literary texts and philosophical thought. The symposium will thus explore how visual and other media, literary and non-literary texts portray transnational imaginative investment in sport and other forms of corporeal movement as cultural codes, but also their contradictory aspects.

Event date: 1 October, 2021.

University College Dublin

Organised by the UCD Humanities Institute, University College Dublin in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS), Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Supported by the Irish Research Council.

Keynote: Diaspora Strikes Back by Dr Ipek Demir, University of Leeds.

In recent years, Europe has found itself in a state of seemingly unprecedented turmoil as it struggles to come to terms with an almost unrelenting contestation of the values upon which European identity, and indeed understandings of Western civilisation, rest. This struggle is manifested most notably in the string of terrorist attacks on European capitals such as London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, but also – and equally – in the ongoing humanitarian crisis at Europe’s southern borders. Nowhere was the severity of the latter more prevalent than in the outcry provoked by the image of three-year old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi’s body which washed up on a Turkish beach on 2nd September 2015. In fact, current trends in migration have come to be seen as one of the major issues of our time as policy makers, scholars, the media and the general public seek to understand this complex process. However, despite its current status as a ‘hot topic’ within European political discourse and the public domain more broadly, migration and the movement of people across borders, between countries and cultures are certainly not a ‘new’ phenomenon.

The first strand of the conference thus seeks to place the current debate within the broader historical context of crises concerning migrant communities and identities across Europe. It aims to interrogate, for example, the impact of past colonial encounters and resulting power dynamics on various national communities, and specifically on the migrant journey. In what way do enduring colonial mentalities of dominance and subjugation, superiority and inferiority of peoples and cultures, impact on perceptions and experiences of migrants arriving in a receiving country? And in what way do they frame the perceptions and experiences of the local communities? Ultimately, in addressing these questions, we approach constructions of migrant identity not as an isolated phenomenon but as part of a dialogic progress.

Drawing on the research of Gurminder Bhambra on the link between migration and European colonial/post-colonial histories, the conference aims to place particular emphasis on processes of ‘othering’ and their role in ongoing (de)construction, articulation, and projection of identities – be they individual or collective, national or transnational. Within this context, the centrality of culture and education in identity formation, differentiation, and integration, will be of particular interest and will form the core of our second conference strand. This second strand seeks to address the (possible) futures of migrant communities and identities debating current/future attempts aimed at impacting positively on, or furthering general understanding of, migrant experiences. This may include, for example, projects, which aim to combat exclusion through celebrating multiculturalism and embracing transnational identities, thus facilitating processes of integration and the fostering of global citizenship. It is envisioned that this interrogation of migrant experiences and most specifically analyses of identity constructions will shed light upon what many perceive to be a current crisis of European identity and citizenship, as we enter a new post-Brexit iteration of the European project.

Event date: 13-15 & 21-22 May, 2021.

Dr Fernando Beleza, Newcastle University

In a country that is still reluctant to fully address its colonial past, as well as the forms of structural racism that still persist, the recent literary production of Portuguese writers of African descent has emerged as an important forum for the representation of racialized, migrant, and transnational experiences in an increasingly multicultural Lisbon. Focusing in particular on the works of two writers of African descent, Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s Esse cabelo [That Hair] and Kalaf Epalanga’s Os brancos também sabem dançar [The Whites Know How to Dance Too], this paper will examine how these literary works are redefining what constitutes being simultaneously Portuguese, Afro-Portuguese, and European in the XXI Century, while exposing the specific forms of post-imperial melancholia and racism that have contributed and continue to shape lives in postcolonial Portugal.

Fernando Beleza is a Lecturer in Portuguese Studies at Newcastle University. His research focuses on modern and contemporary literatures and cinemas of Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa. He has published articles and book chapters on: race, gender, and sexuality in Lusophone literatures; migration, transnational imaginaries and cosmopolitanism; the environmental humanities. Fernando Beleza is the co-editor of Mário de Sá-Carneiro, a Cosmopolitan Modernist (2018) and he is the Book Review Editor for the journal Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies.

Event date: 6 May, 2021.

Dr Treasa Campbell, MIC

Within the framework of the normative ethical theory known as Ethic of Care this paper seeks to explore the problem of motivation as it arises in Migration Ethics and the role of affective pedagogies in this context. The paper will first set out the key tenets of the Ethics of Care approach with an emphasis on how it characterises the role of emotion in ethical decision making. Turning to the applied ethical issues which arise in Migration Ethics the paper concentrates on the problem of motivation. This problem exposes the gap between the principles we may accept in relation to what is morally required of us and the actions that reflect those principles in our everyday life. Drawing on Care Ethics characterisation of the epistemic role of emotion the paper proceeds to explore the viability of deploying a form of affective pedagogy within Global Citizenship Education in an effort to mitigate to some extent the motivation problem.

Dr Campbell is a Lecturer in the Philosophy of Education in the Faculty of Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland. Her PhD addressed the difficulties surrounding the use of empirical facts in normative epistemic reasoning and was completed with the support of an IRCHSS Doctoral Scholarship. In 2014 she was awarded an International Fellowship at the New Europe College (NEC) in Bucharest to complete post-doctoral research on the extent to which Aesthetic preferences play a role in epistemic belief formation. Treasa was appointed to the Council of CORU (the Irish regulator for health and social care professionals) by the Minister for Health in 2014 and also sits on the CORU Education Committee. In addition to teaching numerous modules in Philosophy she has also developed and delivered Modules in Nursing Ethics, Ethics in Social Care management and Modules for Adults with intellectual disabilities delivered in an inclusive third level setting. Her research interests include Contemporary Epistemology, Philosophy of Education and applied ethics, and her publications span normative issues in both Epistemology and Ethics of Care.

Event date: 22 April, 2021.

Dr Eva Bru-Domínguez, Bangor University

In the early 1970s, the American dance critic Marcia Siegel famously observed that "Dance exists at a perpetual vanishing point" and is "an event that disappears in the very act of materializing". Despite its undeniable impermanent quality, the practice of dance is subject to regulatory systems, such as verbal or written instructions and movement techniques, which ultimately function as a means to codify the motile body. This paper explores the 4-minute film Sol (Lacuesta 2008) performed by the Barcelona-based dancer and choreographer Sol Picó. The short was produced for the exhibition Chaplin in Images, the first large exposition in Spain to explore this iconic figure through visual documentation. In Sol, Picó dances in and out of Chaplin’s archive, traversing temporal, cultural and material boundaries, embodying and disembodying the actor’s renowned posture and gestures to recover and assert, eventually, her own signature dancing style. Attentive to notions of authorship, document and trace, I suggest that Sol is not only a bodily and textual intervention in the archive of classical cinema, but it also engages with the history and ontology of dance.

Eva Bru-Domínguez is a visiting lecturer at Bangor University. Her main research interests are the representation and construction of the body in visual culture, performance art and dance with a particular focus on Catalan cultural production. She is the co-editor, with Helena Buffery, of the special issue 'Contaminated and dislocated bodies in Catalan visual and performance cultures’ in Journal of Romance Studies (2019) and co-editor of the artist booklet Olga Diego. Transgressive Architecture (2014) with the architect and poet Gaspar Jaén Urban. Eva is the author of Beyond Containment. Corporeality in Mercè Rodoreda’s literature (2013). She has also published articles and book chapters about cinema, photography, performance art and dance.

Event date: 15 April, 2021.

Dr Niall Whelehan, University of Strathclyde

The Irish Land War (1879-1882) was a turning point in modern Irish history, a social revolution that was part of a broader ideological moment when established ideas of property and land ownership were fundamentally challenged. A striking aspect of the land movement was its internationalism, spurred by links between Ireland and different emigrant locations, return migration, and an awareness of how the Land League’s demands to abolish ‘landlordism’ connected with wider radical and reform causes. This talk traces the lives of three emigrant activists and how their land activism intersected with a range of radical and reform causes, including trade unionism, feminism and anarchism. It also considers how perceptions of emigration and settlement could foster contradictory attitudes towards land and colonisation in different contexts.

Niall Whelehan teaches history at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He is the author of The Dynamiters: Irish Nationalism and Political Violence in the Wider World, 1867-1900 (CUP, 2012). His new monograph on emigrant activism and the Irish land question will be published later this year with New York University Press.

Event date: 18 March, 2021.

The greatest challenges of our time – from climate crisis, global migrations, income inequality to the recent COVID-19 pandemic – can be regarded as spatial issues. The geographies of globalization – the settlements, landscapes, infrastructures, networks, supply chains, markets, and factories which make up our world – are produced unevenly in a fashion which entrenches poverty and exacerbates planetary pollution (Harvey 2000). As a result of geopolitical interventions, a great number of people have been deprived of their rights to both public and private spaces, whereas increased mobility in the developed world has undermined the established concepts of dwelling and spatial rootedness.

Addressing the overlapping issues of social oppression and spatial injustice (Soja 2010) – such as exploitation of natural resources, unsustainable urbanisation, aggressive agriculture – demands a radical transformation of local, national and global spaces. Energy transitions, investments in public infrastructures and services, provisioning of safe and affordable housing, and restoration of green and blue spaces are just some of the changes we need to see. Emergency governmental responses to COVID-19 initiated rapid and radical societal changes that would have previously been unimaginable to many.

Taking the pandemic response as one of the examples of a possible paradigm shift in terms of the kind of political action that can be imagined, this workshop emphasises the vital role of speculative fiction, film and visual art in shaping the physical world. Amid the global pandemic, and at the doorstep of climate breakdown, how can imaginative practices address and rectify spatial injustice?

Speculative literature and art – understood broadly here as a category encompassing science fiction, fantasy, eco-fiction, utopia and dystopia – have long been concerned with imagining space differently. In depicting future or alternative worlds, artists can explore the spatial dynamics of oppression, exploitation and despoliation under today’s global capitalism. Yet, is it possible to go from cultural representation to societal transformation? Can our “reflection upon the virtual guide our understanding of the real (or actual)”, as Henri Lefebvre suggested in his seminal work The Production of Space (1974)? How can we see the spaces of speculative art as potential shapers of healthier and fairer environments? Conversely, how do these artworks deny visions and narratives which erase the spatial abuses of our past, present and future?

This workshop invites papers from the fields of science fiction, utopian studies, ecocriticism, cultural geography, environmental humanities, environmental history, and any other related, new or interdisciplinary fields. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Spatial justice
  • Gender and space
  • Eco-fiction and nature writing
  • Utopian and dystopian narratives
  • Commodification and enclosures
  • Architecture and the built environment
  • Spatial dichotomies: urban-rural, centre-periphery, North-South, East-West
  • Place-making, dwelling, belonging, and identity
  • Corporeality and the human body in/as space
  • Environmental destruction, pollution, and erasure
  • Borders and migration
  • Legacies of colonialism
  • Global tourism and spatial fetishism

The event is organised by Ashley Cahillane (School of English and Creative Arts) and Maša Uzelac (School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures), under guidance of Dr Tina-Karen Pusse (Head of School, LLC) and hosted by the School of English and Creative Arts and the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

Event date: 16-17 April, 2021.


Dr Ailbhe Kenny, MIC

The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies is delighted to announce Dr Ailbhe Kenny as the inaugural guest speaker in its ICTS Webinar Series.

Dr Kenny’s talk is entitled Shaping Night Spaces: Insights from African Migrant ‘Musical Pathways'.

Event date: 15 December, 2020.

Dr Clemens Ruthner, Trinity College Dublin

The Department of German Studies, MIC, in association with the Institute for Irish Studies and the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, invites you to the following event to celebrate the publication of Sandra Wagner’s book, Monströse Romanzen und romantische Monster: Zum Zeitgeist der Millenial-Generation in deutschsprachigen Mash-up-Romanen (Königshausen & Neumann, 2019).

The vampire is the epitome of liminality, or of identities in transformation, respectively: he/she/it is "neither dead nor alive, but living in death" (M. Summers). This talk will lead you through the different stages of the cultural appropriation of the most famour undead as a viral mask of the Other in a secularised culture: from the demonic 'proto-vampires' of Antiquity to the spectacular historical cases if vampire mass hysteria in Serbia (1725-32) and the 'media' craze the created, and then further to the first literary texts, until the narrative of vampirism as a secular cultural phantasma is fixated by Stoker's Dracula in 1897, and its current, postmodern format of Anne Rice - not to forget the various 'young adolescent' versions of vampire, most notoriously by the US Mormon writer Stephenie Meyer.

Dr Clemens Ruthner is Assistant Professor in German and European Studies in the Department of Germanic Studies at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests include cultural narratives of Otherness (e.g. monstrosity, ethnicity, gender etc.), cultural theory and Central European Studies (19th & 20th century). He has authored two books on the fantastic in literature (Unheimliche Wiederkehr, 1993; Am Rande, 2004), and is editor or co-editor of numerous anthologies of essays.

Event date: 13 February, 2020.


Prof. Michael Kelly, Southampton

With the support of the Department of French Studies, ICTS welcomes: Professor Michael Kelly (University of Southampton).

Lecture title: Transnational paradigms in research: Understanding languages and humanities between the national and the global.

Event date: 10 October, 2019.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of French Studies, German Studies and English Language and Literature, MIC.


4pm: Dr Andrea Rummel (English Studies, Justus Liebig University of Giessen)

Rewriting War: History, Memory and the Function of the Literary in Ford Madox Ford and Keith Douglas

Chair: Dr Kathryn Laing

4.30pm: Dr Clíona Hensey (French Studies, NUI Galway)

Transgenerational Memory, Trauma and Testimony in Writing by Descendants of Harkis

Chair: Dr Richard McMahon

5pm: Questions and Round Table Discussion

Organised by Dr Sabine Egger, Dr Mairéad Ní Bhriain, and Dr Kathryn Laing.

Event date: 11 April, 2019.

A collaboration between Mary Immaculate College and the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA) and International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC).

EUPOP 2019 is organised by the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA) and International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC).

The conference is organised locally by the Department of Media and Communication Studies in association with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) and the Institute for Irish Studies (IIS), Mary Immaculate College.

Event date: 16-18 July, 2019.

Castlecoote House, Co. Roscommon

Organised by Brian Griffin and John Strachan (Bath Spa University) as part of the 11th Percy French Festival.

This conference is organised by Brian Griffin and John Strachan of Bath Spa University.

It is intended to publish the conference proceedings in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Irish Studies Review, in 2020.

Event date: 10-12 July, 2019.

Collaboration between the UCD Humanities Institute and the IMLR, University of London.

This conference is a collaboration between Britta C. Jung (UCD, ICTS Guest Faculty), Anne Fuchs (UCD), Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR), Maria Roca Lizarazu (University of Birmingham) and Stephan Ehrig (UCD), and will take place in Dublin.

The event is supported by the UCD Humanities Institute, the Institute of Modern Language Research (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and the Cross-Languages Dynamics project.

Event date: 25-27 September, 2019.

This conference is a collaboration between Christiane Schönfeld (Department of German Studies, MIC) and Lisa Anderson (Hunter College/CUNY) and will take place in New York City from May 30 to June 1, 2019.

The event is supported by the Max Kade Foundation, Roosevelt House at Hunter College, the Ernst Toller Gesellschaft and the International Feuchtwanger Association.

Event date: 30 May - 1June, 2019.


Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of French Studies, History and Philosophy, MIC.


12pm: Dr. Gillian Jein (School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Bangor University)

Sensitive Zones: Re-Viewing the Rioting Body in JR’s Paris Projects.

1pm: Lunch

2pm: Prof. Linda Mulcahy (Department of Law, LSE)

Looking for Resistance in Photographic Archives: The Case of the Suffragettes and Other Revisionist Histories.

3pm: Coffee

3.15pm: Ms. Aoife McInerney (IRC Scholar, Department of Philosophy, MIC)

Invisibility and the Constitution of the Political: The Politics of Nationalism vs Naturalism.

4.30pm: Round Table Discussion

Funded by the Departments of French, History and Philosophy, MIC.

For further information, please contact Dr. Mairead Ní Bhriain (

Event date/venue: 13 April, 2018, Mary Immaculate College.


Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of French and German Studies, MIC.

The globalisation processes of the early 21st century and the current global refugee crisis have caused growing political and social tensions which profoundly impacts upon relations and identity politics both within the European Union and within individual member states. Although migration into, out of and within Europe has shaped the continent since antiquity, both globalisation and the European integration project are increasingly questioned by nationalist movements and right-wing populist parties who have repeatedly proclaimed the death of ‘multiculturalism’ and questioned states’ principle of religious pluralism. In the aftermath of 9/11 – and more recently terrorist attacks in European capitals such as Paris, London, Berlin and Madrid – religion and religious expression and indeed secularism have once again become an important marker of cultural identity. Islam in particular has come to be identified as a cultural adversary, with various movements and populist parties often occupying public space to aggressively assert their cultural values and norms in opposition to Islamic practices, the female body being one of the most central symbolic ‘battlegrounds’.

Mainstream parties are divided on these issues and how to respond to these movements. After decades of publicly and diplomatically pursuing policies of both integration and inclusion vis-à-vis migrant communities, local and national government policies in Europe seem to increasingly enable nationalist discourses by banning and stigmatising Islamic practices. While many countries have moved towards banning or have already partially banned the burqa and niqāb in recent years, it is perhaps France which stands out as the primary battleground in this ongoing standoff between state and religion, the controversial ‘burkini ban’ debate and subsequent widespread press coverage in France being but the most recent in a series of episodes opposing religious and secular values. However, it is also important to note that the complexities and tensions surrounding the relationship between state, religion and public are not due solely to migrant contexts but extend – as the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in Lautsi v Italy and its subsequent reversal in 2010 illustrate – to more general debates and identity politics which involve all religious groups, including Christianity. While understandings of ‘multiculturalism’ and religious pluralism and their relationship to public spaces are first and foremost shaped by the national histories, political cultures and social imaginaries of individual countries, international crises and events, EU laws and policies, and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights add supranational layers of meaning.

This workshop seeks to explore the relationship between states, religion and public space by discussing a number concepts, issues, and examples. The workshop takes its lead form a selection of articles and short presentations on France’s notion of laïceté and Germany’s attempt to separate state and church, while simultaneously encouraging the political and civic involvement of religious persons.

Questions and terms that will be interrogated include, but are not limited to:

  • What constitutes a public space?
  • How is secularism defined in modern Europe and how does it relate to the idea of religious freedom and the freedom of expression?
  • To what extent can religion be viewed as a central component of national identity and how does this manifest itself in national and European politics?
  • To what degree is the female body appropriated in political debate and policy and how – in such cases – can women regain agency over it?

The workshop is envisioned as a forum to discuss and explore the relationship between state, religion and public space and a formal preparation is by no means necessary in order to attend and participate.

If you wish to receive a list of suggested articles, please email either Dr. Britta C. Jung,, or Dr. Mairead Ní Bhriain,

Event date: 11 May, 2017.

The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies and the Department of German Studies, MIC, in cooperation with Nottingham Trent University and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), University of London. Supported by the MHRA.

On the occasion of the centenary of Johannes Bobrowski, the Irish Centre of Transnational Studies and Department of German Studies, MIC, will organise an international conference on “Borderland Spaces in German-language Literature and other Media”. The conference will take place on 27 and 28 April 2017 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), University of London.

The event is organised in cooperation with Nottingham Trent University, and the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, and is supported by the Modern Humanities Research Association.

With his „Sarmatien“, Johannes Bobrowski’s poetry and fiction of the 1950s and early 1960s, marked by his experience of the Second World War in Central and Eastern Europe, suggests a European borderland space which questions national borders as well as cultural and temporal boundaries, and challenges prevalent ideas and aesthetics on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Taking Bobrowski’s Sarmatia as a starting point, this international conference aims to provide researchers with a forum to discuss how Central and Eastern European borderland narratives and poetics have changed in the course of the 20th to 21st century in German-language literature and other media, and how such processes may be interlinked with national, European or global discourses, structures, and contexts.

Plenary speakers will include Professor Bill Niven (Nottingham Trent), Professor Maren Röger (Augsburg), Professor Joanna Jablkowska (Łódź), PD Dr. Andreas Degen (Potsdam), and Professor Wladimir Gilmanov (Kaliningrad). The conference languages will be English and German.

Event date/venue: 27-28 April, London.


The Irish Centre of Transnational Studies and the Centre of Irish-German Studies, in collaboration with the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance, the National Dance Archive of Ireland, the Schools of Culture and Communication and of Design, UL.

On 31 October and 1 November, 2016, the Irish Centre of Transnational Studies (Mary Immaculate College) and the Centre of Irish-German Studies (University of Limerick) will host an international conference Connections in Motion: Dance in Irish and German Literature, Film and Culture.

The event is organised in close collaboration with the National Dance Archive of Ireland, the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance, the School of Culture and Communication, and the School of Design (University of Limerick) and will take place in the Irish World Academy Building on the north bank of the UL campus.

The conference explores Irish-German connections through dance from the 1920s to the present. It includes presentations on dance in literature, theatre, film, architecture, archives and education. Presentations will address dance in Irish and German modernism, choreographies of space in locations such as Ardnacrusha, dance in early German film, and the transgression of boundaries. Films to be screened will include Deirdre Mulrooney’s Dance Emergency (2014); about the Irish-German modern dancer and teacher, Erina Brady, and Wim Wenders’ film Pina (2011), based on the work of the German pioneer of Tanztheater, Pina Bausch. The conference will open with an exhibition of the celebrated Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon, who made her name in Saarbrücken, and is currently working with the Bolshoi Ballet; it will close with a live performance of a new choreography by Donlon.

Event date/venue: 31 Oct & 1 Nov, 2016, Irish World Academy Building, University of Limerick.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Centre for Audio Studies, MIC.

In the context of current crisis discourses in and on Europe, from the “financial crisis” to the “refugee crisis”, the “faith crisis” or the “crisis of European values in the face of Islamist terrorism”, we would like to discuss older and more recent theoretical approaches to crisis and Europe from different disciplinary perspectives. The workshop is open to faculty, postgraduate and undergraduate students as well as the wider community. Preparation is not necessary, but if participants would like to read Husserl’s paper, they may access it here:


2pm - Lorenzo Girardi (Philosophy), “Edmund Husserl: Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man (1935)”

3pm - Tony Langlois (Media Studies), “Borderlessness”

Event date/venue: 5 May, 2016, Mary Immaculate College.


Department of German Studies at Mary Immaculate College, in cooperation with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies.

The seventy-eighth meeting of the AGS, with a lead panel on Transnational Screen Adaptation: Cultural and Medial Hybridities, was hosted by the Department of German Studies, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick from 2 September to 4 September 2015.

Joint project by Sabine Egger (ICTS/German Studies, MIC) and Aislinn O’Donnell (Philosophy of Education, MIC), in collaboration with director Maeve Stone (PAN PAN Theatre, Dublin), choreographer Angie Smalis and musician Rory Grubb.

There is a building nearby, it might be close to where you live. We have all heard rumours about what is happening there but somehow we never talk about it. Somehow it stays invisible. And the people inside are invisible too, waiting endlessly, stuck in Limbo. With dancer Angie Smalis and musician Rory Grubb, director Maeve Stone sets out to ask questions, starting at the beginning with: What is direct provision and how do we start to talk about it? In a short piece that fuses movement, the voices of asylum seekers and live music, we begin to trace the snakes and ladders of a story so close, it is nearly impossible to see.

LIMBO is a collaboration of the Associate Director of the PAN PAN Theatre, Dublin, Maeve Stone, with dancer/choreographer Angie Smalis and musician Rory Grubb. It is a gripping 45-minutes piece that responds to the controversial direct provision system. In conversation with Limerick based advocacy group , Trinity sociology academic Katie Sheehan and human rights lawyer Shauna Gillan, the director undertook a period of research in advance of the week’s work in which she gathered material on the subject; interviews with refugees and their children, footage, recordings, media responses and official reports. One of the challenges was to look for the best frame to create a human, non-didactic, engaging way of presenting this difficult material. Games are a great leveller, they engage us, disarm us and connect us. The idea was to create a massive snakes and ladders ‘Game of Life’ board that fills the space and corresponds to certain events relating to the journey of a refugee. The cruelty of the system can be in how arbitrary decisions and circumstances feel, from children and adult perspectives; representing this through a game of chance, and giving it life through dance, may highlight the real frustration and damage to real people and families in such a vulnerable position. The play is a work-in-progress, a stimulant for conversation and the beginning of a larger process.

How to see the Other? If someone is at risk of being persecuted in their own country, s/he may go abroad and ask for asylum in another country. Granting ‘asylum’ means giving someone permission to remain in another country because of that risk of persecution. What is everyday life like for adult and children asylum seekers who are living for an indefinite period of time in direct provision –  accommodation provided by the State whilst they await the decision about their future? How can they and their everyday lives become visible? For whom and for what am I responsible? How can I empathize with others struggling to make a home in constant transit?  The performance will provide a stimulant for discussion about questions of care, duty, dignity, responsibility and children’s rights with first year BED students as part of the Ethics Strand of ERB and E.

The project has been led by Dr. Aislinn O’Donnell (Philosophy of Education) and Dr. Sabine Egger (Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, ICTS). Funding has been provided by the Faculty of Education and DICE.  We wish to thank the Lime Tree Theatre and Dr. Michael Finneran for their support.

Event date/venue: 31 May, 2015 - Lime Tree Theatre, MIC.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of German Studies, History and Philosophy, MIC.

The  Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) will be hosting a round-table workshop on different, (inter)disciplinary perspectives on Transnational Studies at Mary Immaculate College on Monday, 16 March, 2015.

Participants in the workshop will discuss in particular the ideas of “translation” and “similarity” between different disciplinary approaches, how this might inform interdisciplinary discussion on aspects of transnationalism, and highlight/cross possible boundaries with regard to disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in the area. What is meant by “Transnational Studies” in disciplines such as History, Philosophy, Cultural and Literary Studies, Media Studies, Geography or Education? We would like to focus on the texts by Morawska and Bhatti in our discussion, but participants may find the text by Bachmann-Medick of further interest. We are particularly interested in the exchange of ideas by colleagues and postgraduates from various disciplines, those who localise their work in the – broad – area of Transnational Studies and those who would see themselves outside this area, or are simply curious about how to define and approach it.

Event date/venue: 16 March, 2015, MIC.


Department of French Studies at Mary Immaculate College, in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies and members of the ‘Performance, Text and Context’ Research Cluster, University of Limerick.

In his influential work on The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), Erving Goffman highlighted the importance of routine actions and social relationships in the articulation of the self through daily performance. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to analyse performative constructions of the self by interrogating the concepts of performance, identity and embodiment in their broadest sense.

Event date: 20-22 June, 2014.

From 29 May -1 June, 2014, the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) will host the International Conference of the Gesellschaft für interkulturelle Germanistik (GiG). The conference theme is Begegnungen in Transiträumen/ Transitorische Begegnungen. Papers will explore movement and encounters in 'transit spaces' in German-language literary and digital texts, film and other media as well as in the German language classroom from various theoretical angles. Encounters between different areas of expertise, from linguistics and German as a Foreign Language to literary, cultural, film and media studies, comparative literature, visual art and music are desirable.

Event date: 29 May - 1 June, 2014.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of German Studies and Philosophy, MIC.

The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies will be hosting a workshop on the German-American political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt on 6th March (MIC, G10).

We will start with a screening of M. von Trotta’s  Hannah Arendt (2012) film at 1 pm.

We will then discuss two of Arendt’s texts: ‘Truth and Politics’ and ‘The Crisis in Culture’ from 3 pm.

If you are interested in participating, we will be glad to supply you with the texts. Please contact us at christiane.schonfeld[at] or niall.keane[at]

Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

Do join us!

Event date/venue: 6 March, 2014, MIC.


Irish Centre of Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Departments of French Studies and Philosophy, MIC.

November 7th, 2013 will mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Algerian-born French author, philosopher, and journalist, Albert Camus. To celebrate this centenary, the Camus and Beyond symposium brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines who will present papers on various aspects of Camus’s œuvre.

Event date: 26 April, 2013.

Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, in cooperation with the Department of German Studies, MIC.

Die interkulturelle Literatur entstand in Europa hauptsächlich aufgrund der postkolonialen Einwanderung und der Arbeitsmigration ab der Mitte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, aufgrund von Exilerfahrung verschiedener Autoren und Autorinnen sowie als Konsequenz der Auflösung von politischen Regimes und Sozialutopien. Sie erweist sich als eine nicht geplante Erweiterung der inhaltlichen und ästhetischen Blickwinkel der nationalen Identitätsdiskurse muttersprachlich verfasster Literatur nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Dabei ist zu beobachten, dass die interkulturellen Werke heikle Themen aufwerfen und die Frage nach gesellschaftlicher, sprachlicher, rechtlicher und kultureller Emanzipation neu stellen.

Für die Forschung, die bis vor einigen Jahrzehnten davon ausging, dass eine von Muttersprachler/innen verfasste Literatur die Norm sei, stellen sich angesichts der zahlreichen Veröffentlichungen vielfältige Fragen: Muss eine Autorin, ein Autor, mehrsprachig sein und in der Zweitsprache publizieren, damit das Werk interkulturell wird, bzw. ab wann ist ein literarisches Werk interkulturell zu nennen? Sind Sprachen intrinsisch als interkulturell aufzufassen? Welche Auswirkungen hat die Globalisierung auf das literarische Schaffen von Schriftsteller/innen? Zeichnet sich interkulturelles Schreiben durch eine besondere Nähe zu Autobiografie aus? Spielen räumliche Prozesse hier eine besondere Rolle? Wie ist zwischen dem an sich gegebenen interkulturellen Charakter von Literatur und den Prozessen der letzten Jahrzehnte zu unterscheiden? Wie verhält es sich mit Stereotypenbildung und Trivialisierung in interkulturellen Texten? Warum entscheidet sich eine Schriftstellerin/ein Schriftsteller die Sprache zu wechseln und welche Konsequenz hat diese Entscheidung auf ihr/sein literarisches Schaffen? Gibt es Unterschiede zwischen den interkulturellen Literaturen der verschiedenen europäischen Sprachen und wenn ja, welche?

Ziel des Workshops ist es, einigen dieser Fragen mithilfe von literarischen und poetischen Texten der letzten Jahrzehnte auf den Grund zu gehen.

Event date: 12/13 April, 2013.

Workshop - Questioning Intercultural Literature in Europe

From the mid-20th century onwards, intercultural literature in Europe developed mainly because of postcolonial and work migration, and as a consequence of the disintegration of political regimes and social utopias. Writers of various nationalities sought ways to express their experiences of exile. If we consider its content and aesthetics, intercultural literature has established itself as an unplanned extension of national identities nurtured and discussed in the writing of native speakers after the Second World War. In this context, intercultural literature has dealt with challenging topics and rethought questions of sociological, linguistic, legal and cultural emancipation of people throughout Europe.
From the point of view of literary studies which until very recently assumed that a literature written by native speakers was the norm, many questions arise in the light of an increasing number of publications from non-native speakers. These include the following:

Does a writer have to be multilingual and publish in two languages in order to be called intercultural? Are languages intrinsically intercultural in themselves? What are the consequences, if any, of globalisation on literary texts? Can we characterize intercultural texts as exceptionally close to autobiography? Do spatial processes have a special role in this kind of literature? How can we make a distinction between the intercultural character of literature and the general poetic development of literature in the last decades? What is the role of stereotypes and triviality in intercultural literary texts? Why does a writer choose to abandon his or her mother tongue and become a writer in a ‘foreign’ language, and how does the exchange of languages affect the creative process of making literature? And lastly, which differences and similarities are there in the intercultural literatures written in different European languages, if any?

The contributions to the workshop focus on narrative and poetic texts of the last few decades, which deal with diverse aspects of intercultural literature. Possible focus points are: genre boundaries, i.e., similarities and differences between intercultural literature and subgenres such as travel writing, ‘Bildungsroman’, transnational literature, literature of migration and postcolonial writing.


Friday 21 September 2012 saw the official launch of the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) with a workshop dedicated to the theme of Transnational Homes: Identities in Displacement. In her opening address Minister Jan O’Sullivan commended the aims of ICTS and the value of research on the themes of home and identity, particularly in the multi-cultural Ireland of today. The keynote lecture, Walter Benjamin and the City, was given by Professor Stéphane Symons (Catholic University of Louvain), and facilitated by the organiser of the event, Dr. Niall Keane. In a number of sessions, an international group of academics from across disciplines explored issues pertaining to the impacts of transnationalism on images of the home, oriented by various theoretical texts (Benjamin, Foucault, Améry).

The discussion pursued questions relating to transnational spatialities, manifest in their visual, linguistic, corporeal and cultural dimensions. A particular focus was placed on the notion of sites invested in the creation and dismantling of borders, mobilities and multivalent trajectories of identification. Engaging with the emerging literature on transnationalism, one of the aims of the one-day-event was to call into question the ideological appropriation of notions of transnational homes within differing, and often overlapping, discourses of neo-liberalism, cosmopolitanism, multi-culturalism and globalism.

Event date: 21 September, 2012.

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