In 2011, the inaugural Tudor and Stuart Ireland Interdisciplinary conference took place at University College Dublin. A graduate-led endeavour, since then the conference has taken place every year: in University College Dublin in 2012 and 2013; and in Maynooth University in 2014 and 2015. Since its inception, over one hundred and eighty speakers from a range of disciplines including History, English, Archaeology and Art History, have presented papers at the event. Tudor and Stuart Ireland has now achieved status as a major research conference, providing a forum in which both established academics and early stage researchers can participate in a genuinely collegial and interdisciplinary environment.
Now in its sixth year, the conference is coming for the first time to the National University of Ireland, Galway and will be held on 19-20 August 2016 in the Moore Institute. As well as myself, this year’s conference is organised by Evan Bourke (NUIG), Carla Lessing (NUIG) and Jeffrey Cox (UCD). The 2016 programme is one of the largest to date, boasting thirty-six research papers across both days of the conference, as well as a number of informal occasions to meet and network with speakers and delegates. Plenary addresses will be delivered by Professor Mary O’Dowd (Queen’s University Belfast), and Professor Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex), while a special panel session on ‘Shakespeare and Ireland’ will consider productions of Shakespeare on the Irish stage (to tie in with the programme of events taking place nationally and internationally to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death). The conference will also feature a special panel session in honour of Tudor historian Professor Steven Ellis (recently retired from the School of Humanities, NUI Galway).
Reflecting Tudor Stuart Ireland’s continued commitment to digital dissemination and the conference’s ongoing partnership with HistoryHub.ie, podcasts and videos of research papers and plenaries from the first, second, fourth and fifth conferences have made research on early modern Ireland freely available to a global audience. The 2016 conference will continue in this tradition, producing podcasts of conference proceedings to add to the existing body of podcasts online.
With Galway recently crowned European Capital of Culture 2020, there has never been a better time to visit the city. Both my co-organisers and I look forward to welcoming you to Galway in August for what promises to be a lively and engaging two days.