As many of you in the Breac community know, the joint meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies and the Canadian Association of Irish Studies took place from June 11 to June 14 on the campus of University College Dublin. The conference brought together hundreds of scholars from across Europe, North America, and even further afield. This geographical range was mirrored by the conference theme, “Latitudes: Irish Studies in an International Context.” Indeed, as many of the reviews in this series note, comparative approaches may be the thread that binds together so much of what is exciting and interesting in Irish Studies today.
Over the next week, Breac Reviews will present a series of reviews of the conference. In this series, scholars in a range of periods and fields remark on some of the themes, trends, and questions that emerged throughout the conference. We hope that these reviews make a selection of the conference’s debates and discussions accessible for those of you who were unable to attend and to enable those of you in attendance to see the conference material in new ways. We also hope that you, our readers, will take part in the discussion, posting comments, questions, and new perspectives.
The reviews of ACIS-CAIS 2014 are not, of course, representative of everything that happened at the conference. Some of the most vital conversations—on contemporary Irish language literature and on film, to name two examples—do not appear explicitly in our reviews, but work in those fields can enrich, contradict, or extend the trends identified in these reviews. These reviews are certainly not exhaustive, but they do offer a portrait the diversity and vitality of the conference. We ask all of you, from every discipline and approach, whether you attended ACIS-CAIS or not, to continue adding to that diversity in order to bring your own perspectives and positions to bear on the material covered in these reviews.