Across the water: Ireland and Scotland in the nineteenth century

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 2006), News, Volume 14

The annual conference of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland (SSNCI) was held at Magee College, Derry, on 16 and 17 June 2006. Hosted by the Institute of Ulster Scots Studies at Magee, the conference focused on contacts and parallels in literature, culture and society, economy and politics. It was ably organised by James McConnel and Frank Ferguson. Twenty-one speakers addressed sessions devoted to ‘Writing the nation: poetics and polemic’, ‘The experience of being poor’, ‘Outsiders and visitors: cultural geography’, ‘Ulster-Scots identities’, ‘An age of progress’, ‘Hibernian Scotland: society and economy’ and ‘The Black North: issues of conflict’. There were two plenary sessions: Claire Connolly’s paper on Friday evening was intriguingly entitled ‘“Too much of the dwarfs and the elfie”: romantic supernaturalism in Ireland and Scotland’, while Terry Eagleton addressed the subject of ‘Francis Hutcheson and Irish thought’. The Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society’s annual conference was held at Magee College at the same time, causing occasional confusion but also prompting suggestions that the two societies might explore holding a joint event in the future.
The SSNCI aims to promote research into nineteenth-century Ireland. Its membership is open to scholars from Ireland and other countries and it welcomes members from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, history, economics, geography, sociology and others. It seeks to foster an interdisciplinary approach to nineteenth-century Irish studies. Its principal activities are the organisation of annual conferences and seminars and the publication of works on nineteenth-century Ireland. ‘Across the water’ marked its fifteenth annual conference, and its tenth publication is due to appear this year.



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