Irish Studies Würzburg Kick-off Event – 16 April 202116.04.2021
The Kick-off Event will feature readings by authors Colette Bryce and Jan Carson, greetings by Irish Ambassador Dr. Nicholas O’Brien, scholarly papers by Dr. Damian Bracken (UCC) and Prof. Dr. Jochen Achilles (JMU), traditional Irish music, and much more.
Part 1: 16.30-18.30 (CET)
- Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann (Co-founder of Irish Studies Würzburg)
- Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann (Co-founder of Irish Studies Würzburg)
- Prof. Dr. Paul Pauli (President of JMU)
- Prof. Dr. Roland Baumhauer (Dean of the Faculty of Arts)
- Dr. Nicholas O’Brien (Irish Ambassador)
- Christian Schuchardt (Lord Mayor of Würzburg)
- Matthias Fleckenstein (Chairman of the German-Irish Association of Würzburg)
- Prof. Dr. Katharina Rennhak (President of EFACIS)
Guest Lecture 1
Dr. Damian Bracken (UCC), “Light From the West: Early Irish Learning and the Southern Germanic Lands”
St Columbanus, Ireland’s first littérateur and the first Irish person to have an impact on European history, explored his identity in a broad, one could even say European, context. He wrote about a post-Roman, barbarian identity that transcends borders. His legacy, and the legacy of others who were inspired by his example, challenged established perceptions of the Irish and peoples who lived on the geographic periphery. This lecture explores aspects of medieval Irish contacts with the southern Germanic lands and their views of Ireland that were shaped by those contacts.
Guest Lecture 2
Prof. Dr. Jochen Achilles (JMU), “Transnationalism and Diversity: Transformations in Irish Culture and Irish Studies”
Both the economic transformation of a largely agrarian nation into the multiethnic and multicultural Celtic Tiger since the mid-nineties and the peace process in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 are widely understood as a watershed in the development of both Irish culture and Irish Studies. In The New Irish Studies (2020), a broad assessment of the significance of these changes for the cultural sphere, Paige Reynolds registers "the altered textures of life in twenty-first-century Ireland – the increased authority of formerly marginalized voices, the profound influence of digital technologies on everyday life, the international interest in Irish national concerns" (2).
The impact of globalization, which also spells digitalization and commodification, results in an intercultural blurring of the contours of what Irishness means and, at the same time, a greater interconnectedness of Ireland and the Irish with Europe and the globe. Both Irish literature and Irish Studies networks, such as EFACIS and its Associations and Centres, are deeply affected by these developments. This is also true of ISWÜ Würzburg to be officially launched on John Millington Synge's 150th birthday. Therefore my talk will, from a German angle, take a look at both developments in European Irish Studies and at the internationalization of Irish drama, expressing itself in many ways, not least in intercultural adaptations of The Playboy of the Western World (1907), John Millington Synge's most famous play.
Part 2: 18.30-19.00 (CET)
Traditional Irish Music by Ella Zlotos, Georg Zobel & Nik Jira
Ella Zlotos is a flutist, songwriter and teacher based in Würzburg. During her studies she spent some time in Ireland, where she learned to play tin and low whistle and became familiar with traditional repertoire and techniques. Since then she has been contributing to various folk and crossover projects and playing solo and guest performances throughout Germany (www.ellazlotos.de).
Georg Zobel took up the fiddle in 2007 and has acquired a broad range of Irish and Scottish traditional tunes and techniques since. He has been playing lots of sessions and gigs in the local Irish trad scene around Würzburg.
Nik Jira is a freelance musician, composer and audio engineer based in Würzburg. He studied jazz piano at HfM Würzburg and has been playing the guitar for several years – but only recently discovered the beauty of traditional Irish folk tunings, which he also uses in his own compositions (www.jiranikolaus.de).
Part 3: 19.00-21.00 (CET)
Reading & Discussion with authors Colette Bryce & Jan Carson, moderated by Prof. Dr. Katharina Rennhak (President of EFACIS)
You can download the program flyer here.
This event is part of “WueGlobal – Writing, Learning, Digital Connection” funded by the DAAD / IVAC International Virtual Academic Collaboration Program. Participation can be applied to the WueGlobal Certificate. Please visit the WueGlobal website for more information.
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