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Keynote Speakers and Events

Keynote Speakers
Prof. Guy Beiner

Guy Beiner is the Sullivan Chair in Irish Studies at Boston College, USA. He will speak on ‘Remembering the Future? Pre-memories of Union, Partition and Re-Unification'

Guy specializes in the historical study of remembering and forgetting. Other interests include oral history, folklore, public history and heritage, historiography, terrorism, the fin de siècle, and the ‘Spanish’ Influenza pandemic. His books on history, memory and forgetting in Ireland have won multiple international awards. His most recent publications are 'Pandemic Re-Awakenings: The Forgotten and Unforgotten ‘Spanish’ Flu of 1918-1919' (Oxford University Press, 2022), and 'Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster' (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Dr Elizabeth Boyle

Dr Elizabeth Boyle lectures in the Department of Early Irish (Sean-Ghaeilge) at Maynooth University, Ireland. She will speak on ‘Unions and partitions between pre-modern and modern Ireland’.

Elizabeth's research interests include the religious and intellectual history of north-western Europe, c.400-c.1200, medieval theology and philosophy, education in medieval Ireland, the relationship between Latin and the vernaculars in medieval Britain and Ireland, the influence of the Bible on medieval literature and society, and historiography. Her recent publications include 'Fierce Appetites: Loving, Losing and Living to Excess in My Present and in the Writings of the Past' (Penguin, 2022) and 'History and Salvation in Medieval Ireland' (Routledge, 2021).

Diane Urquhart
Prof Diane Urquhart

Diane Urquhart is Professor of Gender History at Queen's University Belfast. She will speak on 'Adultery Anatomised: Ireland's criminal conversations, c. 1770-1981'.

Diane is a gender historian with a special interest in modern Ireland and Britain. Her research specialises in political and legal history particularly women’s first entry into politics from the late-nineteenth century onwards, Anglo-Irish political patronage and Ireland's history of abortion and divorce. She co-authored with Lindsey Earner-Byrne, 'The Irish Abortion Journey, 1920-2018', published in the Pivot series by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. Her monograph 'Irish Divorce: A History', the first full-length history of Irish divorce, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Dr Zélie Asava

Dr Zélie Asava is an independent researcher and film classifier at Irish Film Classification Board. She will speak on 'Racial Dynamics, Archival Conjugations and Decolonial Futurities in Irish Screen Narratives'.

Zélie is the author of two books and the driving force behind a series of projects focused on questions of race, gender and visual culture in Ireland, France, Senegal, Scandinavia, Burkina Faso, Britain and the US. 'The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities in Irish Film and Television' (2013), was the first major study of black and mixed-race themes in Irish Screen Studies. 'Mixed-Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France', published in 2017, charts race relations from the birth of cinema to the present day on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2022, Zélie co-edited a pioneering special issue of the Journal of Scandinavian Cinema; she is currently writing chapters for the books Innovations in Black European Studies and Mixed Marriage in Modern Ireland.

Conference Events
City Hall Reception

On 24 August, Conference delegates are invited to a drinks reception in Belfast City Hall starting at 7pm.

Guest Speaker: Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University Belfast.

City Hall interior
The Seamus Heaney Centre Presents

On 25 August, the Seamus Heaney Centre for Creative Writing at Queen's will host an event for conference attendees launching the new collection of poetry from Leontia Flynn, 'Taking Liberties'.


Seamus Heaney Centre
Array Collective

On 26 August delegates are invited to a curator's tour of the Array Collective's Turner-Prize winning installation 'The Duthraib's Ball', at the Ulster Museum, including Q and A with artists.

More details to follow

Ulster Museum