Call For Abstracts ¦¦ Gairm ar Achoimrí

The second Global Irish Diaspora Congress will be based on the successful model of the inaugural GIDC in August 2017 in University College Dublin. A wide range of papers on such diverse subjects relating to the global Irish diaspora as history, archaeology, art, cultural studies, genealogy and language will be considered. Topics are selected as they relate to the millions of Irish people from all sectors of society who left Ireland to settle elsewhere in the world, whether in Africa, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, New Zealand, Pacific islands, South America, the United States or elsewhere.

For many decades there has been considerable scholarly interest in the history of emigration from Ireland, from its beginnings in the middle ages (to Britain and parts of Europe) through the 18th and 19th centuries (to all corners of the globe), and in how ‘Irishness’ has been and continues to be maintained and expressed by descendant communities. The sheer scale of the Irish diaspora previously created obstacles to an international conversation and exchange of ideas. Today a growing number of online sources and ease of online collaboration has greatly enhanced our global comparative perspectives in research. Topics include (but are not limited to) the many causes of Irish migration, the types of people who migrated, the shared or divergent experiences of migrants in different places and times, the material remains of diaspora, the impact of migrations on host populations and cultures including literature and language, and relationships between diasporic communities and Ireland.

This congress will pursue new disciplinary alliances and intellectual synergies in the field of Irish diaspora research. Researchers from many fields and from every corner of the world are invited to Durban, South Africa, to attend three days of plenaries and parallel sessions, where they can present their work, meet fellow-researchers, exchange ideas, and establish research networks within and across disciplinary boundaries.

Proposals are invited for RESEARCH PAPERS and/or SESSIONS to be delivered at this congress. Contributions may be of an empirical nature, or may address such themes as migration, transnationalism, colonialism and postcolonialism. All perspectives from all disciplines are welcome.

Conference fees (including lunches and teas for 3 days, excluding accommodation) will be:

 Early Bird (until 17 March 2020): €210,
 Special Early Bird fee for delegates from Africa: R1,600.
 After 17 March 2020 (rest of world): €260
 After 17 March 2020 (Africa): R2,000

The Congress dinner and battlefield fieldtrip will be extra, the cost to be determined depending on sponsorship raised.

Delegates will arrange their own accommodation in Durban South Africa’s premier holiday destination. This ranges from beachfront hotels and to bed and breakfast establishments on the Berea Ridge (Glenwood, Berea, Morningside). July is South Africa winter holiday season, so we urge delegates to book accommodation as soon as possible as the town fills up in July.

For more information, keep an eye on: or contact

Potential congress sponsors should contact Donal McCracken directly:

To submit a proposal, please fill in the attached form. Delegates will be notified of decisions concerning acceptance of abstracts by late December 2019 –January 2020. Delegates are also welcome to propose specific sessions.

Please note that you will have an opportunity to fine-tune your title and abstract before it is published on the congress website, so a provisional title and abstract can be submitted, provided they remain close to the final version.

The congress will be held on the Howard College (Durban) campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, one of Africa’s top research and most progressive universities with five campuses and a student population of 44,000. The university was formed in 2003 with the amalgamation of the former University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal.

This unique occasion is something very special – the largest Irish event to be held on African soil. While Congress papers will cover the global diaspora in their content, we hope that the Irish link with Africa and Africa’s with Ireland will be showcased as never before. A wide and diverse interest has already been part of the Global Irish Diaspora Congress and we, the international committee are working to make this a memorable and significant milestone in the relationship between Ireland and Africa.

This Call will close on Monday, 25 November 2019.
Email address *
Name ¦¦ Ainm *
Institution ¦¦ Institiúid *
Are you a scholar/ avocational researcher/ independent scholar/ genealogist/ graduate student? If a student, please give the name of your research adviser. ¦¦ An scoláire/ saorthaighdeoir/ scoláire neamhspleách/ ginealeolaí/ mac léinn iarchéime tú? Más mac léinn tú, tabhair ainm do stiúrthóra.
Country ¦¦ Tír *
Brief Biography ¦¦ Beathaisnéis Ghairid *
This may be used for the programme in the case that your paper is accepted. ¦¦ Seans go n-úsáidfear é seo don chlár sa chás go nglactar le do pháipéar.
Submit ¦¦ Cuir isteach *
A. Title of Paper (if applicable) ¦¦ Teideal an Pháipéir
Abstract ¦¦ Achoimre (150 words ¦¦ focal)
If your paper is part of a session please indicate session title ¦¦ Luaigh ainm an tseisiúin má bhaineann do pháipéar le seisiún ar leith
B. Title of Session (if applicable) ¦¦ Teideal an tSeisiúin
Details of Proposed Session ¦¦ Sonraí an tSeisiúin (150 words ¦¦ focal)
Theme/ number of papers/ speaker names ¦¦ Téama/ líon na bpáipéar/ ainmneacha na gcainteoirí
Please indicate if you would be willing to chair a session during the Congress ¦¦ An mbeifeá toilteanach bheith i do chathaoirleach ar sheisiún?
Clear selection
Durban Organising Commitee
Ronald Clark, Irish Association of South Africa
Derek Griffin, Irish Association of South Africa
Donal McCracken, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Chair)
Patricia McCracken, Independent scholar
Raymond McNulty, Irish Association of South Africa
Sandren Naidoo, Irish Association of South Africa
Sihawukele Ngubane, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mandy Slabbert, Irish Association of South Africa
Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, University of KwaZulu-Natal
International Advisory Committee

Stephen Brighton, University of Maryland
Dominic Bryan, Queen’s University Belfast
Heather Burke,​ ​Flinders University
Malcolm Campbell, University of Auckland
Christopher C. Fennell, University of Illinois​
Pedro Paulo A. Funari, University of Campinas
Martin Gibbs​,​ University of New England
Dianne Hall, Victoria University
Liam Kennedy, University College Dublin
Kev​i​n Kenny,​ Boston College
Donal McCracken, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mark McGowan, University of Toronto
Guillermo MacLoughlin Uni. Nacional de La Plata
Kerby Miller, University of Missouri
Bill Mulligan, Murray State University
Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, Concordia University
Brian Ó Conchubhair, Notre Dame
Tadhg O'Keeffe, University College Dublin
Chuck Orser, Vanderbilt University
Pádraig Ó Siadhail, St Mary’s University, Halifax
Celeste Ray, University of the South (Sewanee)
Deb Rotman, University of Notre Dame
Regina Uí Chollatáin, University College Dublin (President)
Aoife Whelan, University College Dublin
Clair Wills, Princeton University
David Wilson, University of Toronto
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