IASIL 2019 – ‘The Critical Ground’ and Women’s Literary History

Anna Pilz

Over the course of a week in late July 2019, close to 300 scholars gathered at Trinity College Dublin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ‘International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures’. Under the theme of ‘Critical Ground’, delegates and participants reflected on the developments of Irish literary studies over the past fifty years, discussed the latest developments in the field and sketched out ambitions and new directions for the future. 

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Research Pioneers 1: John Wilson Foster

Research Pioneers in Irish Women’s Writing: An Interview Series

Introduction

Since the 1990s, scholarship on Irish women’s writing has made some significant strides in recovering forgotten authors and texts. Thanks to pioneering work by researchers such as John Wilson Foster, Patricia Coughlan, Heidi Hansson, Margaret Kelleher and James H. Murphy, we have begun to see developments that conceptualise and offer new frameworks for researching and understanding Irish women’s writing of the period between 1880 and 1920. 

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MINING THE WORKS OF IRISH WOMEN WRITERS, PART II

Kathleen Williams

  • See Mining the works of Irish Women Writers Part 1 here.

In 2005, granted a two-month research leave from the Boston College Libraries, I worked on a project that sought to raise visibility of Irish women writers.  The project included creating an online research guide that features bibliographies, anthologies, biographies, online resources and more, identifying the many women writers who worked in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. 

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Mining the Works of Irish Women Writers, Primary Sources in Archival Collections

Kathleen Williams

As researchers, particularly those exploring Irish women’s writings know, challenges abound!  Just as many of the works of Irish women writers have been hidden, so have, or indeed, still are, the primary sources that would foster greater understanding of the women and their work.

Work to create a list of archives for the Irish Women Writers (1880 – 1920) Network website, may lead one to believe that the challenges are overwhelming. A selective list of some of the difficulties involved in exploration of women falling into this category and timeframe includes:

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An Appreciation of Winifred Letts

“An Appreciation of Winifred Letts” [1]

Dr. David Clare, Mary Immaculate College, UL

 

Winifred letts newspaper
Winifred M. Letts

Winifred Letts was born in Salford, in what is now Greater Manchester, in 1882 to an English vicar father and an Irish mother. As a child, she greatly enjoyed the long holidays that her family spent at her maternal grandparents’ house – Knockmaroon, located on the edge of Dublin’s Phoenix Park. These visits instilled a deep love of Ireland in young Winifred, and, when she was 16, she asked her parents to let her transfer from her boarding school in Bromley, Kent to Dublin’s Alexandra College. Her parents acquiesced, and – as a result – Letts joins the important writers Edith Somerville, Mary Manning, and Dorothy McArdle in being an alum of that celebrated south Dublin school. Read More