As Provost of Ulster University’s Magee campus, I am delighted to welcome you to the 2021 American Conference for Irish Studies, broadcasted live from the historic city of Derry.
In a land feted for its saints and scholars, this year the city will commemorate fifteen hundred years since the birth of Colmcille (Saint Columba), broadly recognised as one of the most important evangelists in the early European Christian church and also a key personality in the scholastic heritage of Ireland and Scotland. Born in Donegal and patron of Derry (Doire Cholm Cille, the oak-grove of Colmcille), he is acknowledged as one of the most influential figures in Irish and British history and a huge figure in the city and region’s political, diplomatic, cultural, scientific, and religious past.
Driven by an ethos of enquiry and collaboration, and committed to excellence, this conference will enable academics and historians from across the globe to bring Colmcille’s rich academic legacy to life in a celebration of Ireland’s exceptional literary and linguistic heritage.
Focusing on the central themes of Heritage, Healing and Home, delegates will congregate virtually to debate and examine key aspects of Irish Studies, hosted live from within a few miles of the UK/EU border post-Brexit.
The status of the ACIS conference as a leading interdisciplinary Irish Studies event will be borne out in a multi-faceted programme in which you are all invited to contribute. The breadth and scale of literary, cultural, and historical discourse within the planned and potential research presentations, plenary sessions, poetry readings and artistic performances will be a fitting tribute to the life and work of Colmcille, his contribution to the great literary and artistic creations of the early Middle Ages, but set in the context of a modern, vibrant UNESCO Learning City.
I am grateful to the many experts who will share their knowledge at ACIS 2021 and who are uniquely placed to inform and debate a range of themes for our international audience.
Over the course of the conference programme I am sure you will have fruitful and rewarding exchanges and I look forward to learning about your shared experiences.
Professor Malachy Ó Néill
Chair of ACIS 2021 Organising Committee, Provost, Ulster University's Magee Campus
"Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells."
Excerpt from “The Cure at Troy” by Seamus Heaney