ACIS American Conference for Irish Studies 0

Save 15 Ushers Island

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As academics from around the world in the field of Irish studies, we wish to add our voices to the chorus calling upon Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, and Owen Keegan, Dublin City Manager, to intervene for the preservation of the house at 15 Usher’s Island and against its conversion to a hostel. Known to scholars and Joyce aficionados worldwide as “Joyce’s house of ‘The Dead’,” this cultural and historical landmark not only housed Joyce’s great-aunts for some time; it is, critically, also the setting for “The Dead”-- arguably the best known, most loved, and perhaps most frequently taught of Joyce’s short stories. As some of us have already argued (see “Artists and Writers call for protection of Joyce’s ‘House of the Dead’,” Irish Times,8 November), it would be difficult to overstate the lost opportunity the planned use of Usher’s Island would constitute—and it would be a sad irony, indeed, to see the year that Dublin celebrated the opening of the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) also mark the city’s abandonment of a landmark so thoroughly imbued with the history of one of its own greatest authors.

The undersigned are members of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS), the largest academic Irish studies organization in the world with a membership approaching 700 scholars. Hailing from 43 U.S. states, 15 countries, and nearly 400 institutions worldwide, we have dedicated our professional lives to studying, supporting, and promoting Irish literature, history, and culture. On behalf of our field and our students, and for the good of Dublin’s literary and cultural heritage, we urge you to reverse course and protect Usher’s Island for posterity.

Respectfully submitted,

The American Conference for Irish Studies Executive Board

Kate Costello-Sullivan, Le Moyne College, USA—President

Kelly Matthews, Framingham State University, USA--Vice-President

Tim McMahon, Marquette University, USA—Past President

Justin Dolan Stover, Idaho State Universisty, USA--Treasurer

Malcolm Sen, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA-- Secretary

Nicole McClure, Kutztown University, USA—Web and Communications Editor

Ray Cashman, Indiana University, USA--Social Sciences Representative

Cian McMahon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA—History Representative

Kelly Sullivan, NYU, USA—Arts Representative

Julia Obert, University Wyoming, USA—Literature Representative

Úna Ní Bhroiméil, Mary Immaculate College, Ireland—Irish Language Representative

Margot Backus, University of Houston, USA—Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Rep

John Roney, Sacred Heart University, USA—New England Representative

Matthew Reznicek, Creighton University, USA—Mid-Western Representative

Donna Potts, Washington State University, USA—Western Representative

Bridget Keown, University of Pittsburgh, USA—Graduate Student Representative

Nathalie Anderson, Swarthmore College, USA—Southern Representative

Deirdre Nic Mhathuna, Dublin City University, Ireland - International Treasurer

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