Set-up and aims

This workshop consists of two separate parts: thematic papers with subsequent discussion fora (Friday) and a critical interdisciplinary dialogue between research networks in memory studies (Saturday) – see programme. On Friday, international speakers will present their cutting-edge research on memory and space in medieval Irish and Scandinavian literature. On Saturday, representatives from existing memory studies networks and from the Making Ireland and Identities in Transformation research themes will participate in a panel. They will present their research networks and discuss the advantages of interdisciplinary research structures in memory studies with the audience. A memory network for medieval Celtic studies is then launched. This incorporates ideas voiced during the workshop and provides a platform for future collaborative projects on memory in pre-modern Irish culture.

This event is a workshop, which primarily means that active participation of the audience is desired and that the four thematic talks are designed to instigate lively debate and discussion. Therefore, each 45-min paper will be followed by a 40-minute Q&A and discussion round between speaker and other participants. Previous such workshops have shown that such a format is beneficial for creating a stimulating environment for exchanging ideas and opinions and allow for a deeper engagement with a researcher’s arguments than the traditional conference format.

The aim of the workshop is to found and launch the ‘Memory in Pre-Modern Ireland Network’. This is an interdisciplinary research pool for approaching medieval Irish sources through the lens of memory theories and themes, generating a critical development of such theories in relation to the sources. In addition, the workshop will also present cutting-edge research in this field to demonstrate the importance of such an approach to a wider audience. As such, bringing people from various backgrounds and disciplines together and creating a space for critical, lively and productive debate centered on memory and space is, perhaps, the most important goal of this workshop.

The thematic papers on Friday ask how space and memory and mnemonic topoi relate in early Irish and Old Norse-Icelandic literature and how this provided a framework for structuring medieval thought. Each paper presents a case study examining how memory and space interact, and asks how cultural representations of space can help us understand medieval theories of and reflections on memory.

On Saturday, short presentations of existing memory studies networks will be followed by a round-table discussion in which the audience is again invited to participate. Central questions are how such networks can be formulated to create a maximum impact (in and beyond academia) but also to provide a stimulating and innovative collaboration between researchers; how interdisciplinary research can be structured and disseminated/communicated most beneficially; and how collaborative projects may gain from exchanging experiences (at events like this workshop).

Participants are not requested to prepare for the workshop but if you would like to engage in some preliminary reading please contact me via the registration/contact page and I will be happy to provide you with reading suggestions.

Please note that on both days, members of the public are cordially welcome!