G.B. Shaw: Back in Town - Conference

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dublin: May 29th - June 1st, 2012
University College Dublin

Co-sponsored by the UCD Humanities Institute & The International Shaw Society

The opening reception of this exciting conference is taking place in The National Gallery of Ireland and President Higgins has agreed to open the event. This conference is focused on Shaw’s return to Dublin, so to speak, to revist his Irish identity. Dubliner Bernard Shaw was a personal friend of a long list of Irish writers, the most important of whom were Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Augusta Gregory, George Russell ("AE"), and Sean O'Casey. With his Irish wife, Charlotte Payne-Townshend, they sought to encourage younger Irish writers, particularly playwrights, including Norreys Connell ("Conal O'Riordan"), James Hannay ("George Birmingham"), Lennox Robinson, St. John Ervine, and Dennis Johnston. Shaw was closely involved with the Abbey Theatre through Yeats and Gregory right from 1904 through the late 1920s; he was president of the Irish Academy of Letters during the 1930s.

Through his friendship with Horace Plunkett, the founder of the Irish Co-Operative movement, Shaw worked hard behind the scenes during the 1917 Irish Convention to produce a constitutional basis for an independent Ireland. Also through Plunkett and A.E. he was a major supporter (both in terms of writing and finance) of the major cultural journal in the new Irish Free State during the 1920s, the Irish Statesman. He supported James Connolly and the Dublin workers during the 1913 Dublin Lock-Out; he worked for the defense of Roger Caement in 1916; he met Michael Collins; he corresponded with Eamon de Valera (about establishing an Irish film industry in the 1940s among other matters). And he left one third of his fortune to National Gallery of Ireland. Featured speakers are Professor Anthony Roche UCD, Professor Nicholas Grene TCD, Peter Gahan (Independent Scholar) and Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel Massachusetts Maritime Acadamy.

For further information on the conference’s proceedings visit the website http://bernardshawindublin.yolasite.com

The opening evening, including President Higgins speech, and all plenary papers podcast so check out our podcast page after the event to hear these.