Launch of 'Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference'

The launch of Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference, eds. Noreen Giffney and Margrit Shildrick (‘Breaking Feminist Waves’ book series, New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2013) will take place on Friday 31 January at 6pm in The Old Physics Theatre, Newman House, 85-6 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. Inspired by and dedicated to AILBHE SMYTH Launched by PAULA MEEHAN (Ireland Professor of Poetry)

Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference brings together leading researchers working at the interface between Irish Studies and theories of gender and sexuality in an effort to trace the development of feminist thinking and activism in Ireland over the past forty years. From queer theory to postfeminism, LGBT rights to abortion, immigration to emigration, postcolonialism to psychoanalysis, chapters trace the social, political, legal, religious and educational developments in Ireland and its diasporas. The authors celebrate, more specifically, the academic, literary, and political efforts of the Irish public intellectual, theorist, and activist Ailbhe Smyth, while pushing work on gender and sexuality in challenging new directions. Contributors include Ivana Bacik, Paula Burns, Olga Cox Cameron, Lisa Fingleton, Noreen Giffney, Debbie Ging, Breda Gray, Eithne Luibhéid, Sandra McAvoy, Gerardine Meaney, Anne Mulhall, Aideen Quilty, Medb Ruane, Margrit Shildrick, Edith Shillue, Ailbhe Smyth, Moynagh Sullivan, Fintan Walsh and Margaret Ward. This event is kindly sponsored by the UCD Humanities Institute.


‘This landmark and invaluable collection of essays shows how the shape of Irish Studies has been changed for the better by the substantial interventions that feminist and queer practices have made. It historicises feminist and queer activism in Ireland and its diasporas, as well as showing how critically important it is to centralize perspectives that emphasize embodiment, sexuality, and gender for reading Ireland now and into the future’ (Prof Mike Cronin, Boston College, Ireland)

‘Irish feminism — activist and academic — has supplied the impetus for virtually all of the most remarkable social transformations that we have observed in Ireland over the past three decades, while nurturing and cross-pollinating with an array of other distinct movements vastly influential in their own right. This collection is indispensable’ (Prof Margot Backus, University of Houston, USA)

‘This collection is a fitting tribute to and extension of the work of Ailbhe Smyth and her vigorous, indefatigable, and lifelong commitment to feminist theory and activism’ (Michael O’Rourke, Independent College, Dublin, Ireland)