Kucera Center to Co-Sponsor Conference in Ireland - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kucera Center to co-sponsor conference in Ireland

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DUBUQUE, Iowa -- The Kucera Center for Catholic Thought at Loras College will be co-sponsoring the conference, "Catholicism and Public Cultures in Ireland, France, United Kingdom and North America," held June 17-19, 2009, at the Institute for Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Other co-sponsors include the Centre for Public Culture Studies at IADT and the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies at the Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin.

The interdisciplinary conference will investigate the Catholic Church as institution and as text in the context of Ireland, France, United Kingdom and North America. It will focus on the impact of Catholicism, both actual and potential, upon other cultural fields, rather than on the confessional or doctrinal dimensions of Catholicism. The conference will then explore the ways in which the framework of beliefs and practices associated with Catholicism have impacted the public sphere and public cultures in such areas as the relationship between individuals and the state, cultural identities and practices, public space, visual cultures (cinema, art, television, new media), popular cultures and literary representation. 

Being the only co-sponsor from the United Sates, the conference is also an outgrowth of Loras' study abroad relationship with its Irish partner institution, IADT. A Loras study abroad program was inaugurated in Dublin in 2000 and since 2003, the program has been affiliated with IADT. More than 150 Loras students have completed the semester program in Ireland. This conference is part of an effort for Loras to expand its relationship between the institutions to include collaborative scholarly projects between Loras faculty and students.

Andrew Auge, Ph.D., professor of English at Loras College, states, "Besides developing our relationship with this important international partner and addressing an issue central to Loras' Catholic identity, this conference enhances Loras' national and international reputation as a Catholic liberal arts institution."

Auge will speak at one conference session on the topic of Modern Irish Poetry and Catholicism by addressing "Kavanagh's Parochialism: A Catholic Poetics of Place." John C. Waldmeir, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies at Loras College, will also speak at one conference session on the topic of Art, Literature and Catholicism by addressing "Mary Gordon and the Story of Pearl Myers."

A call for conference papers was issued In March 2009 and the publishing of a selection of conference papers as a volume in the book Reimagining Ireland is anticipated.

For more information contact Auge at andrew.auge@loras.edu.

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