Tag Archives: Conferences

Dublin, the place to be in June

Exciting things are happening in Dublin in June.  First the annual Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing will be held at Trinity College Dublin from the 26-29th of June.  This year’s theme is the ‘The Battle for Books’ and more details, registration, and a full program are available through the society’s webpage.

Trinity College Dublin

While this conference promises to be very exciting, several other organizations will be making the most of this opportunity by scheduling related events in the days and weeks surrounding the SHARP conference.  For those of us interested in book history, that means that the end of June will be a very exciting time in Dublin, and a great chance to hit several events all in one go.

Monday the 25th of June Trinity College will also be hosting a one-day event ‘BUILDING COLLECTIONS: 300 years of the Old Library’ to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Long Room.  This will include speakers one the history of the library, its collections and buildings.  A volume has also been announced, which will be available later this year.  In the fine tradition of eighteenth century publishing, those interested in a copy can subscribe in advance to receive a discount and their name published in the volume.

In the week before, TCD will be hosting the annual Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society Conference from the 22-24th of June.  While not specifically focusing on book history topics, this conference generally features a few panels on literature and publishing in the eighteenth century, and does feature plenary lectures on Jonathan Swift by Moyra Hasslet (QUB) and Maria Edgeworth by James Chandler (UChicago).

With these events all scheduled together, there are several good reasons to be in Dublin at the end of June.  I for one will certainly be here.  I am sure there are also other events scheduled to take advantage of this convergence, so if you know of any please post them to the comments section.


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The Worlds of Mathew Carey- Part 1

The first half of the transatlantic conference ‘Ireland, America and the Worlds of Mathew Carey’ took place this past weekend in Philadelphia.  This was an exciting opening, for what promises to be a truly unique collection of papers dealing with the life and times of Mathew Carey.  Since the full papers are (temporarily) available online on the Philadelphia conference website, I don’t plan on providing a full blow-by-blow account of the first three days.  Instead I would just like to focus on a few key questions which were raised in Philadelphia, and which hopefully will receive some further attention in Dublin.

James Green of the Library Company, and one of the acknowledged experts on Mathew Carey, started things off on Thursday night.  Green explained why there has not yet been a definitive biography written on Carey.  This is partly a result of the lack of private papers, despite the huge amount of correspondence which has survived.  However it is also the result of the contradictory and complex nature of Carey himself.  In Green’s words, Carey represents too many things to too many people.  He was an immigrant, printer, publishers, patriot, political economist, and philanthropist.  He was also a paradox – a man of competition and cooperation.

Over the following two days many speakers introduced us to new and different ‘Mathew Careys’.  However one of the key concepts which kept appearing was the debt which Carey owed to his early days in Ireland, and the continuity with which he maintained his beliefs for the rest of his life.  Cathy Matson’s paper titled “Mathew Carey’s Learning Experience: Commerce, Manufacturing, and the Panic of 1819” made both of these points as did Michael Carter’s paper “Mathew Carey: The Mind of an Enlightenment Catholic.”

At the same time as these concepts kept re-appearing over the weekend, so too did several questions.  One of these, raised very early on by Maurice Bric and Andrew Shankman, dealt with Carey’s stance on race.  Was Mathew Carey a racist, or simply a man of his age?  A second question asked whether Mathew Carey was an innovator or an aggregator?  Martin Burke summarized this debate nicely in his concluding remarks by stating that Carey was perhaps an aggregator who made novel interventions in various debates.

Burke’s concluding remarks, (and probably his opening remarks in a few weeks in Dublin) emphasized the relevance of Mathew Carey to so many areas of study.  These include, but are not limited to, Political Economy, History of the Book, Eighteenth Century Ireland, Irish American History, and Catholic Historiography.

It will be interesting to see where the second half of the conference, at Trinity College Dublin 17-19 November, takes these debates.  A sizable group of individuals, including myself, will attend both parts of the conference, adding to the transatlantic nature of the event, and hopefully allowing for greater continuity between the sessions.  For anyone who is planning on attending the Dublin event further details of the program and information on registration can be found on the Dublin conference website.  If you are unable to attend the second part, the papers should be available online in the next few weeks, or you can contact the organizers for access.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this review in a few weeks time.




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Ireland, America and the Worlds of Mathew Carey

Just a quick update on the Dublin leg of the Carey conference.  The conferece website, with all the official information is up and running at www.tcd.ie/ciss/worldofprint.php You can register on the website, and access the official program.

The conference promises to be very exciting, and should cover a diverse range of topics, so if anyone is interested in 18th or 19th Century print culture, politics, economy, or the Irish diaspora please check it out.


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Ireland, America and the Worlds of Mathew Carey

This conference is the second-leg of a transatlantic conference on the subject of Mathew Carey, to be held at Trinity College Dublin, 17-19 November 2011.  The first leg of which will be held in Philadelphia at the end of October and is sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia.  The website for the first leg is available here.  As promised here is a tentative program for the three days.  Further information, and registration can be done by contacting Dr. Johanna Archbold at TCD.

This looks to be an extremely exciting event, which will allow scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to engage is some sociability and debate.  Hope to see you there!




Thursday, 17 November, 2011

National Library of Ireland

6pm     Keynote Lecture

Richard B. Sher, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Piracy or Patriotic
Publishing? Conflicting Visions of the Reprint Trade in Late Eighteenth-Century
Britain, Ireland and America

Followed by Reception in the National Library of Ireland


Friday, 18 November 2011

Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin 

Martin Burke (CUNY), Mathew Carey – Philadelphia Conference Review

Maurice Bric (UCD), Mathew Carey – Dublin Conference Preview

Session 1:

Molly O’Hagan Hardy (Southwestern) “If that be in my power”: Transatlantic Copyright and Local Citizenship in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia

Carl Keyes (Assumption College) “A New Spring to the Business” Mathew Carey and Innovations in Consumer Advertising in Eighteenth-Century America

Sarah Crider Arndt (Trinity College Dublin), Mathew Carey Baltimore Bookseller

Session 2:

James Kelly (St Patrick’s College) Carey and the Volunteers Journal 

Andrew Fagal (State University of New York) War, memory, politics and Mathew Carey’s Naval History

Brendan MacSuibhne (New Jersey?) title TBC

Session 3:

James N. Green (Library Company of Philadelphia), “I was always dispos’d to be serviceable to you”: Benjamin Franklin’s relationship with Mathew Carey

Niall Gillespie (Trinity College Dublin) William Paulet Carey: Literary Journalism in Associational Dublin

Anne Markey (Trinity College Dublin) John Carey and the Politicisation of Children’s Fiction


Saturday 19 November 2011

Session 4:

Eoin Magennis (Intertrade Ireland) Mathew Carey and the meanings of ‘free trade’ in Ireland in the 1770s and 1780s

Daniel Peart (Queen
Mary, University of London) “The vital interests of a great nation are too valuable to be offered a sacrifice to any man or any party”: Mathew  Carey and the making of US tariff policy

Marc-William Palen (University of Sydney) An old controversy laid to rest: The ideological origins of Henry Charles Carey

Session 5:

Kenneth Ferguson, Philadelphia and the divergent destinies of Carey and Tone

David Barnwell (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) Mathias O’Conway & Mathew Carey: Two Irish Catholics, Two Different Stories

Session 6:

Michael Brown (University of Aberdeen) The Politicisation of Mathew Carey

Johathan Wright (Trinity College Dublin) “A man of the mob”: Peter Finnerty and the Irish contribution to English radicalism, c. 1799-1822

Tim Murtagh (Trinity College Dublin) Mathew & William Paulet Carey: contrasting attitudes towards plebeian radicalism


Talk by Padhraig Higgins (Mercer Community College) on women and gendered language from his recently published work A Nation of Politicians: Gender, Patriotism, and Political Culture in Late Eighteenth-Century Ireland (History of Ireland & the Irish Diaspora) University of Wisconsin Press (2010).


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Conference Season

Summer is always a busy time of year, for while courses are over and seminars are generally suspended, it is conference season.  I generally really like attending conferences and presenting my work.  They provide me with motivation to finish various bits of work, as well as useful forums for trying out new material, and of course great opportunities to learn a load of new information and meet new people in relatively short time frame.

During July, I presented two papers on print related topics.  The first was a paper for the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society anual conference on the business model of the Northern Star newspaper.  More information to come in a later post.

More recently, I returned from ‘Europe, Empire and Public Opinion: Debate and Consensus in the Three Kingdoms 1660-1763’ a conference put on by the gentlemen at Hertford College in Oxford.  This was an intimate conference, but was packed with heavy hitters like Allan MacInnes (University of Strathclyde), Steve Pincus (University of Yale) and Phil Withington (University of Cambridge).  Like most great conferences the discussion built over the course of the event, focusing on imperial policy and politics in England, but with a good dose of Ireland and the Caribbean thrown in as well.

While the conference in general was very politically focused (Whigs and Tories featured in nearly every paper), Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst (King’s College, London) and I managed to bring reading into the picture with our panel entitled ‘Reading America’.  My own contribution was a case study on the early education and reading of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.  Here I used Carroll’s correspondence and his reading to trace the evolution of his opinions regarding Britain and her empire.

While the paper itself was well-received, there is certainly much room for further work to be done on the subject.  Hopefully, I will be able to take some of the comments and further develop the paper as an article.  Stay tuned for further updates and discussion on the reading habits of Mr. Carroll.

While the summer is nearly over, there are always more conferences.  The next major conference on my calendar is the transatlantic ‘Ireland, America and the Worlds of Mathew Carey’ which will be a two-part conference started in October in Philadelphia and finished in November in Dublin.  This should be particularly exciting because it will bring together scholars from both across the Atlantic working on a range of subjects, each of which relates in some way to Mathew Carey or the worlds that he inhabited.  As a committee member for the Dublin leg of the conference, I am privileged to attend both ends of the conference, despite only presenting here in Dublin.  Look out for updates on this subject in the coming months.

For now, I am off to start answering the new calls for papers which are already out for next year’s conferences.


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