Friday, August 24, 2007
Race and Immigration in the New Ireland Keough-Naughton Institute conference, University of Notre Dame, October 14-17, 2007
On Thursday, June 28th, Ireland elected its first black mayor, Rotimi Adebari, a Nigerian who arrived seven years ago as an asylum seeker. This event points to the rapid population explosion the country is experiencing. Ireland has undergone profound changes in the last decade, not simply by reversing a long history of emigration, but also by attracting hundreds of thousands of new immigrants, many of these from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. The arrival of over 207,000 Poles alone in the last decade is changing the face of the Irish nation and the Irish Catholic Church. The world accepted the Irish. Will the Irish accept the world? That is the question the Notre Dame Keough-Naughton Institute conference on “Race and Immigration in the New Ireland” (October 14-17) will address.
The conference will open with a keynote address on campus in Washington Hall Sunday evening, October 14th, by Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. President Robinson’s speech will also help the University of Notre Dame celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Center for Social Concerns. The conference panels Monday through Wednesday will focus on “The Demographics of the New Ireland,” “Race,” “Legality and Rights,” “Work and Labor,” “The Experience of Women,” “Sport in the New Ireland,” “The Linguistic Challenge of Multi-Cultural Ireland,” “Social Integration,” on “What Ireland can learn from North-American and European Experience,” on relations “North and South,” and “Religion in the New Ireland.” The conference on Race and Immigration in the New Ireland will close Wednesday October 17th with a keynote address at 11:15 A.M. in the McKenna Hall Center for Continuing Education by Notre Dame Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies, Luke Gibbons. Among the distinguished participants, the conference speakers include John Haskins, the Senior Civil Servant responsible for Irish immigration policy; David Begg, the General Secretary of The Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Donncha O’Connell, the Dean of National University at Galway Law School; Salome Mbugua, the National Director of AkiDwA, the Irish African Women’s Association; Minister Éamon Ó Cuív; Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín; Anna Lo, Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the first East Asian elected to a European parliament; Steve Garner of the University of Western England; Pat Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committee; Matthew Frye Jacobson of Yale University; Ali Selim, Secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland; Isabela Grawbowski-Lusinski of the University of Warsaw; journalists Susan McKay and Patsy McGarry; Anaele Diala Iroh of the Dublin Institute of Technology; Philip Watt of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism; Ronit Lentin and Pádraig Ó Riagáin of Trinity College-Dublin; Mike Cronin of Boston College; Niamh Hourigan of University College Cork; Mary Corcoran of National University at Maynooth; Carmen Frese of University College, Dublin; Abel Ugba of the University of East London; and, along with Luke Gibbons, Jorge Bustamante and Tony Messina of Notre Dame. They will be joined by scholars, policy-makers and representatives from various groups making up what has come to be called the New Ireland. The conference will also host a performance Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 8:00 P.M. in the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts Decio Theater of the play, “The Kings of The Kilburn High Road,” by Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first African Theatre Company led by Nigerian Bisi Adigun. There will also be a pre-conference Saturday Scholar Lecture by Professor Luke Gibbons in the Snite Museum on Saturday, October 13th at noon, and a film, “In America,” to be shown Sunday afternoon, October 14th, at 4:00 P.M. in the Marie DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts. Participants are welcome to register for the conference on line at https://marketplace.nd.edu/cce/