ECLIPSE organises and supports conferences and symposia on subjects such as climate change, the natural environment and literatures of place.

Past events

State of the Art

Wednesday 10th April – Friday 12th April 2013
University of Georgia, USA

This conference saw the project consolidate a relationship between British and Irish Universities and the University of Georgia in the United States. The conceptual aim was to analyse the tensions in coupling identity and nationhood with ecology and the environment, relationships usually underplayed or overlooked in similar projects. A range of specialist participants were invited to speak on a range of topics including: the Atlantic and capitalism; early modern culture and transnational exchange; literary and cultural theory; literary environmentalism and nature writing; cartography and literary mapping; archipelagic, regional and national identities. Of particular note was the introduction of the idea of the 'Red Atlantic' and a consideration of Native American histories of Atlantic travel, in large thanks to recent work by Professor Jace Weaver of UGA. 

This AARP Conference was sponsored by the Office of the Provost at UGA, in partnership with the British-Irish Studies Program; Center for Native American Studies; Creative Writing Program; Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities; Department of English; Department of History; and Russell Special Collections Libraries.

Over the Irish Sea

Thursday 26th – Friday 27th April 2012
University College Dublin

The purpose of the symposium was to provide a platform for current research on pre-occupations with, and crossings of, the Irish Sea in the modern period in Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish literatures. The symposium was kindly supported by UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies, UCD School of English, Drama and Film, UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, NUI Galway Moore Institute, and the University of Exeter.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Margaret Cohen (Stanford University) author of The Novel and the Sea (2010)
Sponsored by the Moore Institute, NUI Galway

Professor Claire Connolly (Cardiff University) author of A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829 (2011)

Poetry Readings

Alan Gillis, Andrew McNeillie, Conor O’Callaghan

‘Over the Irish Sea’ is a symposium organised to share new research about literary conceptions of, and crossings of,  the Irish Sea in the modern period in Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish literatures. The symposium will reflect on contemporary archipelagic and maritime methodologies in literary and cultural studies, and examine how  such methodologies might re-orient and re-shape studies of the literatures of the British and Irish Isles. Further details of the symposium can be found at

Places at the symposium are limited, so please contact the organiser to register your interest in attending  (email: as soon as possible. Registration is required for attendance.

The ‘Over the Irish Sea’ symposium is supported by UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies, UCD School of  English, Drama and Film, UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, NUI Galway Moore Institute, and  the University of Exeter. It is part of the Atlantic Archipelagos Research Project (AARP).

Perspectives on Tim Robinson

Friday 9th – Saturday 10th September 2011
National University of Ireland, Galway

Funded by

The British Academy and National University of Ireland, Galway


  • Folding Landscapes
  • The Atlantic Archipelago Research Project at the University of Exeter and the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland Galway
  • The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research, National University of Ireland Galway
  • The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, National University of Ireland Galway

The Connemara Symposium brings together artists, writers, scholars and the public in conversation with the work of Tim Robinson. It is supported by the Atlantic Archipelagos Research Project (AARP), which is a collaboration between the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the University of Exeter. AARP is grateful to acknowledge the support of the British Academy, the University of Exeter and the National University of Ireland, Galway, in bringing these events to life.

Tim Robinson is best known for his two-volume study Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage and Labyrinth (republished by New York Review of Books Classics Series 2008-9); he is currently completing the final volume of a trilogy, Connemara: Listening to the Wind (2006) and The Last Pool of Darkness (2008). The recipient of a major European Conservation Award in 1987, Robinson was Parnell Visiting Fellow in Irish Studies at Magdalene College, Cambridge this last year.

Tim Robinson's two-volume study Stones of Aran was described by the Irish Times as ‘One of the most original, revelatory and exhilarating works of literature ever produced in Ireland' and by the London Review of Books as ‘a wonderful achievement'. Next year is the 25th anniversary of the first publication of Tim Robinson's Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage

The Connemara Symposium offers a unique opportunity to engage with his work and follows a previous meeting in Cambridge. A short video about this meeting is available to view on YouTube.

The Connemara Symposium brings some of the world's leading creative thinkers and artists engaged with questions of human society and the environment to Galway.

You can find out more about the symposium at the National University of Ireland, Galway's website.

New Climes: Critical Theory, Environmentalism, and Climate Change

10:00am, Monday 13th June 2011
Penryn Campus

Confirmed plenary speakers

  • Ian Buchanan (Cardiff University)
  • Claire Colebrook (Penn State University)
  • Timothy Morton (UC-Davis)
  • Karen Pinkus (Cornell University)

Climate change is an unprecedented crisis in human history. It is marked by necessary scientific imprecision and met by public confusion and controversy. Discerning climate change involves intricate scientific problems, and responding demands complex cultural strategies, spanning global, historically unprecedented action. Even as scientists, politicians, activists, and publics have struggled to respond, climate change has also begun to provoke cultural innovation and political audacity. Correspondingly, then, this cultural phenomenon of climate change might require a re-adjustment of critical approaches and methods.

Climate change asks of cultural critics and theorists nothing more nor less than a re-evaluation of ourselves. In a day-long symposium, we will explore the relationship between climate change and critical theory. How do critical concepts like power, ideology, mediation, capital, colonialism, gender, oppression, society, and construction help us to understand the challenges presented by climate change? Does the current crisis wrought by anthropogenic climate change challenge or affirm the assumptions that underpin cultural critical theory—and to what extent? Can we respond—and, if so, how—through now established critical modes, such as those signalled by deconstruction, post-structuralism, genre theory, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and science studies, or those practised under the rubrics of, among others, Agamben, Badiou, Butler, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas, Latour and Žižek? Or does climate change demand a new kind of theory?

We will address these questions at a day-long symposium at the University's Cornwall Campus. Symposium proceedings will be published in a special issue of the journal symplokē.

This symposium is part-financed by the European Social Fund (agreement number 09099NCO5).

Mysticism, Myth, Nationalism

10:00am, Fri 23rd - Sat 24th July 2010
Penryn Campus

Keynote speakers

  • Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol)
  • Nic Craith (University of Ulster)
  • Jason Whittaker (University College Falmouth)


Mythical and mystical localities figure prominently in canonical literature and popular culture. This conference will explore how such places inflect current debates about nationhood and regionalism. It will engage with a wide range of approaches, from disciplines including (but not limited to) archaeology, history, Celtic studies, anthropology, and literature. It will address such questions as: How are some places, such as Cornwall, felt to be particularly ‘haunted' by a mythologised, mystic past? What impact does this perception have on their identity politics? How do different nations and regions compare? We are especially interested in how ‘Celtic' areas such as Wales and Scotland compare to the rest of Britain, but are also keen to explore other locations.

Topics include:

  • Archaeology and its role in the construction of nations
  • The history of spirituality
  • Nationalist and regional writing
  • Gothic literature and fantasy
  • Oral history and traditions
  • Romanticised regions
  • Memory and place
  • Nationalism and globalisation