Welcome to the Fifth International Spenser Society Conference,
The Place of Spenser / Spenser’s Places.
Our place will be the splendid conference facilities in Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland. The conference begins Thursday morning, June 18 (2015) and runs through Saturday, June 20. An optional bus trip to Edmund Spenser’s ruined castle at Kilcolman, Co. Cork and other Spenser-related sites in Ireland will be scheduled for Sunday, June 21.
The conference will bring together scholars of all ranks and various disciplines from around the world. The International Spenser Society has previously sponsored four successful conferences [Princeton (1990), Yale (1996), Cambridge (2001), and Toronto (2006)] on various themes. “The Place of Spenser / Spenser’s Places” will address Spenser’s profound interest in places and spaces both imaginative and real. These places include those in Ireland, specifically Dublin, Kildare and Munster, where he spent much of his mature career. The conference will also explore his ties to London (where he grew up), Cambridge (where he went to university), parts of England and the Continent, and the court. What places did his colleagues, competitors, ideas and influences come from? It asks us to think about how Spenser shaped spaces and places in his imagination, and how his profound creativity earned him a place in literary history as “England’s Arch-Poet.” Another key goal of the conference is to re-assess the place of Spenser (and by association literary and renaissance studies) in the academy today.
The conference will consist of round-table focus panels, open-topic paper sessions and posterboard and digital displays. Distinguished professors Anne Fogarty (University College Dublin), Helen Cooper (University of Cambridge), and Jeff Dolven (Princeton University) are our plenary speakers.
Dublin Castle, located at the centre of the medieval and renaissance city, is also in the heart of modern Dublin. Conferees can stay in hotels, B&B’s and university dormitories (places are suggested on this website). The cultural riches of downtown Dublin are on your doorstep. Among other highlights are nearby museums with world-class collections (National Museum of Ireland; National Gallery of Ireland), as well as the chance to explore related exhibits and special collections in nearby institutions (Royal Irish Academy; Trinity College Dublin; Marsh’s Library; Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland; University College Dublin). Receptions are planned in various cultural venues. Dublin’s two cathedrals, Christ Church and St Patrick’s, are full of literary and historical interest. St Patrick’s has strong associations with Jonathan Swift, and Christ Church was the site of the investiture of Sir Henry Sidney and other Lord Deputies of Ireland. Delegates are encouraged to arrive early in the week in honour of another great Dublin writer, James Joyce, on Bloomsday, June 16, celebrated with great vigour in the city.
Spenser studies today represent the best of both traditional and cutting-edge approaches to the study of renaissance literature, history and culture. We expect this to continue as you find your own place in Dublin’s storied history.
We hope to see you there!