The ACIS-West is the Western Regional chapter of the American Conference for Irish Studies, a multidisciplinary scholarly organization with approximately 800 members in the United States, Ireland, Canada, and other countries around the world. Each fall, ACIS-West holds an annual conference featuring plenary speakers, academic sessions in all fields of Irish Studies, poetry and fiction readings, films, and performances of Irish music and plays.
Irish labor and Irish workers in the Rocky Mountain West
The 2021 conference will be held September 23-26 at the University of Colorado, Denver. This will be an in-person conference with a virtual component. The conference will culminate with a bus trip to Leadville on the morning of Sept. 26th to view the new Irish memorial being built there to honor 19th-century Irish immigrants buried in unmarked graves in the pauper section of Leadville’s Evergreen Cemetery. This will be followed by a reception and celebration of a new sister-city relationship between Leadville, Colorado and Allihies, Co. Cork.
Helen Thorpe will deliver the keynote address, Thorpe, a journalist who has written three books of narrative nonfiction about immigrants seeking legal status, veterans returning home from conflict, and refugee families in the midst of resettlement. She has also published a collection of linked essays about family, food, and migration.
The conference theme is Irish labor and Irish workers in the Rocky Mountain West and the ACIS is now accepting presentation proposals from community members, students, local historians, artists, organizers, and anyone else with an interest in Colorado and Irish history and culture. You don’t have to be an academic, we are designing this conference to have many local voices sharing their work and interests. The proposal deadline is June 1, 2021.
Jordan-Potts Award Information
The Donald E. Jordan, Jr. – Willard C. Potts, Jr. Award recognizes exceptional work by emerging scholars in Irish Studies. It is awarded annually to the ACIS-West member judged the most meritorious emerging scholar (current graduate students and scholars within three years of having received a Ph.D.). The recipient is chosen by a committee of ACIS-West members appointed by the President, and the award is presented at the closing banquet of the organization’s annual conference. Currently, the award is accompanied by a $500 honorarium each year.
Donald E. Jordan, Jr. (1945-2003) and Willard C. Potts, Jr. (1925-2006) were co-founders (San Francisco, 1985) of the American Conference for Irish Studies-Western Region. Dr. Jordan served as the second ACIS-W President (1986) followed by Dr. Potts (1988). As colleagues and friends, both scholars enjoyed careers as university professors; Jordan at Menlo College in California and Potts at Oregon State University. Jordan researched and wrote the history of Ireland, particularly agrarian unrest in the West of Ireland. Potts was a recognized James Joyce expert. Together, Jordan and Potts contributed their wisdom, scholarship, and good judgment to establish the best professional, scholarly expression of Irish Studies in the American West.
Conference registration fees:
One Day Registration for Community members: $25 (does not include banquet or Leadville trip)
Hotel accommodations are at the Springhill Suites by Marriott on Auraria Campus.