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Welcome to CISA

  • the only centre for Irish Studies in Denmark

Welcome to CISA

  • The only centre for Irish studies in Denmark


The Centre for Irish Studies in Aarhus is the only centre for Irish Studies in Denmark and one of two such centres in Scandinavia. The centre offers teaching in Irish history, society, literature and culture in compulsory courses and elective seminars on undergraduate and graduate level. The centre plays a key role within NISN, the Nordic Irish Studies Network, and publishes the peer-reviewed Nordic Irish Studies journal, in co-operation with DUCIS (see link) and NISN.

CISA has hosted three international conferences and a number of international seminars and symposia since its inauguration in 2000 and, as part of the Department of English at Aarhus University.

Our main objective is is to help advance the study of Ireland in Denmark by facilitating research and teaching in the fields of Irish history, culture, literature and politics as seen in a broad European and international context.


Taking a break

The Centre for Irish Studies is temporarily shutting down most of our activities over the next year.

The Reimagining Ireland Podcast is still available

Events and information relating to the ERC-funded project "Classical Influences and Irish Culture" (CLIC) can be found here.   

All previously planned events and lectures hosted by CISA and affiliates will still be held, if Covid-19 allows.

CPH:DOX movies now available

Because of Covid-19, the CPH:DOX movie festival sadly had to be cancelled. However, it's now possible to buy access to the movies on their website. Among these are the movies "Lost Lives" and "Trouble" about the Troubles in Ireland.  

Lost Lives: 

A look back at the bloody conflict in Northern Ireland, which lasted for more than 30 years, but has roots that are several hundred years old.

For over three decades, Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants have been fighting each other for the destiny of Northern Ireland. Nationalists against Unionists, Republicans against Loyalists. Both sides are convinced that theirs is the true path. ‘Lost Lives’ is based on the book of the same name, which tells the story of each of the 3,700 men, women and children, who lost their lives in a conflict that lasted for more than three decades, but whose roots go back several hundred years. Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh and Michelle Fairley are among the Irish voices who speak about ‘the Troubles’, accompanied by historical archive material and a score by The Ulster Orchestra.


A northern Irish Romeo & Juliet story from the troubled 1970s, reconstructed with a female artist playing the role of her own father.

As her Irish father doesn’t want to take part in her films, the artist Mariah Garnett must appear in his place. She cuts her hair, dresses like a man and lip synchs her interviews with him in the places in Belfast where she reconstructs scenes from their shared life, in order to understand him – and herself. Her father was a ragged young Protestant with messy hair and a cotton coat in the troubled 70s, when the conflict with the Catholics was still bitter and bloody. Like a Northern Irish Romeo with his Catholic girlfriend Maura as his Julie, her father was involved in the old conflict in more ways than one, and this has completely unpredictable consequences in an equally unpredictable film, which blends archive footage from a proud and wrecked Belfast with androgynous re-enactments. ‘Trouble’ is a film with three main characters: the teenager, who tries to find his identity in the Northern Irish civil rights movement. The young woman who tries to understand her father. And last, but not least, Belfast itself in all its poverty and rich history.

Queen's University Belfast International Summer School 2020

The Queen's University Belfast International Summer School in Irish Studies is now open for applications for summer 2020. This year's summer school runs from June 22nd to July 17th, with applications closing on April 20th.

This four week programme offers an immersive opportunity to study Ireland's history, culture and politics with a distinctive northern perspective. We take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring Ireland past and present from multiple perspectives, and give particular attention to the Northern Irish peace process and its legacies.
Classes led by leading scholars based at Queen's University Belfast are supplemented by educational field trips to sites including Derry/Londonderry, the Giant's Causeway, the Seamus Heaney Homeplace and early-Christian Downpatrick.

The programme can be taken by undergraduate students for university credit or by anyone for personal interest. Inclusive fees (with 4 weeks accommodation) are very reasonable at £2,900 (c.US$ 3,800), and US students can apply for free tuition via our partners at the Fulbright Commission (www.fulbright.org.uk/…/sum…/queens-university-belfast) .

Full information on the summer school is available online at: www.qub.ac.uk/…/Summer-Sc…/IrishStudiesSummerSchool/

Call for Papers

Éire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies and guest editors Sara Dybris McQuaid (Aarhus University) and Ferghal McGarry (Queen’s University, Belfast) welcome submissions for a Spring/Summer 2022 special issue on Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations. The CFP is extended to January 31st 

How do you remember difficult histories in democratic societies? Workshop with Svendborg Welfare Museum

This was the main question at a workshop organised in december '19 by the Centre for Irish Studies affiliate Laura McAtackney and the Welfare Museum in Svendborg.
In Dublin the initiative Justice for Magdalenes is trying to make a former Magdalene Laundry into a museum; archive and a space for remembrance.
The Irish working group has been very inspired by how the former poor house (totally intact!) in Svendborg is co-creating exhibitions and practices with former care leavers, survivors and people who are marginalised in contemporary society. In both the Danish and Irish contexts apologies have been given by the state, but that is only ever one step of historical - and ongoing - recognition and reckoning.

The workshop was made possible through a grant from the Irish Embassy.

To learn more about Justice for Magdalenes Research and the process of turning a place of pain into a museum-space for remembering and healing, listen to episodes 3 and 4 of our podcast "Reimagining Ireland" here

Presenting "Reimagining Ireland" an Irish Studies Podcast

CISA proudly presents our podcast "Reimagining Ireland". A podcast featuring brilliant Ireland-experts visiting Aarhus University and giving you access to some of the key-issues in Ireland research. Listen, for example, as Laura McAtackney delves into the issue of remembering and dealing with an uncomfortable past. Or Katherine O'Donnell talking about the notorious Magdalene laundries and getting into the discussion of which stories are told, which are buried and who decides? The series is available in both an English and Danish version. You can find Reimagining Ireland on Spotify, iTunes, Spreaker or here on the website.

Growing pains! "Classical Influences and Irish Culture"

CISA is about to experience some serious growing pains, as Isabelle has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant for her project 'Classical Influences and Irish Culture', which will be hosted at the School of Communication and Culture/Centre for Irish Studies. We really look forward to welcoming her to Nobelparken- and to have some sort of joint affiliates celebration in the new year! 


‘Voices & Votes – Women’s Place in Parliament’

You can now visit our ‘Voices & Votes – Women’s Place in Parliament’ exhibition in Vandrehallen (building 1413) until November 30!
The exhibition tells the hidden ‘her-story’ in the history of the UK Parliament, marking the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act. Leading us through the suffragette campaigning, protests, and achievements, the exhibition explores the history of the suffrage, with an emphasis on the struggle for women’s representation in UK politics.    

‘Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations’

The Centre for Irish Studies and AIAS are proud to present Emilie Pine as our keynote speaker for the two-day international and multidisciplinary conference Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations’.

Emilie Pine is currently very active in the media with her new publication ‘Notes to Self’, a ground-breaking collection of taboo-shattering essays on topics such as fertility issues, feminism, and sexual abuse. She will open the conference with a talk on 'The Memory Marketplace: Gender, Witnessing and Performance’.    

The Dictionary of Irish Biography

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is now open to students at Aarhus University, with funding from AIAS and the Embassy of Ireland! It can be found through the State Library's data base and here

The Dictionary of Irish Biography, a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy, is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. It contains over 9,000 signed biographical articles which describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.    

’Rule, Britannia! Great Britain before and after Brexit’

In the spring and autumn of 2017, we ran a seminar on Brexit and nationalism(s) as part of the seminar series ’Rule, Britannia! Great Britain before and after Brexit’. We are pleased to announce that the seminar series will run again in the spring 2019 in both Aarhus and Emdrup, with two seminars on English identity and Ireland after Brexit, respectively, presented by Sara Dybris McQuaid. NB: The seminars will be in Danish    

Upcoming events hosted by CISA and affiliates

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For news comments or information on conferences and publications, contact:

Sara Dybris McQuaid

Associate professor School of Communication and Culture - English

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