Famine Arrival ship sculpture by Behan
   Photo courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

"Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland" conference to take place June 3-6, 2015

We are pleased to welcome you to Ireland's Great Hunger Institute's conference to be held at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut in June.

The conference will examine the role of women during a period of sustained hunger or famine. We are delighted to have three prominent and distinguished keynote speakers:  Jason King, PhD, of Galway University, Ciarán Reilly, PhD, of Maynooth University and Oonagh Walsh, PhD, of Glasgow Caledonian University. We look forward to hearing about their research on this largely disregarded topic. 

Details of the conference can be found below. Please check back regularly for updates to the program.

Papers are welcome from both established and starting scholars - we hope that you will join us for this exciting and ground-breaking conference. 

Professor Christine Kinealy
Founding Director
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute

This conference is made possible with generous support from CT Humanities

CT Humanities logo

Keynote Presenters

Jason King, PhD

"Sacred and Sacrilegious Women's Testimonials: The Grey Nuns and Maria Monk, Famine Irish Migrants, and the Montreal Fever Sheds in 1847-1848"
King has been a lecturer at the University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth, an Assistant Professor of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, and a visiting professor at the Université de Montréal and University College Cork. He has published extensively in the areas of the Irish famine and famine memory, as well as literary, and theatre studies.  His publications include journal special issues Irish Global Migration and Memory: Transnational Perspectives of Ireland's Famine Exodus (Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, 2014), Memoir, Memory, and Migration in Irish Culture (Irish Review, 2012), and the three volume Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (2008). In 2012, he established a digital Irish famine archive that contains the translated and transcribed annals of the Grey Nuns of Montreal who cared for Famine immigrants, especially widows and orphans, in the city's fever sheds in 1847.  He is now expanding this digital archive in partnership with the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, and the Irish National Famine Museum.

Ciarán Reilly, PhD

"Hungry Words: Female Petitions During the Great Famine"
Reilly is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates in the department of history at Maynooth University, where he is carrying out research on the Strokestown Park House Archive, which is presently housed in the OPW/NUI Research and Archive Centre at Castletown. The centre is a collaboration between the Office of Public Works and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and located at Castletown House in County Kildare. Reilly has contributed to numerous journals and publications, and is author of a number of books concerning the Great Irish Famine, including: Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine (2014); The Irish Land Agent 1830-1860 (2014) and John Plunket Joly and the Great Famine in King's County (2012).

Oonagh Walsh, PhD

"Nature and Nurture: The Great Famine and Epigenetic Change in Ireland"
Walsh was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and holds bachelor’s degrees in History and English, as well as a PhD in modern Irish history. At Nottingham University, England, she earned her master’s in American Studies. Walsh has taught at La Sainte Union College, Southampton, as well as Aberdeen University and University College Cork before her appointment as Professor of Gender Studies at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2012. Her principal research interests lie in gender and medical histories, and in the nineteenth century history of Irish psychiatry in particular. She has published on a range of areas in modern Irish history, including Protestant women’s social, political and cultural experiences, the development of the asylum system in the west of Ireland, and twentieth century obstetrics.

Registration and Conference Information

Registration for the conference is available in two package options, which is for all activities and includes most meals. General registration is available for $240, and student rates are available for $120.

Group discounts are available upon request. Please contact Charity Kuchyt at charity.kuchyt@quinnipiac.edu before completing registration.

View conference schedule

Register online

Accommodations and Travel


We are pleased to offer simple on-campus accommodations from Wednesday to Saturday on a first come, first served basis to 35 attendees at the rate of $150 per person.

The single-occupancy rooms are located in our Eastview dormitories and include a bed with linens and towels, as well as a shared bathroom. Please note that guests will need to bring ALL other personal items such as toiletries, clocks, or hair dryers. In order to receive on-campus accomodations, registration must be complete by May 18, 2015.

*Please note - a car is necessary to travel off campus. Ample parking will be provided.

Click here to take a virtual tour of our campus and conference facilities.

Please mention "Women and the Great Hunger" conference to receive discounted rate.
Best Western PLUS 
Conference rate: $99 (reserve by June 10)
201 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473

Clarion Hotel & Suites
Conference rate: $116 (reserve by May 3)
2260 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518

The Study at Yale
Conference rate: $239 (reserve by May 2)
1157 Chapel Street
New Haven, Ct 06511


Quinnipiac University is located near many major highways, approximately 20 minutes from New Haven, CT. 

To travel via air transportation, we are just 50 minutes from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT, and less than two hours from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Both have several options for ground transportation upon arrival.Regional ground travel:

  • Metro Taxi (services greater New Haven area) - 203-777-7777 
  • Amtrak Train (nationwide service)
  • Metro North (train services greater New York City, with nearest station being Union Station in New Haven)

Quinnipiac University will have plenty of free parking available on campus.

View directions to Quinnipiac University's York Hill Campus.