Awaiting the next performance!

After all the months of planning, it’s gone in a flash. But oh! what a flash! The richness and diversity of debate and presentations made for a very lively and innovative conference. It was a pleasure to welcome, on behalf of UCD Humanities Institute, Shavians and non-Shavians alike. The general feedback has been so positive that I feel the purpose of the conference has been well served. It has to continue.

This conference was born from the wonderful experience I had at the fourth International Shaw Conference ‘Shaw without Borders – Shaw sans frontiéres’ last year (2011) at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The enthusiasm and vibrancy of that conference was the inspiration to bring the conference to Dublin this year. It is with credit to the dedication of the executive committee and the members of the International Shaw Society that the studies of the works of Bernard Shaw are such a vibrant fore-runner in literary critical thinking of the playwright on both sides of the Atlantic.  This commitment has created such an infectious knock on effect that there will be another European conference in none other than Shaw’s Corner in Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, in June of 2013. Best wishes to Sue Morgan and Lizzie Dunford in the organisation of the same and there is no doubt that a little thing like recession is not going to keep us from supporting that.

There are many people that I would like to thank for helping to make the Dublin conference a reality and it goes back to 2004 when the first International Shaw Society was formed. Great thanks are owed to the then President, Richard Dietrich (present Treasurer) and Vice-President, Don Wilmeth (who incidentally organised an amazing conference in 2006 in Brown University, Rhode Island), Treasurer, Lagretta Lenker, recording secretary, Norma Jenkes and membership secretary, Lori Dietrich. These thanks continue in the fulfilment of these rolls by Leonard Conolly, President, Jay Tunney, Vice-President, Richard Dietrich, Treasurer, John McInerney, recording secretary and Anne Stewart, membership secretary. Shaw studies owe a debt of gratitude to all of the above.

From a 2012 perspective I would like to thank Professor Gerardine Meaney of UCD Humanities Institute for putting her trust in the success of the conference and Valerie Norton, administrator of UCD Humanities Institute for all her hard work and enthusiasm for the conference. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Professor Anne Fogarty, Head of School, English , Drama & Film UCD and head of Subject in Drama, Dr Eamonn Jordan, whose support throughout the process has been unwavering. From the University’s point of view, this confernce has succeeded in heightening the awareness of the need and importance of bringing Shaw studies back to his roots in conjunction with the fabulous international studies to date.  

Shaw scholar’s such as Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel and Peter Gahan have added enormously to the body of Shaw studies, so much so that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins never fails to mention their work when he speaks on Irish studies. Great thanks is also due to Professor Anthony Roche and Professor Nicholas Grene who have so enriched the study of Shaw’s work with their imput. We must work hard to capitalise on this wonderful endorsement on the study of Shaw. We can do this by working together within the greater umbrella of the International Shaw Society without whom, in reality, none of this would have been possible. We need to keep encouraging new, fresh and innovative membership - age not a barrier 9 to 99 and beyond welcome! though enthusiasm is a must!

Keep a weather-eye on this website. I hope to bring you all developments from this side of the Atlantic in relation to Shaw studies and I’m keeping the ‘contact us’ page open in case there is anything I can do to help or inform anyone.

Podcasts are available on the following link

These contain the speeches of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and all the keynote speakers, Professor Nicholas Grene, Professor Anthony Roche, Professor Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel and Peter Gahan. There is also a separate podcast of the Rowsome Ensemble and a full podcast of the speakers on the opening night in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Last but not least, a very big thank you to all of the delegates and supporters of the Dublin conference. Without you, it definitely would not have been possible.

I look forward to meeting you all again

Is mise le meas

Audrey McNamara

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