Prisons, Asylums, Workhouses: Institutions in Irish History

A 2-day conference at PRONI, Belfast 13-14 June 2019

This conference seeks to bring together researchers at every level (postgraduate, early career and established) to assess the ‘state of the discipline’ in relation to research on the history of institutions in Ireland. The organisers (Dr Gillian Allmond and Max Meulendijks, QUB; Triona Waters, University of Limerick) would be
particularly interested to receive papers on the following subject areas (papers to be 15 to 20 minutes in length), but all topics relating to institutions will be considered. Panel suggestions are also welcome:
• Sources, archives and oral histories: challenges and opportunities presented by the nature and extent of primary source material
• Materiality of institutions: from the buildings themselves to the shackles and straitjackets that are emblematic of certain institutions
• Spatiality of institutions: how can we understand the internal spaces and external landscapes of Irish institutions?
• Treatments and therapies: what practices, medical and otherwise, were intended to heal and/or reform?
• Institutions as heritage: how are the buildings still remaining in our landscape presented as heritage? How do we deal with the problems that dark heritage presents?
• Patient/inmate voices: how do we get at the experiences and responses of patients and inmates, given the nature of institutional records?
• Emotional history of institutions: how do we write the emotional history of institutions, from the perspective of inmates/patients and as a society?
• Institutions and engagement: how do we engage groups outside academia with the history of institutions.

The call for papers closes on 31st March 2019. Abstracts not exceeding 250 words in length, together with a short biography should be sent to Dr Gillian Allmond at

Full details can be found here: