Skip to main content


Disability and the Archive: Teresa Deevy in Context

Public Humanities, Explorations in the Medical Humanities

dateFebruary 10, 2021 timeWednesday, 9:00am EST locationVirtual Event
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Variety of documents from the Teresa Deevy Archive, most of which relate to The Abbey Experimental Theatre

Dramatists, scholars, and disability activists have started taking an interest in a deaf Irishwoman who was once considered the premiere national playwright of her day: Teresa Deevy. Interest in her life and works has taken different shapes, from those drawn to her representations of women living circumscribed lives in 1930s Ireland to those who want to recover a neglected history of deaf artistry. In a series of panels, we ask what it means to look in the archives for a writer as elusive as Deevy. Where do we find information about Deevy and her work, and how is this quest inflected by the needs of the present moment? This symposium will include discussions between archivists, scholars, theatre historians, disability activists, performance artists, and directors to examine the various ways of finding Deevy in a historical record that has too often blotted her out.

Irish Sign Language interpretation and captioning will be provided.

Registration information is forthcoming.

Lauren Arrington
(Maynooth University, National University of Ireland)
Hugh Murphy (Maynooth University Library)
Mairead Delaney (Abbey Theatre)
Lianne Quigley (Dublin Theatre of the Deaf)
Amanda Coogan (performance artist)
Emily Bloom (Columbia University)
Christopher Morash (Trinity College)
Elizabeth Redwine (Seton Hall University)

Co-Sponsors: Maynooth University Library and Department of English at Maynooth University; The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University; Explorations in the Medical Humanities, Columbia University; University Seminar in Irish Studies, Columbia University; NYC Irish Studies Consortium; Waterford Institute of Technology and NYU Glucksman Ireland House.

The symposium precedes "Active Speech: Sharing Scholarship on Teresa Deevy," a conference on Deevy’s work organized by the Waterford Institute of Technology and Maynooth University. "Active Speech" constitutes the first conference focusing on Teresa Deevy’s work. In light of the travel and health implications of Covid 19 Active Speech will involve synchronous and asynchronous events all of which are free of charge. Professor Christopher Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing, Trinity College, Dublin and Professor Ann M. Shanahan, Chair, Department of Theatre, Purdue University, Indiana will present keynote lectures on Friday 19th of February. For further details find the conference page on Facebook: Active Speech Sharing Scholarship on Teresa Deevy 2020 or get updates on Twitter: @WIT_BA_Arts_TS and Instagram: Theatre Studies at WIT.

Special thanks to Maynooth University Library for permission to use images from the Teresa Deevy Archive.