Annual Conference 2019

Date 11/05/2019
Place NUI Galway


Irish society can be said to be globally ‘connected’ in many ways – technologically, economically, culturally and historically, but how connected is the Irish sociological imagination? Undoubtedly, migration, diaspora and more millennial narratives of ‘global Irishness’ are all central themes, but there are many more ways to think about ‘connection’.

The 2019 Annual Conference will open up opportunities to debate, think through and share research, reflections, commitments and concerns about the content of sociology and its connectedness or disconnectedness, but also the types of connections that sociology makes to other disciplines and practices, to different social realities, experiences, communities, persons, narratives and practices.

​This annual meeting will offer stimulating opportunities to engage in conversations concerning what sociology is for and who it is about, and to find ways to articulate and speak about the state of sociology and the currently very challenging wider contexts of higher education, research, teaching transformations, the political and policy contexts and engagement with different publics.



Professor Gurminder Bhambra, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex
Author of Connected Sociologies (Bloomsbury, 2014)

In her groundbreaking book, Connected Sociologies, Gurminder K. Bhambra re-thinks the classical concerns of sociology and social theory through an engagement with postcolonial studies and decoloniality. Bhambra offers a critical diagnosis of the fragmented condition of sociology and challenges the hegemonically Western focus of sociology as a discipline. Somewhat counter to Burawoy’s optimistic view of a sociology engaged with broad and dissident publics, Bhambra critiques a core of sociology that remains generally indifferent to dissident and peripheral perspectives. The concerns with ‘connections’ set out a more inclusive version of global intellectual history and the place of sociology in global social science. The concerns of this book are also inseparable from the consideration of the contemporary context of transformations in the higher education research and teaching landscape. The book offers a defence of the public university as a site for contesting current transformations, and sets sociology at the centre of processes of opening up and democratizing knowledge production.


Professor Maggie O’Neill, University College Cork

Recently appointed to the School of Sociology at UCC, and previously Chair at York University and Professor at Durham University, Maggie O’Neill will address the theme of methodological innovation, drawing on her own work with participatory action research in the study of borders, risk and belonging.


Professor Ross MacMillan, University of Limerick

Professor Ross Macmillan is the recently appointed Chair in Sociology at the University of Limerick, Ireland, formerly of Bocconi University, Milan. His work focuses on the uneven patterning of social and economic development with a specific emphasis on empowerment and marginality of subpopulations (e.g., the poor, women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities) and its implications for population health.


Professor Linda Connolly, Maynooth University

Professor Linda Connolly joined the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute as Director in July 2016, giving her inaugural lecture as Professor of Sociology in 2018. Her research interests are in the arenas of Irish society, Irish Studies, migration, gender, feminist theory, family, gender, sexualities and social movements. Her books include The ‘Irish’ Family , Documenting Irish Feminisms and Social Movements and Ireland. In recent work, she has explored the practice of ‘remembering’ the past through the lens of women’s lives and the tension between tradition and modernity that infuses contemporary Ireland, in particular how the commemoration of votes for women poses critical questions about gender issues, equal citizenship and the kind of society Ireland is and has become.

Special Panels & Roundtables
Political Socialisation of Youth: The Role of Education.
Educating for Global Justice: Connecting Sociology to the Pluriverse.
Methodologies at the Intersections of Art & Research: Aest-Ethical Challenges for a Decolonial Sociology
Connecting open research, the sociology of knowledge and citizen science
Critical Connections: Sociologies of Transformation and University Studies
‘Sociologists who count’: what does it mean, where are we going and what do we do?
​Experience meets Theory. Adapting Collective Memory-Work for Sociology as a Political Project.
Disconnecting sociology from/with the neo-liberal university? Entanglement, De-colonisation, Voice, and Democracy.

Plus 11 streams:

  • Decolonization and connectedness
  • Social, economic and cultural infrastructures of connection
  • Connecting sociology and work
  • Connection, wellbeing and resilience
  • Narratives of time and progress
  • Connecting Sociological presents, pasts and futures
  • Connecting Sociology with its publics
  • Connecting Sociology and place
  • Connecting Sociology and policy
  • Connecting Sociology and allied disciplines and practices
  • Connecting Sociology and politics