‘(Re)Imagining Girlhood: The Artistic Evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’: ‘Conceptions of Girlhood Now and Then: “Girls’ Literature” and Beyond”’, Centre for Childhood Research in Literature, Language and Learning, Linnæus University, Växjö, Sweden, 6th – 8th October 2020.
‘Breaking through the Looking-Glass’, Developments in Doctoral Supervision Practice Symposium, Poster Paper, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 2nd September 2019.
‘Analysing Cinematic Appropriations of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Wendy’: Irish Screen Studies Seminar, National University of Ireland, Galway, 9th & 10th May 2019.
‘‘I’m your other mother’: Radical Identities in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002)’: ‘Radical Young People’s Literature and Culture’, The Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature Conference, Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, 29th & 30th March 2019.
‘Reflected Realism: How Children’s Literature Simultaneously Reflects and Deconstructs Social Ideologies’: Irish History Students’ Conference, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 1st – 3rd March 2019.
‘The Artistic Lens of the Picturebook’: ‘Synergy and Contradiction: How Picturebooks and Picture Books Work’ Conference, Homerton College, University of Cambridge, UK, 6th – 8th September 2018.
‘Through the Looking Glass: Analysing Children’s Literature through the Theoretical Lens’: ‘Research Engagement’ Symposium, Poster Paper, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 3rd September 2018.
‘No One Mourns the Wicked: Examining the Monstrous Other in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’: ‘Villainous Victims: Redefining the Anti- Hero from a Postmodern Perspective’ Conference, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 25th April 2018.
‘Mirror, Mirror: Establishing the Gendered Gaze in Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours’: ‘Revisiting the Gaze’ Conference, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, UK, 28th & 29th June 2017.
‘The Mirror of Alice: Locating Lacan’s Mirror Stage and the Search for Female Identity in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’: Association of Franco-Irish Studies, Conference, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 19th & 20th May 2017.
‘Locating Alice: The Gendered Body of Identity within Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Tim Burton’s adaptation’; ‘Performing Fantastika’ Interdisciplinary Conference, Lancaster University, UK, 28th & 29th April 2017.
‘Reimagining Alice: Adaptation and Intertextuality of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Popular Culture’: ‘Mum’s The Word: Voicing the Female Experience in Popular Culture’ Conference, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 9th March 2017.
‘The Politics of the Female Body in Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It’: Revolutionary Genders Sibéal Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, 18th & 19th November 2016.
‘Deconstructing Minds – A Psychoanalytical Deconstruction of the Brain as a Fantasy Island in Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out’: The European Society for the Studies of English (ESSE) Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, 22nd – 26th August 2016.
In 2017, Jade co-organised Mum’s the Word: Voicing the Female Experience in Popular Culture conference with Dr Adele Hannon (in association with Sibéal Network) in Mary Immaculate College. In 2018, Dillon and Hannon co-organised Villainous Victims: Redefining the Anti-Hero from a Postmodern Perspective conference in Mary Immaculate College. Jade was the organiser of the English Postgraduate Seminar at MIC for the academic year 2017/18. Most recently, she was the co-organiser of the lunchtime lecture series for FemFest MIC.
Villainous Victims: Redefining the Anti-Hero from a Postmodern Perspective
Villainous Victims: Redefining the Anti-Hero from a Postmodern Perspective was hosted in Mary Immaculate College on the 25th of April 2018. This international conference was organised by Dr Jade Dillon and Dr Adele Hannon (both second year PhD students at the time). The conference examined the representation of the Other and questioned the vilification of the Anti-Hero. Dr Matt Foley (Manchester Metropolitan University) presented a keynote paper on American Gothic and the villainous voice.
The conference objective was as follows:
Where monsters and other gothic villains are often seen as adversaries, Stephen T. Asma chooses to deconstruct this familiar perspective, and introduces the concept of the ‘accidental monster’. His research underscores that both literary and real villains are not intuitively immoral, but that external influences turn them toward malevolence. The deligitmated villain adheres to the concept of ‘Tabula Rasa’, a theory surmised by John Locke. This revelation suggests how our consciousness is a “blank slate” and after the moment of birth, life experiences fill in this vacant space, shaping one’s personality and character. The anti-hero is therefore not born evil, but is conditioned by external forces, learning only degenerative behaviour from the human race.
Thus, the status of the villain being seen as aggressor is no longer sufficient to completely explain their actions as the lack of nurture in their life can be seen as a catalyst that fuels one’s revenge-filled actions. On the basis of society’s understanding of monstrosity, an analysis can be made on the official practices of exclusion and marginalisation of social elements. It is not the fault of the subject from turning down a path of darkness; rather it is the failure of society to provide a space for them within what is deemed as the status quo. When analysed with postmodern eyes, one can move away from the linear perspective of the good/evil dichotomy. The reader is introduced to the marginalised narrative of the villain or the anti-hero where their immoral behaviour could be rooted in them being cut off from positive emotional responses and severed from the functioning of all society. It is consequent of society’s prejudiced stance and perspective that disallows the dark outsider to enter the realm of cultural norms.
The anti-hero therefore exists as the cultural Other, as a victim of society, marginalised because of its failure to be categorised. The condition of ‘Otherness’ results in the subject being alienated from the centre of society, and being placed at the margins of inclusiveness and acceptance. The purpose of this conference is to shed a light on the darker aspects of humanity and their exclusory role in marginalising anyone that situates themselves outside the norm. Therefore, this underlines the demonisation of the “Other”, in the image of the anti-hero, as a political device for scapegoating those whom the rules of society deem impure or unworthy - the transgressors and deviants. The Creature’s deviation from the accepted path compels society to clip his wings, disallowing him the privilege of sharing any bond with human beings, ultimately becoming the ‘fallen angel’.
Mum's The Word: Voicing the Female Experience in Popular Culture
Mum’s The Word: Voicing the Female Experience in Popular Culture was hosted in Mary Immaculate College on the 9th of March, 2017. The conference was organised by Dr Jade Dillon and Dr Adele Hannon (both first year PhD students at the time) in association with the Sibeal Feminist and Gender Studies Network. The conference illustrated the varying forms of female transgression within popular culture. Dr Sorcha Gunne (National University of Ireland, Galway) presented a keynote paper on feminist politics and Irish chick-lit.
The conference worked under the following objective, developed by Jade and Adele:
The discourse of the female experience within popular culture aims to defy the limitations of socio-normative values and stereotypes. Where the female identity is often denied agency in areas such as the Catholic tradition in Ireland, women can become agents of power in popular culture and can be seen to be an agent of change for women in structural, political and religious institutions. In relation to the expectancy of femininity, popular culture transgresses such ideological implications through the creation of subversive female characters who exude strong agency. It parallels experiences of the ‘New Woman’, and her movement from the domestic domain into the male-dominated sphere. This conference aims to explore the realm of popular culture through the lens of gender analysis, examining the changing female status, as the subjugate ‘Other’. Rather than traditionally highlighting women as victims, popular culture increasingly portrays women as agents and as more independent figures, while at the same time, interrogating the ethical implications of such agency. The female subject will be put forward as the creator of meaning rather than only been seen as the supplier of meaning. Through the analysis of such texts and characterization, the female is granted a voice – a weapon of equality, strength, and resilience.