International Conference

To register for this conference and book your place click on the ‘Register Now’ button. Scroll down for more details.

Official Opening:  5th May 2023

Location:  St Mary’s Community Campus Ltd., Granard Road, Edgeworthstown, County Longford, N39 W425, Ireland

Contact: Edgeworth Society, Maria Edgeworth Centre

Tel: +353 43 6671801 

Mobile: +353 87 2241351

The Education of a Nation & The Role of the Edgeworths

Published in 1798 Practical Education had a vision for a universal education system for Ireland

We ask?

Has Edgeworth’s vision a message for us now, when school patronage and religious instruction is such a contested issue in Ireland today?

To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the publication of Edgeworth’s Practical Education, the Maria Edgeworth Centre are hosting a Conference on the plans the Edgeworths had for the establishment of non-denominational schools in Ireland in 1799/1800. It will examine whether their vision has a message for us now when school patronage and religious instruction is such a contested issue today.

This conference is a must for those charged with the education of our Nation, students of education and those interested in the history of our education system. The conference is open to all to register.

If you would like to learn more about our Featured Speakers please scroll down. You can also find a map to get directions to St. Mary’s Edgeworthstown Community Campus where the event will be held.

Featured Speakers

Dr Susan  Manly – University of St Andrews, Scotland

Imelda Graham M. Phil – Independent Play and Learning Consultant. 

  Joani Etskovitz – PhD Harvard University, USA

Prof Raffaella Leproni – Universitá Degli, Studi Roma Tre Italy

  Dr Joanna Wharton – Research Associate of the University of York 

Prof Brian Tubbert – Froebel Department, NUI Maynooth 

Susan Manly is a Reader in English St Andrews Scotland

Susan Manly is a Reader in English at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Susan’s research interests are in Romantic-period Irish and English literature. She is an expert on the work of Maria Edgeworth and has produced scholarly editions of a wide range of Edgeworth’s writings, including her innovative books for children and young adults. Susan is currently completing a political biography of Edgeworth.

This will be the first account of Edgeworth’s life to appear in the last 45 years. It will provide a new assessment of Edgeworth’s intellectual and political life, looking at her milieux, correspondence, allegiances, interventions, and influence. Edgeworth’s sustained engagements with debates about Ireland, education, democracy, slavery, and women will form a major part of the story told in this biography. In 2019, Susan made a radio documentary about Edgeworth, ‘A Radical Life’ which aired on RTÉ Lyric FM in May 2019 and re-aired in May 2020. You can hear it here: http://:

Imelda Graham M. Phil. Independent Play and Learning Consultant

Imelda specialises in both adult and children’s learning. Imelda currently serves on the Board of the National Childhood Network, highlighting and addressing quality issues in the Childhood sector across Ireland. She is also a member of PEIN in Ireland, EDEN DLE in Europe and NRCA in the US.

Imelda has worked with disadvantaged communities throughout her career. In recent years Imelda has authored a number of publications with Barnardos and has worked on a number of Erasmus+ Projects with ULS and European partners. She worked for two years in a refugee camp in Greece, establishing a kindergarten and learning supports for adults.

The role of Play in the lives of both children and adults is a key focus, while advocating for the voice of the child to be included as a basic right.

Joani Etskovitz PhD Harvard

Joani Etskovitz is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Harvard University, where she studies the novel genre, women’s literature, and children’s books. A Marshall and a Beinecke Scholar, Joani earned two Masters degrees from the University of Oxford in British & European History (1700-1850) and English Literature (1830-1914), as well as an A.B. summa cum laude from Princeton University in English.

For her MSt in History, Joani studied the collaborative childhood writing of Maria Edgeworth’s siblings, which you can read about in her essay on “Making and Measuring Education at Home” for the Los Angeles Review of Books. At Harvard, Joani is writing her doctoral dissertation on “The Feminist Adventure Novel and The Curious Girl”, and she serves as the founding director of the English Department’s Literary Careers Program. Her first academic article, “Sarah Fielding’s Feminist Literary Pedagogy, in which Nasty Women become Novel Writers” was published in ELH (Spring 2023). To bring her research to a broader public, Joani writes for the LA Review of Books and Public Books. She has also curated exhibits and coordinated public outreach events featuring children’s books and women writers at the Bodleian Library, Library of Congress, Houghton Library, and Cotsen Children’s Library.

Dr. Joanna Wharton, Research Associate of the University of York

Joanna Wharton is a Research Associate at the University of York’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. Her first book, Material Enlightenment: Women Writers and the Science of Mind, 1770-1830 (Boydell, 2018), shows how influential women including Anna Letitia Barbauld and Maria Edgeworth adapted and applied psychological theory in their writings to transform educational culture and make substantial interventions in the social reformist politics of Romantic Britain and Ireland.

Joanna has published several articles on Barbauld, Edgeworth and, more broadly, on gender history and literary and scientific cultures of the Romantic period. Developing from her research on the collaborative pursuits of the Edgeworth family, Joanna is currently working on a second book project on the optical telegraph in Ireland and the British empire.