The Institute's signature Speakers and Public Talks Series goes virtual

Author: Mary Hendriksen

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The Institute's Speakers and Public Talks Series is one of the many ways we fulfill our mission of "bringing Ireland to Notre Dame." In the  lecture series, we showcase our own faculty fellows and also invite scholars, writers, poets, artists, politicians, diplomats, and public figures to campus to give a talk or reading, and to meet our faculty, students, and Irish studies community.

Just last academic year, the Speakers and Public Talks Series launched with a reading by playwright Marina Carr at the Snite Museum of Art, at the opening of its exhibit on Irish art. The series continued with five films on the Troubles and its hunger strikes sponsored by our DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and led by faculty fellow Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O'Donnell Professor of Irish Studies. Following were talks by such noted scholars and authors as Margot Backus, Michael Brown, Gary Murphy, Patrick Radden Keefe, Anne Dolan, and Faculty Fellow Sarah McKibben, who delivered the annual 2020 Annual Breandán Ó Buachalla Memorial Lecture in mid-February.

Certainly, a highlight of that year was the forum on "Ireland at the Crossroads" with Professor Katy Hayward of Queens University Belfast and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Ambassador Daniel Mulhall—an event held in a packed auditorium and followed by a lively reception attended by Notre Dame Irish and Irish studies students.

With packed auditoriums and lively receptions on hold with the pandemic, we continue with our signature series this year in a virtual format.

First is a conversation with the leaders of three universities—one American, one Irish, and one British—on "The Role of a Global University in a Global Pandemic," September 17 at 9 am EST. Featuring Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Dr. Patrick Prendergast, President and Provost of Trinity College Dublin, and Dr. Louise RIchardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, the conversation will touch on the teaching, research, and outreach missions of a global university and the challenges and opportunities raised by the coronavirus pandemic. Ms. Ann Firth, Vice President and Chief of Staff, University of Notre Dame, will moderate.

On Friday, October 9 at 11 am ESTDr. Colin Barr, visiting the Keough-Naughton Institute from the University of Aberdeen, where he is Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish History, will speak on “The Idea of Greater Ireland.” For this virtual lecture, the Keough-Naughton Institute will partner with the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.

Faculty Fellow Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of English, Irish Language and Literature, and Romance Languages and Literatures, will engage Irish writers, artists, and musicians in a new webinar series called Ireland's Generation X?. He will converse first with Colum McCann (Apeirogon) on October 28, and then with Belinda McKeon (Solace, Tender) on December 2.

We will announce additional lectures, readings, and performances as details are finalized.