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, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, and Gary Murphy of Dublin City University—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.

The Fall 2020 semester saw a full program of webinars on topics political, literary, and cultural—some in partnership with Irish Studies programs around the world in a informal consortium called "The Global Irish Network."

Planning is in its final stages for the Spring 2021 semester program.

One component already in place is the Ireland's Generation X? series, a partnership between the Institute and the the Museum of Literature Ireland.

In the series, Faculty Fellow Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Chair of  Irish Studies, engages in conversation with Irish writers, artists, and musicians who belong to Ireland's "in-between" generation. It began in December 2020 with author Belinda McKeon and continues in the Spring 2021 term with Ian Lynch (Lankum), Claire Kilroy, Paul Murray, Nick Laird, Caitriona Lally, and Mark O'Halloran.

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