Irish Studies at Boston College

Boston College has had a long tradition of engagement with Ireland and its culture. The university was founded, in part, to educate the children of Irish Catholic emigrants in Boston. The Irish Studies program at Boston College began in 1978 and is one of the leading international centres for Irish Studies.  Boston College offers academic programs for students in Irish Studies and the Irish Studies program hosts lectures and conferences open to members of the Boston College community and the public. Gaelic Roots hosts Irish music and dance events. The Burns Library has an outstanding collection of Irish books and manuscripts. The Burns scholar program enables the university to welcome leading international figures in Irish Studies to the campus for a semester or a year. The McMullen Museum regularly hosts Irish-related exhibitions. BC Ireland is Boston College’s home in Dublin, Ireland.


 
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James Murphy

Boston College Irish Studies Welcome

Events

"The Other Wilde Trial - The Mary Travers Scandal", presented by Eibhear Walshe, Director of Creative Writing & Senior Lecturer, University College Cork

"The Other Wilde Trial - The Mary Travers Scandal", presented by Eibhear Walshe, Director of Creative Writing & Senior Lecturer, University College Cork

It is April 1895 and Oscar Wilde is on trial in London at the Old Bailey. In County Cork, a woman called Mary Travers is following the Wilde Trials in the newspapers, increasingly troubled by the growing public outcry. Mary Travers has her own secret, her hidden connection with Oscar Wilde and his parents, William and Jane, and dreads discovery and exposure.  The Diary of Mary Travers,  re-imagines that connection through the eyes of the central figure, Mary Travers . In her diary she reveals her own part in this scandal, her unhappy home life and her intimate connection with two of the most celebrated writers of her time, William and Jane Wilde.

October 23

4:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

This conference brings together scholars, survivors, and activists in the international field of Transitional Justice, with a specific focus on the Irish state’s response to the nation’s history of institutional abuse. Researchers, students and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

Traditionally, transitional justice has been focused on moments of dramatic political transformation and transfers of power (i.e., regime change). It promises a more “holistic,” survivor/victim-focused, approach to historic injustice, in part because it combines the four key elements of justice, reparation, truth-telling, and guarantees of non-recurrence. More recently, scholars are considering the application of this approach to the institutional abuses of settled democracies.

Our conference pursues a twofold conversation: we will discuss the efficacy of a transitional justice approach to Ireland’s history of institutional abuse and consider the State’s response to this legacy. Privileging victim/survivor testimony, we will ask the following questions: What do the methods with which Ireland has attempted to deal with its past tell us about the State’s current approach to power and vulnerability? What is it that Ireland still needs to learn about its treatment of vulnerable women and children? What are the implications of recent State-sponsored investigations for contemporary women, children and other citizens in vulnerable situations? Can truth-telling and a guarantee of non-recurrence take place in the absence of access to records and information held in public and private archives?

What can Ireland learn from transitional justice responses to similar histories in other jurisdictions? Does transitional justice have the potential to assist Ireland in building a Human Rights infrastructure and thereby help guarantee non-recurrence of these failures?

November 01

1:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

This conference brings together scholars, survivors, and activists in the international field of Transitional Justice, with a specific focus on the Irish state’s response to the nation’s history of institutional abuse. Researchers, students and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

Traditionally, transitional justice has been focused on moments of dramatic political transformation and transfers of power (i.e., regime change). It promises a more “holistic,” survivor/victim-focused, approach to historic injustice, in part because it combines the four key elements of justice, reparation, truth-telling, and guarantees of non-recurrence. More recently, scholars are considering the application of this approach to the institutional abuses of settled democracies.

Our conference pursues a twofold conversation: we will discuss the efficacy of a transitional justice approach to Ireland’s history of institutional abuse and consider the State’s response to this legacy. Privileging victim/survivor testimony, we will ask the following questions: What do the methods with which Ireland has attempted to deal with its past tell us about the State’s current approach to power and vulnerability? What is it that Ireland still needs to learn about its treatment of vulnerable women and children? What are the implications of recent State-sponsored investigations for contemporary women, children and other citizens in vulnerable situations? Can truth-telling and a guarantee of non-recurrence take place in the absence of access to records and information held in public and private archives?

What can Ireland learn from transitional justice responses to similar histories in other jurisdictions? Does transitional justice have the potential to assist Ireland in building a Human Rights infrastructure and thereby help guarantee non-recurrence of these failures?

November 02

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

"Love, Power, and Consent in pre-famine Ireland: a Dublin Courtship", presented by the Fall 2018 Burns Scholar, Dr. Ciaran O'Neill, Ussher Assistant Professor in 19th Century History, Trinity College, Dublin with reception to follow

"Love, Power, and Consent in pre-famine Ireland: a Dublin Courtship", presented by the Fall 2018 Burns Scholar, Dr. Ciaran O'Neill, Ussher Assistant Professor in 19th Century History, Trinity College, Dublin with reception to follow

 What constituted consent in an 1840s relationship? What were the power dynamics in a love affair? How can historians handle intimacy and emotion in their work? This Burns Lecture will open up a conversation around love, class, courtship, and moral conduct by drawing on an unpublished diary held at Trinity College Dublin. The diary is beautifully illustrated and is unique for the double-correspondence it contains between its author, a Trinity law student named James Christopher Fitzgerald Kenney, and his love interest, Mary Louisa McMahon. The diary is at times dark, and at times light-hearted, but it is always compelling.

November 06

4:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Karan Casey, Irish Folk Singer

Karan Casey, Irish Folk Singer

A Gaelic Roots musical presentation dedicated with gratitude to to Maureen Sullivan and her late husband, Craig Sullivan '64. The Sullivans' generosity has provided critical support with scholarships for Boston College students as well as for the Craig and Maureen Sullivan Millennium Chair in Irish Studies. Please join us as we honor the Sullivan family with this evening of musical celebration.

November 07

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

By Counterfeit Enhanc'd? History, Fiction, and Adaptation in Modern Irish Culture

By Counterfeit Enhanc'd? History, Fiction, and Adaptation in Modern Irish Culture

This one-day conference, organised by Burns Scholar Ciaran O'Neill and supported by the Thomas J. Flatley Fund, examines the interaction between history and fiction in modern Irish culture. It will take place between 9 am and 4:30 pm on Saturday, 1 December 2018, in Connolly House. It will conclude with a presentation by acclaimed Irish Novelist Emma Donoghue in Devlin Hall 101, 4:45 - 6 pm.

December 01

9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Emma Donoghue in Conversation

Emma Donoghue in Conversation

Emma Donoghue, acclaimed author of Room (2010) and many other works, in conversation about her writing with Burns Scholar Ciaran O’Neill. An event supported by the Thomas J. Flatley fund.

December 01

4:45 PM – 6:00 PM

"Lord Byron, Thomas Moore and the Cosmopolitan Reach of Irish Literature"

"Lord Byron, Thomas Moore and the Cosmopolitan Reach of Irish Literature"

Distinguished Byron Scholar, Professor Jonathan Gross (DePaul University), explores the relationship between Byron, the leading Romantic poet, and Thomas Moore, the Irish author, in the cosmopolitan world of early nineteenth-century London.

April 04

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Partitioning Ireland

Partitioning Ireland

This one-day, international conference will explore the history and legacies of the decision to partition Ireland, as its centenary approaches. In addition to examining responses in Ireland, contributions will include comparative studies on Europe and the wider world and the long-term impact of partition.

April 27

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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