The Lost Irelands

Presented by Brian O’Conchubhair

Green, ancient, rolling hills flecked with sheep, breaking waves, ancient forts, misty bogs, socially conservative, deeply devout, rebellious: such are some of the dominant images of Ireland and its inhabitants. This seminar explores the reality behind such images and stereotypes that inform our understandings and perceptions of Ireland, the most western island in Europe and America’s closest European neighbor. Through a study of some classic literary this class explores issues of cultural politics, gender, identity, linguistic survival, revolution, emancipation, emigration and globalization as they figure in Irish society and the Irish literary imagination. We consider the rich tradition of poetry, song, short stories and novels through which the Irish interpret (and reinterpret) their contested histories, complicated colonial legacies and uncertain futures on their own terms and in their own languages, Irish and English. This seminar demystifies idyllic images of Ireland, explores iconic texts and sheds light on contemporary cultural and linguistic issues facing one of the most resilient cultures of the Celtic Fringe.

About Brian O’Conchubhair

Brian Ó Conchubhair is Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame where he also directs the Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures. From 2011-13, he served as the Executive Director of the Irish Seminar. In 2013 he was elected Vice-President of the American Conference for Irish Studies, and currently serves as the organization’s president (2015-17). He has been a Visiting Professor at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, France and Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

His many writings include an award winning monograph on the intellectual history of the Irish Revival entitled Fin de Siècle na Gaeilge: Darwin, An Athbheochan agus Smaointeoireacht na hEorpa. Other edited publications include: Gearrscéalta Ár Linne (2006); WHY IRISH? Irish Language and Literature in Academia (2008); Twisted Truths (2011); Dorchadas le Liam Ó Flaithearta (2011); Darkness: Liam O’Flaherty’s Tragedy(2013); Lost in Connemara: Stories from the Irish/Caillte i gConamara: Scéalta Aniar (2014); Rogha Scéalta le Pádraic Breathnach 1974-2014 (2014) and Notre Dame’s Happy Returns: Dublin, the Game, the Experience (with Matt Cashore & Susan Guibert) (2012). Forthcoming publications include chapters in: The Oxford History of Ireland, The Oxford History of the Irish Book, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre and The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Fiction.