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Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

burns library

Since 1989, the Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program has brought to Boston College a long and distinguished series of professors, poets, novelists, journalists, librarians, literary critics, and notable public figures who have made significant contributions to Irish cultural and intellectual life. Burns Scholars teach courses, offer public lectures, and engage with the rich resources of the Burns Library in their ongoing research, writing, and creative endeavors.

The Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies is a cooperative venture between the Boston College University Libraries and the Center for Irish Programs. It was established through a generous gift by the children of the Honorable John J. Burns, ’28, who also funded the creation of Burns Library, named in his honor. The Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program has also benefited from the ongoing support of the Office of the Provost.

Current Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

photograph of Rev. James Murphy

Rev. James H. Murphy, C.M., Burns Library Visiting Scholar for Fall Semester 2015

Rev. James H. Murphy, C.M., Professor of English at DePaul University, Chicago, will serve as the Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies for the fall 2015 semester. A graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, he was subsequently awarded a BD by Heythrop College of the University of London in 1984, and an HDE by Trinity College Dublin in 1987. Murphy earned his PhD in Anglo-Irish Literature from the National University of Ireland, Dublin in 1991 and has been a fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 2009.

Professor Murphy’s published books include: Catholic Fiction and Social Reality in Ireland, 1873-1922, (Greenwood, Westport, CT, 1972), Abject Loyalty: Nationalism and Monarchy in Ireland During the Reign of Queen Victoria (Cork: Cork University Press, 2001), Ireland: A Social, Cultural and Literary History, 1791-1891 (Dublin: Four Courts, 2003), Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Murphy has also edited or co-edited, an additional eight books. Presently, he has another in progress which is tentatively entitled: Ireland’s Czar: Gladstonian Government and the Lord Lieutenancies of the Red Earl Spencer, 1868-1886.

Apart from these book-length publications, Murphy has been a prominent contributor to several dozen professional journals and books that reflect his interest and expertise in both Irish literature and history. A multidisciplinary scholar, he has also published widely on issues of gender and sexuality. His principal areas of research, however, are the political, social and cultural history of the so-called “long century” (1791-1922).

This semester, Professor Murphy will teach an advanced topic seminar in the Department of English entitled, “Irish Victorian Fiction”, an area in which he is a widely respected authority.

PUBLIC LECTURE NOVEMBER 18

Novelists and Politicians in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 4:30pm
Location: Thompson Room, Burns Library

The Center for Irish Programs and the Boston College University Libraries cordially invite you to attend a reception honoring Professor Murphy immediately following his lecture in the Irish Room of the John J. Burns Library at 5:30pm.

Please contact Maureen McVeigh for more information, including directions and parking: maureen.mcveigh@bc.edu 617-552-3282.

Previous Burns Library Visiting Scholars in Irish Studies

Damian Bracken (Spring 2015)
Senior Lecturer in the School of History at University College Cork

John Horgan (Fall 2014)
Journalist, Historian, Member of Parliament, Professor

Listen to a lecture [1 hr 7 min] John Horgan gave at the Burns Library on Nov. 19, 2014 entitled "Journalism—The First Draft of History?" Introductory remarks [approx. 6 min] were given by Dr. Christian Dupont, Burns Librarian, and Dr. Robert Mauro, Director, Irish Institute at Boston College.

Terence Brown (Spring 2014)
Professor Emeritus of Anglo-Irish Literature, Trinity College Dublin.

Mary McAleese (Fall 2013)
President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011, McAleese was Ireland's second female president and its first president from Northern Ireland.

Peter Fallon (2012 - 2013)
Poet and publisher

Dermot Keogh (2011-2012)

Head of the Department of History at University College Cork

Listen to a lecture [1 hr 45 min] Dermot Keogh gave at the Burns Library on Mar. 28, 2012 entitled "Contrasting Studies of Irish Catholic Intellectuals in a Revolutionary Age, 1908-1919." Introductory remarks [approx. 3 min] were given by Thomas E. Hachey, Ph.D., University Professor of History and Executive Director of the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College.  Response by Professor Joseph Lee, Glucksman Chair of Irish Studies and Director of Glucksman Ireland House at NYU.

Listen to a lecture [1 hr 32 min] Dermot Keogh gave at the Burns Library on Nov. 16, 2011 entitled "Ireland’s Relationship with the Holy See Reconsidered – From the End of the Civil War (1923) to the Papal Visit in 1979." Introductory remarks [approx. 3 min] were given by Thomas E. Hachey, Ph.D., University Professor of History and Executive Director of the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College.  Response by Reverend Liam Bergin, Rector, Pontifical Irish College, Rome.

Nicholas Allen (Spring 2011)
Moore Institute Professor, National University of Ireland, Galway
Below, you can listen to a lecture [51 min] Nicholas Allen gave at the Burns Library on March 1, 2011 entitled "Jack Yeats and the Picture of Ireland." Introductory remarks [approx. 5 min] were given by Robert K. O'Neill, Ph.D., director of the John J. Burns Library at Boston College.

Francis Carroll (Fall 2010)
Professor Emeritus of History, National University of Manitoba
Below, listen to a lecture [61 min] Francis Carroll gave at the Burns Library on November 1, 2010, entitled " 'I thank God I have lived to see this day': The Official Visit of the First Irish Free State Leader, W. T. Cosgrave, to the United States in 1928." Introductory remarks [2 min] were given by Dr. Michael Cronin, Academic Director of Boston College -- Ireland.

Thomas Bartlett (2009-2010)
Professor of History, National University of Ireland
Video from Front Row: Ireland and the British Empire, 1690-1800

Diarmaid Ferriter (2008-2009)
Historian 
Video from Front Row: Unfulfilled Promise; Sex and the Archbishop

John F. Deane (Spring 2008)
Irish Poet and Fiction Writer
Below, listen to a poetry reading [1 hr] John Deane gave at the Burns Library on April 8, 2008.  Introductory remarks [6 min] were given by Robert K. O'Neill, Ph.D., director of the John J. Burns Library at Boston College.

Brendan Kennelly (Fall 2007)
Irish poet
Listen to a poetry reading [1 hr] (Real Player required) Brendan Kennelly gave at the Burns Library in October 2007. Introductory remarks were given by Robert K. O'Neill, Ph.D.

Tom Garvin (2006-2007)
Professor of Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin.
View video from Front Row. 

Maria Luddy (2005-2006)
Professor of History at the University of Warwick.
View video from Front Row.

Gerald Dawe (Spring 2005)
Poet literary critic; Director of Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, Trinity College, Dublin.
View video from Front Row.

Mick Moloney (Fall 2004)
Professor of Music and the Irish Studies, New York University

Peter Gray (Spring 2004)
Senior Lecturer in History, University of Southampton

Margaret Kelleher (2002-2003)
Senior Lecturer, Department of English, National University of Ireland - Maynooth

Breandán Ó Buachalla (2001-2002)
Formerly of University College, Dublin

Patricia Donlon (2000-2001)
Former Director of the National Library of Ireland

Paul Bew (1999-2000)
Historian, Political Scientist, The Queen's University Belfast

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (1998-1999)
Irish poet, author

Bernard Meehan (Spring 1998)
Keeper of Manuscripts, Trinity College, Dublin

Alvin Jackson (1996-1997)
Historian, The Queen's University Belfast

Kevin Whelan (1996-1997)
Historian, geographer; Director of the Keogh Center for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame

Timothy O'Neill (Spring 1995)
Calligrapher, historian

Seán Ó Tuama (Fall 1994)
Irish language scholar, National University of Ireland, Cork

Maurice Harmon (1993-1994)
University College, Dublin, Professor of Literature, literary critic and author

Margaret MacCurtain O. P. (1992-1993)
Historian, National University of Ireland, Dublin

Alf Mac Lochlainn (1991-1992)
Film and literary critic, bibliographer, cultural historian and novelist who served as director of the National Library of Ireland