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Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

burns library

Since 1991, the Burns 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 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, ’21, who also funded the creation of Burns Library, named in his honor. The Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program has also benefited from the ongoing support of the Office of the Provost.

Current Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

photograph of Louis de Paor

Louis de Paor completed his doctoral research on the short fiction of Máirtín Ó Cadhain under the supervision of Seán Ó Tuama and was awarded a PhD by the National University of Ireland in 1986 for his thesis, Teicníocht agus aigneolaíocht san insint liteartha; anailís ar mhúnlaí teicníochta agus ar mhúnlaí tuisceana i dteanga na hinste i ngearrscéalta Mháirtín Uí Chadhain. He spent time as a lecturer in Irish at UCC and Thomond College, Limerick, before moving to Australia in 1987, where he taught evening classes in Irish language and literature at Melbourne University and the Melbourne Council for Adult Education.

He was Visiting Professor of Celtic Studies at Sydney University in 1993 and Visiting Fellow in 1992. He returned to Ireland in 1996 and was appointed Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway in 2000. He was Jefferson Smurfit Distinguished Fellow at the University of St Louis-Missouri in 2002 and received the Charles Fanning medal from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2009.

His published works include a monograph on the work of Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Faoin mblaoisc bheag sin: an aigneolaíocht i scéalta Mháirtín Uí Chadhain (1991), an anthology of twentieth-century poetry in Irish, Coiscéim na haoise seo (1991), co-edited with Seán Ó Tuama, a bilingual edition of the selected poems of Máire Mhac an tSaoi, An paróiste míorúilteach/The miraculous parish (2011), a critical edition of the poems of Liam S Gógan, Míorúilt an chleite chaoin (2012), and Leabhar na hAthghabhála (2016) a bilingual anthology of twentieth-century poetry in Irish with English translations. His current research is on the Irish language element in the work of Flann O’Brien. 

Events

Public lecture: November 9, 4:30 p.m. (location TBA): "Lethal in Two Languages: Flann O'Brien and Máirtín Ó Cadhain"

Fall course: ENGL 4005 "'Is it about a bicycle?' Flann O'Brien and the Irish Comic Tradition"

Previous Burns Visiting Scholars in Irish Studies

Colmán Ó Clabaigh (Spring 2016)
Benedictine monk of Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick

Fifty Ways to Cleave Your Brother: Mayhem, Mischief, & Misfits in Medieval Irish Monasteries

Although St Benedict's Rule describes the monastery as a “household of God,” human frailty has meant that the reality is always more complicated. Br. Colmán, a monk of Glenstal Abbey, explores how ethnic rivalry, madness, alcohol abuse and personal ambition impacted the religious communities of late medieval Ireland.

Listen to Br. Colmán's lecture [1 hr 11 min], presented at the Burns Library on March 2, 2016. Introductory remarks [approx. 7 min] were given by Dr. Christian Dupont, Burns Librarian, and Dr. Oliver P. Rafferty, S.J., Director of the Irish Studies Program at Boston College.

James H. Murphy, CM (Fall 2015)
Professor of English, DePaul University

Listen to Professor Murphy’s lecture "Novelists and Politicians in Nineteenth-Century Ireland" [1 hr 5 min], presented at the Burns Library on November 18, 2015. Introductory remarks [approx. 6 min] were given by Dr. Christian Dupont, Burns Librarian, and Dr. Oliver P. Rafferty, S.J., Director of the Irish Studies Program at Boston College.

A historian of fiction as well as political historian, Professor Murphy addresses questions that have emerged from his research on the Victorian period in Ireland and its aftermath: What agendas did women novelists of the period pursue, and what kinds of feminisms did they advocate in their fictions? What novels, as yet unrecognized, may have influenced James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? What role did the Dublin Corporation, or city council, play in the national politics of Victorian Ireland, and how did it affect its service to the city's population?

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