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Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

burns library

The Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies Chair was established in 1989 by a generous gift of the Burns Foundation of San Francisco, California. The Foundation was set up by the family of the Honorable John J. Burns, for whom the library is named. A distinguished scholar, writer or artist who has made significant contributions to Irish cultural or intellectual life is brought to Boston College for either a semester or full academic year. The Burns Scholar uses the library's renowned Irish Book and Manuscript Collection for his or her research.

Current Burns Library Visting Scholar in Irish Studies

photograph of Jon Hogan

John Horgan, Burns Library Visiting Scholar for Fall Semester 2014

Professor John Horgan, the Fall 2014 Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Political Science, has had a distinguished career bridging journalism, public life, and academia. 

As a writer and editor for the Irish Times from 1962-1976, Horgan specialized in religious affairs and education as well as foreign press coverage. In 1969, he was elected to the Irish Senate and later to the Dáil and European Parliament. Horgan entered academic life in 1983, becoming Professor of Journalism at Dublin City University, a post he held until his retirement in 2006. The following year he was appointed as Ireland’s first Press Ombudsman.

Horgan received his doctorate in history from University College, Cork. He has published a number of acclaimed political biographies, including studies of Mary Robinson, Sean Lemass, and Noel Browne. He also authored a critical history of the Irish media since 1922. He has been a Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

This semester at Boston College, Professor Horgan is teaching a course on the politics of constitutional change in Ireland from 1922-2013.

For further background on Professor Horgan’s career and his thoughts about the relationship of historical writing and journalism, see BC Chronicle interview with Professor Horgan published November 10, 2014.

Lecture: "Journalism—The First Draft of History?"

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.

Previous Burns Library Visiting Scholars in Irish Studies

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