Guy Beiner (Peter Julian)

Award-winning historian Guy Beiner will give his inaugural lecture as the Craig and Maureen Sullivan Millennium Professor of Irish Studies at Boston College on November 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Burns Library Thompson Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Beiner, who was appointed as the Sullivan Chair in 2021 and serves as director of the University’s Center for Irish Programs, will present “Paddies in Space: Irish Studies in the 24th Century”—his examination of science fiction depictions of the Anglo-Irish conflict in popular culture that reveal how imagining the future draws on cultural traditions from the past, and what this suggests about current attitudes toward the prospect of the reunification of Ireland.

Beiner’s unique expertise in memory studies has earned him honors such as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the National University of Ireland Irish Historical Research Prize—the latter one of four major international awards he received for his 2018 book Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster.

“Memory is not only about recalling who we were in the past,” said Beiner, “it is also about our identity in the present, with an eye towards where we see ourselves in the future.”

During Beiner’s tenure as Sullivan Chair, Irish Studies has hosted events commemorating key events in Irish history, including Bloody Sunday (the 1972 killings of protestors in Northern Ireland by the British Army) and the 1922-1923 Irish Civil War, as well as a conference on novelist, playwright, and satirist Flann O’Brien.

Preceding Beiner’s talk at 4:30 p.m. will be a reception in the Burns Library Irish Room.

University Communications | November 2022