• KEVIN BARRY, Gerson Reading, 4/11/2017. Kevin Barry one of Ireland’s most internationally prominent contemporary fiction writers, read in commemoration of the late Louis Gerson to a full capacity Alumni House audience.
  • KELLY SULLIVAN, 4/13/2017. Kelly Sullivan, Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow of Irish Studies at NYU, read from her new poetry chapbook, Fell Year to Burke’s 3122 class.
  • BRENDA MURPHY, 3/23/17. Brenda Murphy, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus, talked to Burke’s 3122 class about After the Voyage (2016), historical fiction based on the experience of her Irish immigrant family.


  • As CWP Assistant Director for AY 2016-17, Matthew Shelton organized events featuring poets FRANK ORMSBY and CIARAN BERRY.
  • Cóilín PARSONS, 10/27/2016. Parsons, Associate Professor of English at Georgetown U, spoke on his new and award-winning book, The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature (2016) to Burke’s 3120 class.
  • VINCENT WOODS, 11/1/2016. Abbey Theatre playwright Woods spoke to Burke’s 3120 class about his play Cry to Heaven


  • On April 16, Nels Pearson, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Irish Studies program at Fairfield University, gave a talk entitled “Irish Internationalism?: Joyce’s Dubliners and the Sea.” Dr Pearson has published widely on literary modernism in England and Ireland. He co-edited Detective Fiction in a Postcolonial and Transnational World (Ashgate 2009) and his current book is Irish Cosmopolitanism: Location and Dislocation in James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett (Florida UP, 2015).
  • Eaman Grennan’s HUNGER: A Play for Two Voices was staged at the Nafe Katter Theatre on April 14. A play about the Irish Famine, Hunger dramatizes witness accounts and documentary evidence to give voice to an unspeakable trauma in Irish history. Performed by Tegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne.
  • Colm McGinley gave a lecture entitled “The influence of the Irish languages on American English” on April 9. Colm was the 2014-2015 Fulbright for Modern Irish language at UConn.
  • On April 7, Thomas Long, Associate Professor in Residence in UConn’s School of Nursing, with a dual appointment on the core WGS faculty, lectured on “AIDS and culture at the fin d’autre siècle”. He is the author of AIDS and American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics of an Epidemic, a founding officer of the MLA’s new Medical Humanities and Health Studies Forum, and an associate editor of Literature and Medicine. Prof. Long’s talk was tailored for Mary Burke’s spring 2015 undergraduate Wilde class and was open to all.


  • On November 5, FLTA Colm McGinley and graduate student Matthew Ryan Shelton held the event “Filíocht agus Poetry: A Workshop and Discussion of Gaelic Poetry and the Process of Poetic Translation.”
  • On October 14, Connecticut’s Lisa C. Taylor (Gerson Reader 2011)  read her poetry and that of Arlen House stable mate, Galway poet Martin Dyar, whose visit had to be cancelled.
  • On September 25, Irish-American author Kathleen Hill  read from Who Occupies This House (2010) and discussed her current project on the Brontës’ Irish connections.
  • The 51st Annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program with Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon was held on April 10. Sponsored by The Hartford, as well as the University of Connecticut’s English Department and the UConn Humanities Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  •  Irish novelist James Ryan visited Mary Burke’s Irish Literature undergraduate class on April 10, to discuss his novel, Seeds of Doubt, which was on the ENGL3120 syllabus this semester. James Ryan is Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin. Ryan has published four novels. He was the Gerson Reader in 2008, and helped to organize last year’s Enright, McKeon, and Toibin extravaganza in honor of his deceased wife, Caroline Walsh. He was in the area this week to launch a recently announced UCD-NYU €150,000 Laureateship for Irish fiction that he has helped to develop.


  • On October 10, Professor and Chair of Humanities at Massachusetts Maritime Academy Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel presented at talk entitled “Shaw, Synge, Connolly, and Socialist Provocation.” Sponsored by AETNA.


  • Christopher Dowd of University of New Haven gave a talk on Dion Boucicault on November 6. The talk was funded by the Aetna Foundation.
  • On April 5, James Cummins, PhD Candidate at University College Cork, presented a talk entitled “Sounding an Alternative Vision of Irish Poetry.” Sponsored by Irish Studies Alliance.
  • On April 3, Irish critic, curator, playwright, and novelist Belinda McKeon read from her new novel, Solace. Solace was named a Kirkus Outstanding Debut of 2011 and was named Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year 2011 at the Irish Book Awards, as well as winning the Sunday Independent Best Newcomer award. Sponsored by Irish Studies.
  • Prof. Brian O Broin of William Paterson University, NJ, a specialist in Old Irish, delivered a talk on the Irish language in contemporary urban Ireland at 11am on March 27th in the Stern Lounge. Co-sponsored by the English Department Speaker Fund and Irish Studies.
  • On March 7, the ISA’s Working Paper Series joined EGSA’s Colloquium of Ongoing Research for the following presentations: Becky Chawner “Breaking the Binary Politics of Northern Ireland in Glenn Patterson’s Burning Your Own,” Tara Harney “Northern Irish Women Writers O’Riordan, Madden and Devlin: Ruination, Exile, and Retreat,” and Christina Wilson, “Troubling Medias and Publics in Troubles Fiction.” Sponsored by EGSA and the ISA.


  • On February 9, Mary Burke delivered a talk entitled, “‘They were American before ever setting foot in America’: Representations of the Colonial-Era Scots-Irish in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-century America.” The talk was part of the English Department’s Faculty Brown Bag series.
  • Rachael Lynch and Mary Burke organized a talk on March 4 by Eileen Moore Quinn, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the College of Charleston. In a talk entitled, “Get Down on Your Knees and Thank God You’re Still on Your Feet,” Moore Quinn lectured on material from her book The Expressions of the Irish in New England (2010). Sponsored by the Speakers and Symposium Committee and Irish Studies.
  • On April 13, Mary Burke gave a talk on “The Other Irish” for UConn’s Babbidge Library Research Highlights.
  • Maurice Fitzpatrick, co-producer and writer of the film The Boys of St. Columb’s, gave a talk on October 13 entitled “Patterns of non-violent democratic protest: from Derry ’68 to the Arab Spring”. The Boys of St. Columb’s interrogates the political and historical changes in the conditions of Northern Ireland as a result of the post-war introduction of free secondary education, which contributed to the Catholic Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s. An astonishing number of St. Columb’s graduates were key players during these watershed years, including Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and John Hume. The talk was co-sponsored by Irish Studies and the Asian American Studies Institute.
  • Professor Tramble T. Turner of Penn State Abington delivered a talk on Oscar Wilde and Colm Tóibín on November 15. The visit was co-sponsored by the English Department Speaker Fund and Irish Studies.
  • On 17 November, UConn Alum and Villanova University Director of Irish Studies, Joseph Lennon read from his poetry collection Fell Hunger (2011). Prof. Lennon is the author of the award-winning Irish Orientalism (2002). He began working on Fell Hunger while enrolled in the UConn graduate program and he will discuss how best to balance scholarly and creative writing projects in the years before tenure. Sponsored by Aetna.


  • “Swing into Spring” was held on March 17 at the Student Union Ballroom for UCPEA. 12 undergraduate members of the Celtic American Cultural Club and graduate student Christina Wilson read a selection of poetry.
  • Mary Burke presented “Settling the Unsettled: The Reputation of Synge’s ‘Lesser’ Plays and the 2005 DruidSynge Production” to DATIG (UConn’s Drama and Theatre Interest Group) on April 1.
  • Irish poet Marion Moynihan, author of the collection The Moon’s Daughter, read at UConn on April 6. The event was sponsored by the Committee on Seminars and Symposia & Faculty Development.
  • On November 30, graduate students Lindy Brady (“The Trope of the Marvelous Tree in Old Irish Sacred and Secular Literature”) and Lauren Davis (“Marrying Native?: Interracial Marriage and Allegories of Union”) presented their current research during the ISA’s Working Paper Series.


  • Belinda McKeon delivered a talk entitled “New Realities in Irish Theatre” to students of Mary Burke’s Survey of Irish Literature graduate seminar and Irish Studies Alliance members on March 3. McKeon is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a regular contributor of interviews with major Irish writers to The Irish Times. Her play, Whereabouts, was staged at the Abbey Theatre in 2007. Irish Studies faculty and students would like to thank Aetna for its sponsorship.
  • On April 14, Claire Bracken delivered a lunchtime talk on Marina Carr’s Portia Coughlan, and introduced the 2009 Gerson Speaker later that evening. Bracken is Assistant Professor of Irish Literature in the English Department at Union College and her visit was organized by the Drama and Theater Interest Group, which was funded in 2009 through UConn’s Humanities Institute.
  • Concert of Irish Traditional Singing: Len Graham and Brian O hAirt sang (in Irish and English) on September 16 at the Student Union. The event was co-sponsored by Irish Studies and the Office of International Affairs.
  • Irish novelist and poet Geraldine Mills, the Millennium winner of the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune New Irish Writer Award, read at the UConn Co-op on October 26. The event was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Writing Project, Irish Studies, and the Aetna Chair in Writing.
  • On November 11, graduate students Lauren Davis (“‘The Cause of Liberty and my country’: Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Irish Separatism and The Triumph of Prudence over Passion“), Tara Harney-Mahajan (Edna O’Brien’s Wild Decembers: Cracking Conceptions of the Land Obsession and Mother Ireland”), Michelle Maloney-Mangold (“‘A Different World, and Different People’: Roddy Doyle’s Paula Spencer and the New Ireland”), Christina Wilson (“Unpacking Paula’s ‘Pack of Lies'”) presented their current research for the ISA’s Working Paper Series.
  • Professors Brendan Kane and Elizabeth Hart, with the support of Rachael Lynch, co-hosted the Elizabeth I and Ireland Conference, an international event, at UConn on 12-14 November 2009. Speakers included Leah Marcus, Paul Hammer and Hiram Morgan, and Steven Galbraith, archivist at the Folger Shakespeare Library, presented on the Library’s holdings. The event was co-sponsored by Irish Studies.
  • Mary Burke presented a talk entitled “Irish-American Travellers on US TV” to the Celtic American Cultural Society on December 10.


  • On April 25, Professor Fred Roden delivered a talk on Oscar Wilde to graduate students of Mary Burke’s Oscar Wilde course and Margaret Breen’s Queerness in Fiction, 1880-1930. Roden is the editor of Oscar Wilde Studies (Palgrave, 2004).
  • With the support of Rachael Lynch and various ISA members, Mary Burke and Nicole McClure coordinated the ‘Reel Ireland’ Film and Literature Festival, which ran from April 3 through April 6. “Reel Ireland” is under the remit of the major Irish government arts agency Culture Ireland/Irish Film Institute, which gives approval to only one North American university or arts venue annually for this traveling festival. New Irish films were screened at the Dodd Center from Thursday, April 3 through Sunday, April 6, including the 2008 Oscar-winning Once. The festival culminated with a one-day Irish Film and Literature Seminar at the Dodd on Saturday, April 5, which consisted of four panels of papers by speakers from the National University of Singapore, US Military Academy, Sheffield Hallam University, Texas A&M University, College of William & Mary, and the University of Connecticut, a keynote address by National University of Ireland (Galway) Film School Director Tony Tracy, a reading by New York-based novelist Martin Roper, and a well-attended roundtable discussion led by Irish Times literary editor Caroline Walsh. Roundtable participants included Martin Roper, 2008 Gerson Reader James Ryan, Tony Tracy, and senior Irish literature scholar, Prof. Lucy McDiarmid. The closing event, a screening of the film Songs and Stories: New York Remembers Rory Gallagher, included a Q&A session with directors Stephanie Silber and Vic Zimet. Irish Studies faculty would like to take this opportunity to thank the English department and Aetna for their sponsorship.
  • On October 28, graduate students Tara Harney-Mahajan (“Edna O’Brien’s Light of Evening: Communication through Exile”), Laila Khan (“Better to Die ‘Neath an Irish Sky?: Political Rhetoric in Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way“), Nicole McClure (“Figuring the Father: Adaptations of failed fatherhood in Irish cinema”) and Christina Wilson (“Singing The Last Soldier’s Song“) presented their current research for the ISA’s Working Paper Series.


  • On November 28, graduate students Lauren Davis (“Decorum and Decay: Jane Austen, Molly Keane, and the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy”), Molly Ferguson (“The Politics of Poetics in Eavan Boland’s Work”), and Mary Isbell (“Welcome Back, Epicleti! Rethinking Textual Criticism through Joyce’s Epistolary Allusions”) presented their current research during the ISA’s Working Paper Series.


  • On October 20-21, UConn hosted the “Changing Ireland”: New England American Conference for Irish Studies conference. The conference was organized by Rachael Lynch (NEACIS President until December 2006) and Mary Burke, with the invaluable assistance of Tom Shea, Brendan Kane (History), Robin Worley (English Department) and student members of the Irish Studies Alliance, particularly Nicole McClure, Rose Novak, Molly Ferguson, Jennie-Rebecca Falcetta and Jeffrey Griffin. The conference was two years in the planning and attracted 150 national and international delegates. We ran 22 sessions; a round table discussion packed with leaders in the field; and hosted three major keynote speakers: Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue, and Kenneth Simpson. We raised more than $15,000 in internal and external grants and sponsorship from the Irish Consulate General, National ACIS, AETNA, the English Department, European Studies, the History Department, and the Rainbow Center. (We are particularly grateful to AETNA, the English Department, and Creative Writing for their financial support.) Colm Tóibín, who had been awarded the prestigious and annual €100,000 ($140,000) international IMPAC literary prize a few weeks previously, delivered a main address that drew a crowd of approximately 250 people. Overseas delegates included the literary editor of The Irish Times and two Irish novelists. The event generated a heightened regional awareness of contemporary Irish Studies at UConn, and on the basis of the energy generated by the roundtable, chair Prof. Joseph Nugent of Boston College has since organized an Irish seminar to bring the scholars in attendance together once more.