Villanova’s Center for Irish Studies Hosts Engaging Cultural Events this Spring

Maurice Fitzpatrick is the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies for spring 2020.

VILLANOVA, PA – Villanova University’s Center for Irish Studies presents a compelling series of events through the early spring, ranging from thought provoking symposiums and readings to culturally vibrant showcases. All events are held at Villanova University and are free and open to the public.

“The Referent of Ireland in the Nineteenth-Century” Symposium
Friday, Feb., 21, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Garey 10A
Reception to follow in the Alumni Events Room, Garey Hall, 5 p.m.

This conference features work by faculty and graduate students on reference—or how a text refers to the world outside of it—in order to reconsider ideas about aesthetics and politics of nineteenth-century Irish literature. Responding to a set of shared readings, participants will consider big questions: What does literature about the nineteenth-century Ireland refer to? Does the referent change for readers across time? What purpose might be served by thinking about Irish referential habits? How does this literature and culture refer to our own culture and moment?

Irish Dance Showcase
Thursday, March 12, doors open at 7 p.m.; performance at 7:30
Connelly Cinema

The Villanova Irish Dance Team will perform their dynamic Annual Showcase in the Connelly Center Cinema.

Reception and Reading by Maurice Fitzpatrick
Thursday, March 12, reception at 6 p.m., reading at 7 p.m.
Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center

Join the Center for Irish Studies for a reading and talk from the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies Maurice Fitzpatrick. Maurice Fitzpatrick is the first filmmaker to serve as the Heimbold Chair and will read from his book John Hume in America: From Derry to DC (2019). Fitzpatrick is also the producer and director of the accompanying documentary to his book titled Name of Peace: John Hume in America (2017) and will discuss his upcoming film projects at the talk.

“Beyond the Words: Portraits of Irish Writers,” Opening Reception of Exhibition
Friday, March 13, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Art Gallery, Connelly Center

Come view the moving Robin Hiteshaw Photographic Exhibit of Irish culture, writers and history at the opening reception of the exhibit on March 13. If you can’t make the reception, the exhibit will run from March 16 to April 14.

Poetry Reading by Mary Madec, PhD
Monday, March 16, 4:30 p.m.
St. Rita’s Chapel

Mary Madec, PhD, is director of the Villanova Study Abroad Program in Galway and has published two volumes of poetry In Other Words (2010) and Demeter Does Not Remember (2014). She has won the prestigious Hennessy XO Award for Emerging Poetry and will be reading from her collection The Egret Lands with News From Other Parts.

“The Complexities of Learning a ‘Dying’ Language: Irish Language in the United States” Panel
Monday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.
East Lounge Dougherty

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, Alene O’Malley hosts a panel discussion concerning the current state of the Irish language in both Ireland and internationally. Topics will include the challenges facing non-native learners and the benefits of learning a perceived dying language.

Friel Sisters Performance
Tuesday, March 31, 7 p.m.
Connelly Center Cinema

Anna, Sheila and Clare Friel are traditional musicians born in Glasgow who consider their family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Derrynamansher). Together they play the fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes while singing songs from their family and heritage. This event is co-sponsored with the Philadelphia Ceili Group.

“The Politics of the Irish Harp Symbol from Henry VIII to Brexit” by Mary O’Donnell, PhD
Monday, April 6, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library

Join Mary Louise O’Donnell, PhD, harpist, musicologist and Fullbright scholar, as she discusses the nuanced relationship between Irish Politics and the Irish Harp. Dr. O’Donnell has published on many topics including Irish cultural history, semiotics and performance studies including her first book titled Ireland’s Harp: The Shaping of Irish Identity c. 1110-1880.

Translations Revisited: Heimbold Chair Film Screening Event
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
East Lounge, Dougherty Hall

Join the Center for Irish Studies for an engaging screening and talk from the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies Maurice Fitzpatrick. He will discuss his 2013 BBC documentary, Translations Revisited.

“Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Creative Economy,” Lecture by Shirley Wong, PhD
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
Room 10A, Garey Hall

From her book on globalization and contemporary Irish occasional poetry, Shirley Wong, PhD, will give a talk on how Irish poets exploit the occasional poem’s history ties to an event in order to critique Ireland’s creative economy schemes. Dr. Wong will focus on Paula Meehan’s work and how it dramatizes the capitalist crisis of contemporary Irish literature.

About the Villanova Center for Irish Studies: The Center for Irish Studies at Villanova University has been a leader for four decades in interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship on Ireland in a global framework. The Center connects students to local community organizations while also preparing them to become citizens equipped to take on the world’s most pressing challenges. Through liberal arts-focused academics, multi-disciplinary scholarship and key partnerships, the Center provides students with research, study abroad and employment opportunities.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.