GIST: Bilinguals at the Bar: Maamtrasna Revisited

When:7 Jun 2012, 6:15pm - 7:30pm
Venue:Room 327 Robert Webster Building, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Prof Margaret Kelleher, Director of An Foras Feasa, the Humanities Research Institute at National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

GLOBAL IRISH STUDIES TALKS (GIST)  2012 Series

Prof Margaret Kelleher, Director of An Foras Feasa, the Humanities Research Institute at National University of Ireland, Maynooth

This talk will revisit the infamous Maamtrasna murders which took place in August 1882 near Cong (then Co Galway). The succeeding legal trial which led to the wrongful execution of Myles Joyce, first cousin of the murdered Joyce family, has been the subject of a number of recent publications and documentaries. As early as 1907 the conduct of the trial of Myles Joyce was made the subject of critique by James Joyce in his famous essay Ireland at the Bar. Based on detailed archival research, this talk will reexamine the trial from the perspective of language use, including the treatment of monolingual speakers of Irish and the significance of contemporary bilingualism. It will show how the case of Maamtrasna throws light on the dramatic language shift that took place in nineteenth-century Ireland, the consequences of which remain evident in Irish society to this day.

Prof Kelleher received her BA from University College Cork and PhD from Boston College. She is the author of The Feminization of Famine (1997) and co-editor with Philip O’Leary of the landmark Cambridge History of Irish Literature (2006); she has also published widely in the fields of nineteenth-century literature, women’s writings and Irish literary and cultural history. Margaret is the current Chairperson of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) and NUI Maynooth’s Principal Investigator for the government-funded inter-institutional Structured PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities. In October next she will take up the post of Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin.

Watch the lecture here on UNSWTV

Contact: Angela McLoughlin | T: 02 9385 7164 | E: irish@unsw.edu.au

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