No Petty People: The Making of Literary Ireland
Free Public Lecture
Arts West building
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
For a small country, Ireland has an immense literary heritage and international reputation. This lecture considers some political, social and cultural reasons why this is so. It reflects on the anomalous conditions in which Ireland grappled with modernity in the aftermath of the Great Famine. It assesses the cultural nationalism that led to the extraordinary flowering of the Irish Literary Revival, led by W.B. Yeats, not only in national terms but also enmeshed within wider European intellectual and cultural agendas. Relatedly, it considers the counter-revival manoeuvres of modernist writers, such as Joyce and Beckett. It analyses not just the self-contained achievement of Irish writers, but also their image and reception internationally. Irish literature and its images of Ireland successfully negotiated a world literary field, with evolving and competing literary and aesthetic agendas. This lecture seeks to account not just for the merit of Irish writing in itself, but for its success in that wider cultural economy.
Presented as part of the 2018 Faculty of Arts Dean’s Lecture Series: Celebrating the Impact of Giving
In 2018, thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Faculty of Arts welcomes six newly appointed Professorial Chairs, reaffirming our Faculty’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research. As Chairs, these academics will make significant contributions to their disciplines, enriching these specialist fields for the benefit of our students and the broader community for years to come.
The Faculty of Arts strives to ensure that talented students of all backgrounds have access to the outstanding scholarly expertise and leadership that these new appointments represent. The Faculty of Arts 110 Scholarship is an access and equity scholarship fund that supports students who struggle to afford a university education or are hampered by circumstances beyond their control. Every gift counts – if you’re interested in learning more, please follow the link on this page.
To celebrate the transformative impact of philanthropic giving for future generations of students, join us for this lecture series to hear our new Chairs give talks on their areas of research expertise and teaching.
Professor Ronan McDonald, Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies
Professor Ronan McDonald
Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies
University of Melbourne
Speaker: Professor Ronan McDonald took up the Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies at The University of Melbourne at the start of 2018. He previously held the Australian Ireland Fund Chair in Modern Irish Studies at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is widely published in Irish literary studies, with a particular interest in Irish modernism. He is also interested in approaches to literary value. His books include Tragedy and Irish Literature (2002), The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Beckett (2007) and The Death of the Critic (2008). Recent edited collections include The Values of Literary Studies: Critical Institutions, Scholarly Agendas (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Flann O’Brien and Modernism (2014). His next book is The Irish Revival and the Crisis of Value, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.