The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture

The Future of the Past: Revival Ireland 1891-1922

Thursday, November 19, 2015  6:15pm The Teatro at The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies

Declan Kiberd, renowned scholar of Irish Literature, will deliver the annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. The history of literature, said Carlyle, is a narrative of "revivals". The Revival which occurred in Ireland a century ago, far from being a case of late-blooming Romanticism, was a systematic attempt to adapt and update the civic values of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Although simplified in many subsequent accounts as a manifestation of nationalism, it was in fact a project for liberation. It offered new roles for women, theosophists, socialists, pacifists, secularists and alternative models of republican modernity outside of the available state codes; and its leaders took Ireland as a test-case of the modern decolonising world. They were the first English-speaking people in the twentieth century to walk in hope and in darkness down what would become a better-lit road. The lecture will consider a range of well-known authors such as Yeats and Joyce, locating them against a backdrop which introduces less familiar figures such as Mary Colum, James and Margaret Cousins and Francis Sheehy Skeffington.


  • Declan Kiberd

    Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of English

    University of Notre Dame


By Semester