MISS Programme

Melbourne Irish Studies Seminars (MISS)

An Inter-University Forum for Irish and Irish-Australian Studies

Given the current situation in Melbourne seminars for semester 2 will be offered online via zoom and will include some great international speakers. Further details will be published here as speakers are confirmed.

2020 MISS Online Programme

Tuesday 1st September, 2020. Prof. Brian Bocking
A long-lost canvas: Early Irish Buddhists in Melbourne

Tuesday 13th October, 2020. Prof. Sonja Tiernan (recording available)
Commemorating controversy: Women and the shaping of Modern Ireland

Tuesday 17th November, 2020. Dr Craig Pett (recording available)
The death of Swift’s printer John Harding: new evidence that implicates Swift

Tuesday 1st December, 2020. Dr Robert Lindsey (recording available)
Vincent Hearnes and the cultural landscape of Irish Australia

Tuesday 8th December, 2020. Prof. Jeff Kildea (recording available)
Hugh Mahon’s expulsion from the Australian parliament in 1920

Seminars start at 6:30pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Melbourne); 8.30pm New Zealand Daylight Time (Wellington); 7:30am Greenwich Mean Time (Dublin)

For zoom details RSVP: melbirishstudies [at] gmail.com.
For queries contact: melbirishstudies [at] gmail.com or dianne.hall [at] vu.edu.au

Newman College, Melbourne

After seminars the speaker usually joins any interested audience members for dinner at a local cafe or hotel. Queries about the seminar series may be directed to any of the MISS convenors: Philip Bull (La Trobe University), Frances Devlin-Glass (Deakin University), Dianne Hall (Victoria University), Elizabeth Malcolm (University of Melbourne), or Ronan McDonald (University of Melbourne)



MISS Online: The expulsion of Hugh Mahon in 1920

8 December, 2020. November 11 is a date that resonates in Australian history. But more than a half century before Kerr’s coup, November 11 was associated with another dismissal. For on that day in 1920 the Labor member for Kalgoorlie, Irish-born Hugh Mahon, was expelled from parliament for his criticism of British rule in Ireland. Jeff Kildea will discuss how that dismissal came about and how the echoes of the controversy continue to be heard down to the present.

MISS Online: Vincent Hearnes and the cultural landscape of Irish Australia

1 December, 2020. This seminar will focus on the life of an exceptional yet little-known Irish-Australian, Vincent Joseph Hearnes (1903-1986). A talented artist, engineer and writer, Hearnes spent much of his life studying the Irish language, and creating illuminated manuscripts that drew inspiration from sources such as the Book of Kells. Nevertheless, he never set foot in Ireland.

MISS Online: The death of Swift’s printer John Harding

17 November, 2020. John Harding, the printer of the seditious Letters written by Jonathan Swift under the pseudonym ‘M.B. Drapier’, died five months after his imprisonment in November 1724. It has been assumed that he died from jail fever, which is an assumption that consigns his death to the realm of ‘accident’ and which leaves Swift’s reputation unquestioned, but this paper presents never-before-seen evidence suggesting that Harding, who had been due to appear in court, was the victim of a vicious beating ordered by the Lord Lieutenant, John Carteret, Swift’s friend, and carried out with tacit knowledge on Swift’s part.

MISS Online: Women and the shaping of Modern Ireland

13 October, 2020. The intention of this paper is to track the use of commemorations, which have played a pivotal role in Ireland as a way of re-evaluating the ideals and objectives of those who fought for an independent county. A central focus is to examine commemorations at various stages so that we can follow the changing position of women in Ireland and gain insight as to how women’s contributions to the shaping of modern Ireland were in effect written out of Irish history books, until recently.

MISS Online: Early Irish Buddhists in Melbourne

1 September, 2020. Thousands of fragments of information, loose ends, straight fabrications and apparent contradictions have provided a research window into hitherto unsuspected Buddhist links between Ireland and Australia (and many other places) around the turn of the twentieth century. The careers of Dhammaloka and Charles Pfoundes, two of the most significant international Buddhist pioneers of their time, entirely lost to history until now, will be discussed.


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