28 September 2021. This seminar will be about the forthcoming collection of articles, Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition, Civil War, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry and to be published by Royal Irish Academy. The collection examines 1922 through key incidents and different perspectives including material culture, violence, gender, politics and the diaspora. A pivotal year in Irish history, 1922 saw the ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty leading to the establishment of the Irish Free State, the outbreak of the Irish Civil War, and the consolidation of partition as Northern Ireland opted out of the Free State settlement.
14 September 2021. Prof. Peter Kuch on The Sydney Theatre and the Irish play in the 1830s. For the most part, Irish roles in the plays produced at the Sydney Theatre Royal throughout the 1830s are notable for their wit, whimsy, sociability and fortuitous problem solving. But as the decade progressed, a reaction set in that saw the re-emergence of the Stage Irishman. The story of the Irish on the Sydney stage throughout the 1830s is a story of Irish character roles and ‘ersatz Irish’ commercial forms.
18 May 2021. Traditional migrant histories have emphasised the role of male ‘culture brokers’ in the shaping of migrant communities to the exclusion of influential women. This paper will argue that the priest, the politician, and the publican need to be joined by the teacher and the nun when assessing the influences on multigenerational Irish and Irish Catholic identity in Melbourne.
20 April 2021. What was the relationship between Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels (1726) and his own experience of contemporary Anglo-Irish travel? The Irish Sea made Swift into a restless and necessary traveller capable of living in the space between an imperial England and a colonised Ireland, never at home in any one place.
23 March 2021. No study has yet undertaken a detailed analysis of how the Great Irish Famine and negative stereotypes about the Irish affected the rate of their incarceration in Canadian lunatic asylums. Drawing on asylum admission records, case files, annual reports, casebooks, and administrative letters, this paper investigates how being Irish affected the medical treatment offered in Canadian colonial lunatic asylums and the gendered significance these medical determinations had on beliefs about the Irish before Canadian Confederation in 1867.
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.
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.
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.