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.
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.
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.