November 05, 2008

Inaugural Fanning Medal Lecture set for Nov. 11

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The inaugural Fanning Medal Lecture debuts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 during the first-ever “Irish Studies Presents” series of lectures.

Anne Fogarty, the first recipient of the Fanning Medal for Excellence in Irish Studies, presents the Fanning Medal Lecture. It honors Professor Emeritus Charles Fanning, a pioneer in the field of Irish American and Irish Immigration Studies. Fanning served as an English professor and as head of SIUC’s Irish and Irish Immigration Studies from 1993 until his retirement in 2007. The lecture bearing his name will be delivered on his birthday.

Beth Lordan, creative writing professor in the English department at SIUC, is the current director of Irish and Irish Immigration Studies. She noted that the journal, “New Hibernia Review,” edited by James Rogers, will publish the Fanning Medal Lecture this year and in years forthcoming.

Fogarty serves as director of the University College Dublin Research Centre for James Joyce Studies, and as professor of James Joyce Studies. She has also taught Medieval and Renaissance literature at the National University of Ireland in Cork. Her background includes academic work in women’s studies and drama studies. She is the general editor of Irish University Review and co-editor of the Dublin James Joyce Journal. Recent publications include co-editing of several volumes of James Joyce studies. Fogarty is president-elect of the International James Joyce Foundation.

Fogarty will speak in the Mississippi Room of the SIUC Student Center.

In addition to Fogarty’s lecture, the inaugural Irish Studies Presents includes literary readings. All events are in the Mississippi Room at the Student Center. Here is the schedule:

Nov. 10, 4 p.m., John McAuliffe

Irish Studies Presents welcomes Irish poet John McAuliffe, author of “A Better Life,” which made the shortlist for the Forward First Collection Award, and “Next Door,” published in 2007. His poetry also appears in Poetry Ireland Review, Metre, Poetry London and Poetry Review, among others. McAuliffe co-directs the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing (Great Britain) and is director of the Poetry Now Festival in Dún Laoghaire.

Nov. 11, 7 p.m., Anne Fogarty

Fanning Medal for Excellence in Irish Studies recipient Anne Fogarty presents the first Fanning Medal Lecture, “’I Think We Always Knew’: Figurations of Abuse in Contemporary Irish Writing.” She will “trace the way in which violence against children is encompassed by modern Irish writers” and examine how writers address that still-taboo subject. Her examples include Edna O’Brien’s “In the Forest,” Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman,” Eugene McCabe’s “Winterwood,” and Anne Enright’s “The Gathering.” “A grim subject, I know,” she wrote, “but one that is of burning interest here and I think elsewhere.”

Nov. 12, 4 p.m., Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars

This reading features both Higgins and Millar DuMars. Galway poet Higgins’ first collection, “The Boy With No Face,” made the shortlist for the 2006 Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish Poet. His second collection, “Time Gentlemen” came out in March 2008. Higgins declares himself particularly interested in poetry readings. He and his wife (his co-reader in this session) co-organize Over the Edge literary events in Galway City. Higgins is poetry critic for The Galway Advertiser.

Millar DuMars’ publications include a pamphlet of poems, “Everyone Loves Me,” and short stories, “American Girls.” Most recently published is her poetry collection, “Big Pink Umbrella.” She received an Irish Arts Council Bursary award for her fiction in 2005. A native of Philadelphia, Millar DuMar makes her home now in Galway, Ireland.

There is no charge for attendance at any of these events. Receptions follow.