Campus News - October 1, 2001
Irish Renaissance festival underway
By Carolyn Gonzales
The UNM English
Department presents, The Irish Renaissance, 1890-1932, an interdisciplinary
cultural festival including public lectures, an academic course, an evening
of Irish myth, music and storytelling, exhibits, an Irish film weekend, and
dramatic presentations as part of the exploration of Irish culture. Estimated
attendance is 1,320 for the events scheduled through Nov. 14.
The Irish Renaissance was a period of national awakening and rediscovery
that led up to Irelands political independence in 1922, says Hugh
Witemeyer, professor of English and program coordinator with Mary Power.
Between 1880 and 1916, intellectuals artists, writers and others
decided to break away from Great Britain culturally, says Witemeyer,
adding that they revived Gaelic tradition through folklore and the ancient myths
and legends of heroes and heroines.
The Irish language itself was revived. People took language classes in an effort to preserve the endangered language, he says. Witemeyer also says that new literature was derived from old Irish myths and legends and from current peasant life.
Two plays by Augusta Lady Gregory will be presented that come out of that initiative
at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. The plays, Spreading the News and
Hyacinth Halvey will be performed Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at Theatre X in
the UNM Center for the Arts. They are clever and very funny says
Witemeyer, adding that a voice coach born in Dublin was brought in to give instruction
The Southwest Film Center will screen two films on Friday-Sunday, Oct. 19-21
in room 2018 in the Center for the Arts. Michael Collins depicts
Irelands war of independence from British rule. A Love Divided,
a best picture winner from the Monte Carlo Film Festival, looks at a Protestant-Catholic
couple and the question of the childrens education.
Irish folk music will be performed on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 5-7 p.m. at Kellys
Brewpub and Maxwell Museum will present Irish Dance: The McTeggart Irish Dancers
demonstrating jigs, reels, hornpipes and ceilidh steps, on Saturday, Nov. 10
at 2 p.m.
English Professor Mary Power offers English 459/559, The Irish Renaissance. The course is already underway and the reading and writing assignments will complement topics presented in the public lecture series.
The lecture series is the hallmark of the entire event. The lectures are presented
every other Monday between Oct. 1 and Nov. 12. All are scheduled in Anthropology
Lecture Room 163 at 7 p.m.
Kicking off the series Monday, Oct. 1, Elizabeth Cullingford, University of
Texas at Austin, presents From Renaissance to Revolution: The Politics
of Culture in Ireland, 1880-1916, an overview of the cultural activities
and political backgrounds of the Irish Renaissance.
The second lecture, Staging Ireland: Contested Images from the Revival
to the Rising scheduled for Oct. 15, features Nicholas Grene, Trinity
College, Dublin, who will give an account of the Irish nationalist theatre movement
and the surrounding controversies.
On Oct. 29, Zack Bowen, University of Miami, will present, Music and
Politics: The Arts and Irish Rebellion, a description and performance
of Irish music of the period that carries patriotic overtones.
Concluding the series on Nov. 12, Tracy Mishkin, Georgia State University,
presents, The Irish Renaissance and African-American Writers. Mishkin
will look at the influence of the Irish Renaissance upon cultural movements
that followed, including the Harlem Renaissance in New York in the 1920s and
An Irish Renaissance exhibition of photographs, books, posters and other artifacts
at Jonson Gallery is also featured in October.
Jonson also hosts a reception following the first three lectures with music by Celtic harper Michele Buchanan.
The program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH),
colleges of arts and sciences and fine arts and the English and theater arts
Visit www.unm.edu/~english/irish or call 277-6347.
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
Copyright ©1998 The University of New Mexico.
Comments to: email@example.com
Public Affairs Department
Hodgin Hall, 2nd floor
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0011
Telephone: (505) 277-5813, Fax: (505) 277-1981