Prominent historian of Ireland will visit campus to speak March 21 at Irish Studies Lecture

Northern Illinois University will welcome a leading expert on the Emerald Isle to campus for the 2011 Irish Studies Lecture — appropriately scheduled in the wake of St. Patrick’s Day.

Timothy G. McMahon
Timothy G. McMahon

Timothy G. McMahon, a professor of history at Marquette University and one of the leading Irish historians in the United States, will deliver his talk from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center.

McMahon’s lecture, titled “Eire-Imperator: Ireland’s Imperial Ambivalence,” will examine the complexity of Ireland’s late 19th-century position as both a participant in and victim of British imperialism. The event is free and open to the public.

McMahon is the author of two books: “Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic League and Irish Society, 1893-1910” (Syracuse, 2009) and “Padraig O Fathaigh’s War of Independence: Recollections of a Galway Gaelic Leaguer” (Cork, 2000).

“We’re thrilled to have Timothy McMahon speak on campus,” said NIU history professor Sean Farrell, who serves as vice president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.

“Professor McMahon is one of the leading Irish historians in the country and an excellent public speaker. His talk about the complexity of turn-of-the-century Irish attitudes toward the British Empire speaks to issues of identity and imperialism that should be of interest to us all.”

Farrell notes that NIU has a scholarly strength in Irish Studies, with faculty experts and Irish Studies courses in the departments of communication, English and history, along with two Study Abroad programs to Ireland. Farrell added that he hopes to make the Irish Studies Lecture an annual event.

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