Shelf Lives at the Central Library: The Easter Rising

Shelf Lives at the Central Library: The Easter Rising

On 16 March 2016, colleagues from LJMU English and University of Liverpool got together with a lively and well-informed audience to explore some of the complex and moving stories that formed part of the Easter Rising in Dublin a century ago. LJMU's Dr Gerry Smyth introduced a remarkable text, James Stephens' The Insurrection in Dublin, a lyrical eye-withness account, published only four months after the events began to unfold. Michael Robinson, from University of Liverpool's Institute of Irish Studies, drew upon the issues raised by Stephen Walker's 2007 book Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot at Dawn to remind us of those Irishmen whose battles were being fought on the European mainland. Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile from LJMU then explored the poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett. The Central Library holds a first edition of Plunkett's collection, published in 1916 after Plunkett had been executed for his role in the Rising, on the same morning as he married Grace Gifford. The book begins with a sketch of its author by...
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English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

Every year, LJMU English's Masters by Research students attend a residential with their supervisors and some of the department's PhD students to talk, read, and reflect on their studies on the programme so far. Here, Edward Dafnis gives his account of our (wonderful) trip in January 2016: An hour’s drive from LJMU is Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. Completed in 1902 to house William Gladstone’s personal collection of over 20, 000 books, periodicals and journals – all read by the man himself and with an estimated 11, 000 containing annotations, the library now houses 250, 000 texts and promised to be a reflective place of study and discussion. Articles by Walter Benjemin, Jorge Luis Borges and Alberto Manguel plus a short story by Alice Munro started the afternoon discussions before a tour of the spectacular library. Nestled amongst the rows of leather bound tomes were armchairs and simple wooden tables where people sat and read and worked in silence. Despite...
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Marginal Irish Modernisms in the USA

Marginal Irish Modernisms in the USA

Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile of LJMU English spent three weeks of September in the United States promoting the project Marginal Irish Modernisms which secured a grant of over £30,000 from the prestigious Arts and Humanities Research Council. This is a new scholarly network that was established by Deaglán and LJMU English's Dr Gerry Smyth (the project's leader), in order to explore the work of marginalised or critically-neglected Irish modernist writers. Other writers who whose work will form part of the project include Maeve Brennan, J. W. Dunne, Lord Dunsany, Lennox Robinson and John Rutherford. Deaglán met with modernism scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, at Arizona State University in Phoenix  and at the Mapping Yeats Symposium, held in Kansas City, Missouri.  At Arizona State University, he spoke to staff and students from the Barrett Honors College on the writings of Ernie O’Malley, an Irish republican author whose memoirs offer an aesthetically experimental reflection on the Irish War of Independence. At UCLA, Deaglán also had the...
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