Seán Farrell Moran, Ph.D.

Director of the MALS and Associate Professor of History, Oakland University

Dublin’s Easter Rising and the Politics of Redemption

Tuesday, October 8
4:30 PM , 251 French Hall

Ireland’s Easter Rising of 1916 was the most important political event in modern Irish history. But it was far more than an attempt to liberate Ireland.  This talk will consider not only the politics of the Rising, but its spiritual and psychological relationship to Irish nationalism.    
Sean Farrell Moran is the Director of the Masters of Liberal Studies Program and an Associate Professor of History at Oakland University.  Dr. Moran is an expert on revolutionary violence and nationalism in Ireland with research interests in the history of ideas, theology and psychoanalytic theory.  He is the author of Patrick Pearse and the Politics of Redemption: The Mind of the Easter Rising, 1916 (1994) and has written numerous articles on Irish, British and Scottish history as well as on the practice of history. 


Caoimhín De Barra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History, Gonzaga University

A Celtic Conflict: The Irish War of Independence 

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 4:30 pm 251 French Hall

One hundred years ago, Irish nationalists began a war of independence against the United Kingdom that resulted in the creation of an independent Irish state. They did so in the belief that Ireland possessed a distinctive Celtic culture that made it incompatible with the Anglo-Saxon identity of England. In this talk, we will explore how and when Irish people came to see themselves as “Celts,” and how a sense of “Celticness” was used as a propaganda weapon by both sides in the struggle for Irish freedom.
Caoimhín De Barra is an assistant professor of history at Gonzaga University. His areas of research are modern British and Irish history, and the relationship between language and national identity. He is the author of The Coming of the Celts, A.D. 1860: Celtic Nationalism in Ireland and Wales (2018) and Gaeilge: A Radical Revolution (2019).


John Ellis, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Michigan-Flint

Celtic Origins of Halloween

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 4:30 pm 251 French Hall

Today, Halloween is an enormously popular American holiday that is being exported across the world.  Halloween, however, find its origins amongst the ancient Celts of Europe and many of its traditions are rooted in the folk customs once observed by Irish, Scottish and Welsh peasants. This presentation will explore the Celtic origins, traditions and customs of our contemporary Halloween.
Professor John S. Ellis is a Professor of History at University of Michigan-Flint and is the organizer of this year’s exploration on Ireland.   He is an expert on national identity in the British Isles and publishes on Welsh and Irish history.  His work includes Investiture: Royal Ceremony and National Identity in Wales, 1911-1969 (2008) and a literary biography of Welsh nationalist, adventurer andauthor Owen Rhoscomyl.(2016). 


Robert Savage, Ph.D.

Professor of the Practice of History; Director of the History Core

A Return to Troubles? Brexit and the Threat to the Northern Irish Peace Process

Thursday, November 4th, 2019 4:30 pm 251 French Hall

The summer of 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of ‘the Troubles, a thirty year period of political violence that claimed over  3,500 lives. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement ended a conflict that had for decades seemed intractable. Although communities in Northern Ireland remain divided, peace has come to Northern Ireland. The British Army no longer patrols the streets, paramilitaries have ‘decommissioned’ their weapons and the border between north and south is now invisible. This lecture will address the origins and persistence of ‘the Troubles’ and address why Brexit threatens Northern Ireland’s hard earned but fragile peace.
Robert Savage teaches Irish, British and Atlantic World history at Boston College. He is the author of four books that explore contemporary Irish and British history including The BBC’s Irish Troubles: Television, Conflict and Northern Ireland (2015) short-listed for the 2015-2018 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and A Loss of Innocence? Television and Irish Society 1960-1972, Winner of the 2011 James S. Donnelly Sr. Book Prize from the American Conference for Irish Studies.