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From Late Antiquity to Early Modernity: Towards a New History of Gaelic Literature, A.D. 250–1750

Lecture PosterA series of lectures in memory of Proinsias Mac Cana to be delivered in the Royal Irish Academy and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies by:
Professor David Dumville
Sixth-century Professor in History, Palaeography & Celtic
University of Aberdeen

18 February – 29 July

Threads and Titles:

  • (lectures 1-8): Introductory and general
    • 1–2: Towards a history of the literatures of mediaeval and early modern Gaeldom
    • 3: The modern historiography of mediaeval and early modern Gaelic literature, and the problem of Ireland
    • 4: In praise of continuity in Gaelic history and culture
    • 5: The question of origins, the self-interrogatory literary tradition, and cheerful self-confidence
    • 6: Witnesses, sources, methods, and their limitations
    • 7: Senchus and peritia
    • 8: The persons and institutions of language and literature: the republic of letters avant la lettre?
  • (lectures 9-16): Interactions
    • 9: Orality and textuality: a confused historiography
    • 10: Authors and their public(s): producers and consumers of Gaelic literature
    • 11: ‘Historicisation’
    • 12: The world and eternity (secularity and religiosity)
    • 13: Interaction of languages: borrowing, bilingualism, glossing, scribal, macaronic
    • 14: Text and margin
    • 15: Dialogue
    • 16: Scandinavian-Gaelic interaction
  • (lectures 17-24): Classes, genres, periods, transmissions
    • 29 April
      17. Categories of Gaelic literature
      18. Genre: lists, text-titles, and yet inadequate information
    • 6 May: public holiday
    • 13 May
      19. Periodisation and transmission
      20. Old-Gaelic literature
    • 20 May
      21. Middle-Gaelic literature
      22. Early-Modern-Gaelic literature
    • 27 May
      23. Survival and loss (manuscripts and texts)
      24. Transmission and mutation
  • (lectures 25-32): Continuity and change
    • 10 June
      1 Continuity and change: the first millennium A.D./C.E.
      2 From millennium to apocalypse (1)
    • 17 June 3
      From millennium to apocalypse (2)
      4 In praise of Gaelic cultural continuity?
    • 24 June 5
      Chronicling
      6 Learned families and learned orders
    • 1 July
      7 The manuscript-tradition
      8 The recuperative impulse: the backward look?
  • (lectures 33-40): Selected issues and summation
    • 8 July
      1: Gaelic prose and verse: issues of interaction and juxtaposition
      2: Dánfhocail or ‘isolated or alienated poetry’ or quotations? Evidence from poem-openings
    • Monday 22 July at DIAS at 2.00p.m.
      V.5: Humour and silliness and laughter
      V.6: Music and the supernatural
    • Monday 29 July at the Royal Irish Academy
      10.00a.m. – 12.30 mid day
      V.7: The questions of barbarity, civility, and modernity in Gaelic history and culture
      V.8: The colonial question and post-colonial analysis: the evil empire and its long shadow

Lectures 1–2 were given in the Royal Irish Academy on 18 February 2013. Lectures 3–8 were given in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies on 25 February, 4 March and 11 March.

There is no lecture on Public Holiday Monday 1st April. Lectures will resume on Monday 8th April in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies 2.00 to 3.00 and 3.30 to 4.30, with tea between each lecture.

Attendance is open to all. There will be no fee and no requirement to register.

Queries to info@celt.dias.ie.