Irish literary scholar Kiberd to launch fall Writing Program Reading Series

Declan Kiberd, one of the world’s preeminent scholars of modern Irish literature, will launch the University’s fall Writing Program Reading Series in Arts & Sciences with a pair of talks.

On Sept. 9, Declan will speak on “Ireland: A Case of Masked Modernity?” On Sept. 11, he will address “The City in Irish Writing.”

Both are free and open to the public and begin at 8 p.m. in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall.

Kiberd, a professor of Anglo-Irish literature and drama at University College Dublin, will spend a week in residence at Washington University, serving as the Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences.

Declan Kiberd
Declan Kiberd

“One of Ireland’s leading intellectuals, Declan Kiberd distinguished himself as early as three decades ago as the Irish literary critic most ably deploying, and reinventing, the insights of postcolonial theory to illuminate Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and dozens of other Irish writers,” says Guinn Batten, Ph.D., associate professor of English. “No other living Irish scholar in the humanities has had such an international impact on the shaping of Irish studies, or has involved himself — in ways large and small — in the opening of productive intellectual exchange across all kinds of borders in Ireland.”

Kiberd’s most recent book, Irish Classics (2001), won the Truman Capote Prize and The Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature from the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS). Kiberd’s previous book, Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (1996), won the Irish Times Non-Fiction Prize, the Oscar Wilde Award and the ACIS Prize for Cultural Criticism.

His other volumes include Idir Dha Chultur (1993), Men and Feminism in Modern Literature (1985) and Synge and the Irish Language (1979).

Kiberd edited the Penguin Classics edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, among other books. His many honors include a 2003-04 Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellowship.

A book-signing and reception will follow each talk, and copies of Kiberd’s works will be available for purchase. For more information, call 935-7130.