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Faculty of Arts 30th Anniversary Lecture Series

The Faculty of Arts at MIC celebrates 30 years of its landmark BA Liberal Arts this year. In celebration a series of public lectures will take place from January to March showcasing some of the excellent academics who form part of the Faculty and the various subjects which fascinate them.

Students attending a lecture in a large lecture hall - picture taken from behind the students.

So whether you are interested in the power of psychology, the search for the remains of the Earl of Lucan, a unique and interesting insight into the mind and life of a native Irish speaker through the literary treasure of poet Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún, learning about the unknown Irish writer and illustrator behind a well-loved East German children's book, or the thorny question of who wrote the plays of William Shakespeare; or indeed if you just fancy a bit of brain tingling stimulation, then come along and be part of our celebrations. Everybody is welcome!

Thursday 26 January - Psychology: The power and the responsibility, Professor Niamh Stack
Thursday 9 February - The Search for the Remains of the Earl of Lucan, Dr Loïc Guyon
Thursday 23 February - Elizabeth Shaw: An unknown Irish writer behind an East German children's classic, Dr Sabine Egger
Thursday 9 MarchGuth an Chainteora Dúchais Aonteangaigh i gCóngar is i gCéin: Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún (1777-1857), Tony Ó Floinn
Thursday 23 MarchShakespeare: Man or Myth?, Professor William Leahy

Location: T118, Tara Building, MIC Limerick
Lecture Time: All talks begin at 6pm and entry is free.

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Professor Niamh Stack
Professor Niamh Stack
Head of Department of Psychology, MIC

Psychology: The power and the responsibility, Professor Niamh Stack

Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge". At its core, psychology is a discipline that seeks to better understand human behaviour in order to best help humanity. However historically psychological knowledge, theory and research have not always been used to the best ends. The power of psychological knowledge has not always been wielded in the most responsible ways. More recently psychology as a discipline has begun to acknowledge the mistakes, misuses and abuses of the past and emphasise a commitment to social justice and to the positive application of psychological science and knowledge to complex social problems (Vasquez, 2012). The 20th anniversary of Psychology at MIC provides the perfect point for reflection on all that has been achieved in the past and on our ambitions for the future, as a discipline, as a department and as a community partner.

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The Sarsfield Homecoming Project: “The Search for the Remains of the Earl of Lucan”

Launched in October 2020 by Dr Loïc Guyon (Associate Professor, Head of the Department of French Studies at MIC and Honorary Consul of France for the Midwest region), the Sarsfield Homecoming Project aims at locating and repatriating to Ireland the remains of Irish national hero Patrick Sarsfield. Following the signing of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, Sarsfield left Ireland, along with thousands of Irish jacobite soldiers known as the Wild Geese, and died in the service of France in 1693. Many versions of the circumstances surrounding Patrick Sarsfield's death have been circulated. What is the truth behind the myth? How could we find and identify Sarsfield's remains? After over two years of research, Dr Guyon will present his findings, update the public on the latest developments in the project and will make some exciting announcements!

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Dr Loïc Guyon
Dr Loïc Guyon
Head of the Department of French Studies, MIC
Dr Sabine Egger
Dr Sabine Egger
Lecturer in the Department of German Studies, MIC

Elizabeth Shaw: An unknown Irish writer behind an East German children's classic

Elizabeth Shaw was an Irish artist and illustrator with an extraordinary 20th century life story. Born in Belfast in 1920, Shaw spent most of her adult life living in communist East Berlin. She worked as a caricaturist for Neues Deutschland, the newspaper of the ruling Socialist Unity Party. However Shaw is best known as an author of books for children. Generations of German children, also outside the GDR, have read the picture books she wrote and illustrated, which remain in print to this day. In Ireland, Elizabeth Shaw has remained largely unknown outside of academia. With their interest sparked by Dr Egger’s research, both Irish and British media are now beginning to rediscover Elizabeth Shaw as an author and artist, but even more so as a fascinating political figure. The talk will introduce listeners to Shaw’s life and work, and raise questions about the shaping – or manipulation? – of individual biographies through research and media in different cultural and political contexts.

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Guth an Chainteora Dúchais Aonteangaigh i gCóngar is i gCéin: Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún (1777-1857)

Cé gur imigh na mílte cainteoirí dúchais go Meiriceá Thuaidh roimh an nGorta Mór, is beag rian den Ghaelainn a mhaireann ón tréimhse sin. An eisceacht is mó ná Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún (1777-1857) a d’fhág Baile Mhac Óda in oirthear Chorcaí sa bhliain 1825 agus a thug aghaidh ar Utica i Stát Nua Eabhrac. Taisce shainiúil é a shaothar liteartha sa mhéid is gur cumadh ar an dá thaobh den Atlantach é agus tugann na litreacha is na dánta a sheol sé abhaile léargas suimiúil ar mheon is ar shaol cainteora dúchais amháin i gcéin.

Cláraigh

Tony Ó Floinn
Tony Ó Floinn
Lecturer in the Department of Irish, MIC
Professor William Leahy
Professor William Leahy
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, MIC

Shakespeare: Man or Myth?

In 2023 we celebrate 400 years of William Shakespeare’s first folio, the collection of all of his 35 plays published in November 1623, seven years after his death. But are we certain he was actually the author of those plays? Indeed, do we know much about him at all? For example, did you know that he was married to two different women on consecutive days in 1582? Or that he left none of his writing except for 6 scrawled signatures all of which are different? Or that when he died he did so in silence, with no reference anywhere to his passing? In this talk, Professor William Leahy will explore what we know and do not know about Shakespeare and whether we can say for certain whether he was a writer at all.

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