Many thanks to all who attended the Revising the Rising Conference.
FRIDAY MARCH 20
Welcome and Introductions
11am Crawford Hall, Ehinger Center
MARY LOU MC DONALD, DEPUTY LEADER OF SINN FEIN
11 am Crawford Hall, Ehinger Center
“JEREMIAH AND MARY JANE O’DONOVAN ROSSA: A Fenian Marriage”
5:30 pm Mead Hall
Dr. Shane Kenna, O’Donovan Rossa biographer; Judith Campbell and members of the O’Donovan Rossa Family.
SATURDAY MARCH 21
THEO DORGAN, POET, AUTHOR & ACTIVIST
4pm Mead Hall
THE HENRY GIRLS IN CONCERT
8pm Concert Hall, Dorothy Young Center for the Arts
COMPLETE SCHEDULE TO ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
For information, tickets, attendance please
call 973 408 3285
O’DONOVAN ROSSA PLENARY SESSION
Arguably, the beginning of Ireland’s Easter Rebellion was the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa on August 1, 1915. O’Donovan Rossa was a powerful symbol of Irish Republicanism who had spent his full 83 years as a rebel, a prisoner, and an exile. Padraig Pearse’s oration at his funeral has been quoted often over the past 100 years, but not many people know the story behind the man who was buried that day, nor the woman who promised that his death would be an opportunity to rally the Irish people toward freedom – Mary Jane O’Donovan Rossa. Mary Jane, his wife for 50 years, was a poet, lecturer and mother but as fierce an Irish rebel as her husband.
These two amazing individuals will be the focus of our plenary session, “A Fenian Marriage”, held Friday afternoon at 5:30, March 20, followed by a reception.
Author Shane Kenna will present his work on Rossa, the subject of his new biography to be published in July 2015. Kenna is a Doctor of modern Irish history with an interest in late Victorian and Edwardian Ireland. He has worked as both a researcher and lecturer and advised the BBC on matters related to Irish history. Recently, he published a history of the Fenian Dynamite Campaign as well as a major biography of 1916 Rising leader Thomas MacDonagh.
Drew doctoral student Judith Campbell will present her recent research on Mary Jane O’Donovan Rossa. Her dissertation focuses on both Jeremiah and Mary Jane. She recently completed an article about Mary Jane to be published this summer in History Ireland, and she will participate in a History Ireland “Hedge School” on Rossa this summer in County Cork, Ireland. Campbell is a Trustee of Drew University.
In addition, the session will be attended by a number of Rossa descendants, including granddaughter Patricia Reynolds Byrne and great grandsons Michael Byrne, Williams Rossa Cole and Rossa Cole.
Keynote speaker Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald is the Deputy Leader of Sinn Fein, and is an able and articulate member of the Irish Dail. Mary Lou will speak at Crawford Hall at 11am, Friday March 20th. All are welcome to attend- admission is $10 for visitors who are not registering for the conference. Drew students and conference attendees will be admitted free of charge.
Keynote speaker Irish Poet, author and activist Theo Dorgan
Dorgan has edited The Great Book of Ireland (with Gene Lambert, 1991); Revising the Rising (with Máirín Ní Dhonnachadha, 1991); Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1996); Watching the River Flow (with Noel Duffy, Dublin, Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, 1999); The Great Book of Gaelic (wiith Malcolm Maclean, Edinburgh, Canongate, 2002); and The Book of Uncommon Prayer (Dublin, Penguin Ireland, 2007).
He has been Series Editor of the European Poetry Translation Network publications and Director of the collective translation seminars from which the books arose.
A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, he has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. His Jason and The Argonauts, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered in the Royal Albert Hall in 2004. He was the scriptwriter for the acclaimed TV documentary series Hidden Treasures, and a series of texts commissioned from him features in the dance musical Riverdance. His songs have been recorded by a number of musicians, including Alan Stivell, Jimmy Crowley and Cormac Breathnach. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ’s TV books programme, “Imprint”
Among his awards are the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992 and the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Irish Poetry 2010. A member of Aosdána, he was appointed to The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon in 2003. He also served on the Board of Cork European Capital of Culture 2005.
As part of the conference, Drew will host The Henry Girls, three sisters from Donegal, Ireland who are enjoying great success with their music. The Henry Girls will perform on Saturday March 21st at the Dorothy Young Concert Hall. This is expected to be a sell-out performance, so please book tickets in advance.