IIHSA Galway Conference 2003

National University of Ireland, Galway
September 19th-21st 2003

Publication: Papers from some of the sessions at the conference will appear in The Lure of Greece, eds. J.V. Luce, C. Morris, C. Souyoudzoglou-Haywood (forthcoming Dublin, 2007).

The Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens held its first conference in September 2003 on the subject of Irish involvement with Greek culture, literature, history and politics. The conference explored the varied ways in which Irish scholars, travellers, Philhellenes and writers have engaged with the Greek world: contributing to our understanding of ancient Greece, involving themselves in the struggle for an independent Greek state, and finding inspiration in Greek ideas and themes.

Our conference took place in University College Galway, where George Thomson was Professor of Greek through Irish from 1931 to 1934. Thomson drew pioneering parallels between Irish and Ancient Greek oral culture, and he was also a committed ethnographer, as his researches in the Blasket islands documents. Thomson became a committed Marxist in the 1930s and developed a strong Marxist interpretation of Ancient Greek society. In a way, Thomson unites the four aspects of our conference, and it is fitting that it is taking place in the year of his centenary.


Friday 19th September, 2003

Keynote address in the evening*

Professor Brian Arkins (NUI Galway)

Hellenising Ireland:
Greek themes in modern Irish literature

at 7.30 pm in the IT Building, IT250, NUI Galway

Followed by a welcoming reception

* We much regret that Professor Margaret Alexiou's advertised lecture: "Amid war and troubles":
George Thomson, and the love of Greek and Irish poetry
has been cancelled due to illness.

The Institute hopes to arrange for Professor Alexiou to give her lecture in Ireland during 2004.
Details will be announced on our website.




Saturday 20th September 2003
Session 1. Travellers and Philhellenes*

Organiser: Dr Christine Morris
IT building, IT125, 9.30-12.15 am

Professor John Luce (Trinity College Dublin)
Robert Wood and the Troad

Patrick Sammon (Chester Beatty Library)
With Wilde and Mahaffy in the Peloponnese

Joanna Day (Trinity College Dublin)
Rev. Basil Zula and the Thermopylae Garden at Kilwarlin, Co. Down.

Rev. Patrick Comerford
Sir Richard Church and the Irish Philhellenes in the Greek War of Independence

* Posters for this session:

Sir Richard Church 's house in Athens (Pat and Anne Cronin)
James Bourchier: Philhellence and "ardent lover" of Cretan freedom (Christine Morris)


Saturday 20th September 2003
Session 2. Antiquarians, Artists and Collectors

Organiser: Dr Christina Haywood
IT building, IT125, 1.45 - 5.15 pm
(Organiser: Dr Christina Haywood)

Professor Michael MacCarthy (University College Dublin)
Recording antiquities in the mid-eighteenth century: Ciovani Battista Borra, Lord Charlemont and Robert Wood

Professor John Richmond (University College Dublin)
Greek Revival Architecture in Dublin
Ms Aideen Ireland (Irish National Archives)
A Gentle Luxury: Collectors and collecting in 18th and 19th century Ireland

Dr Raymond Astbury (University College Dublin)
Inscriptions do furnish a Castle: Sir George Cockburn's collection

Dr Christina Haywood (University College Dublin)
The UCD Museum of Ancient History. The Rev. Henry Browne and Greek Archaeology at the turn of the 20th century.

Mr William Dunlop (Ulster Archaeological Society)
K.T. Frost

** Saturday evening: Conference dinner in the Aula Maxima at 7.30 pm **


Sunday 21st September
Session 3. The Classical Tradition in Ireland

Organisers: Professor John Dillon and Dr Christine Morris
IT building, IT125, 10 - 12 noon

Professor Brian McGing (Trinity College Dublin)
How to become Higher Commander of the Order of the Phoenix: the career of W.B. Stanford, Philhellene

Professor Andrew Smith (University College Dublin)
Two Dublin Classicists: Hopkins and Browne

Dr Peter Gathercole (Darwin College, Cambridge)
Aeschylus, the Blaskets and Marxism: interconnecting influences on the writings of George Thomson


Saturday 20th-Sunday 21st September 2003
Session 4. Greek Themes in Modern Irish Literature

Organiser: Professor Brian Arkins

Saturday 20th September 2003

Irish Appropriation of Greek Tragedy (1)

Desmond Egan (Newbridge),
Rediscovering Medea and Philoctetes

Professor Susan Joseph (Catholic University of America)
Irish Medeas in a world context

Conall Morrison (Dublin), Staging Antigone


Greek Themes in Yeats and Joyce

Professor John Dillon (Trinity College Dublin)
The Greeks at the Wake: Some reflections on Greek influences in Joyce's Finnegan's Wake

Professor Tim Webb (University of Bristol),
Yeats and the Grecian model

Professor Terence Brown (Trinity College Dublin),
Joyce's Calypso and myth


Sunday 21st September 2003

Irish Appropriation of Greek Tragedy (2)

Dr Tony Roche (University College Dublin), Kennelly's Greek plays

Dr Redmond O'Hanlon (University College Dublin)
Talking to Euripides: Friel's Living Quarters

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