Upcoming Speaker Series:
Sunday April 26th, at 5:00PM
The Irish Literary & Historical Society is pleased to present as guest speaker Professor Sarah Townsend at our meeting on Sunday April 26th, at 5:00PM, at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue at Sloat Blvd., San Francisco. Her lecture will titled
"Miracles of Development:
From Irish Pigs to Celtic Tigers"
a lighthearted and erudite exploration of representations of the animals applied to the Irish from the 19th century through the recent economic crisis.
This talk examines Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel The Butcher Boy and Enda Walsh’s 1996 play Disco Pigs, arguing that the two works deploy and upturn pig stereotypes in order to critique late twentieth-century Irish gentrification. Through their protagonists’ pig-themed defiance and ultimate violence, which borrow elements from both the American counterculture and the imperial archive, McCabe and Walsh demonstrate the long effects of porcine Irish stereotypes that emerged in colonial racial discourses and reappear in contemporary discussions about the Celtic Tiger and European debt. The two works challenge the aspirational consumerism of a bourgeois Ireland that would prefer to forget its rural and colonial past, as well as the capriciousness of a global capitalist culture that alternatingly rewards and punishes excessive consumption.
Sarah L. Townsend is an Assistant Professor in English at the University of South Dakota. She specializes in modern and contemporary Anglophone literature with an emphasis in Irish Studies. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on British and Irish modernism, contemporary fiction and drama, Anglophone world literature, postcolonialism, and human rights. Her work appears in the Journal of Modern Literature, Modern Drama, and the edited collection Animals in Irish Culture.
She is completing her first monograph, supported by a 2014-15 Visiting Fellowship at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, which examines Irish literature’s radical transformation of developmental discourses during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She received her Ph D in English from UC Berkeley.
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The Irish Literary & Historical Society (ILHS) of the San Francisco Bay Area provides an open, nonsectarian, and nonpolitical forum for the presentation and discussion of Irish and Irish-American culture. The ILHS hosts a speaker series at which invited speakers explore Irish arts, literature, history, society, and culture. In March, the Society hosts its annual St. Patrick’s Banquet, featuring a guest speaker and an evening of Irish music, song, and poetry.More