Speaker Series: Our Next Speaker is:

Sunday, October 25th, UICC at 5pm - Clare Moriarty will speak about "Berkeley’s Marvelous Mathematics". 
George Berkeley is undoubtedly Ireland’s most celebrated philosopher, but his role in the history of mathematics is less renowned. In a heated debate between the British and Continental academies over who truly invented calculus (between Newton and Leibniz), Berkeley’s contribution was to publicly scorn the intelligibility of the theory. The speakers interest is in Berkeley’s unusual motivation in these attacks, which seem to be the result of learning that certain mathematicians had been ridiculing religion on the basis of its ‘unintelligible’ ideas. Despite majority agreement that Berkeley’s mathematical criticism was correct, and instrumental in guiding the project of fixing early calculus, the question remains as to whether Berkeley cared more about sticking his finger in people’s eyes than he did about the mathematics. Clare Moriarty is a doctoral candidate at King’s College, London, and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. Saint Francis Room, UICC. 

Sunday November 22 - Kathleen Walkup, Professor of Book Art, Mills College, Oakland “Press came in pours of rain”: Cuala Press and the Legacy of Elizabeth Corbet Yeats

Sunday, January 24th, UICC at 5pm - Tony Bucher will speak about “Old Saint Mary’s – San Francisco’s Irish Monument”
The deep and varied story of the Irish in San Francisco is intrinsic to the history, character, and physical structure of the City, yet the Irish barely register in popular conceptions of San Francisco's general history. In this sense the story of Irish San Francisco is a hidden story, kept alive in the memory of succeeding generations, and represented in a few very visible monuments with deep historical and personal resonance.

One such monument is Old Saint Mary's Cathedral in Chinatown. The structure was the largest building in the City when it was completed in 1854 in the raucous Barbary Coast era, at the very beginnings of American San Francisco. Standing at the head of the first block of the steep rise of California Street on Nob Hill, it rests prominently positioned above the forest of buildings that steadily grew into an orderly and sober downtown in succeeding years.Old Saint Mary’s served as a key seat of institutional power in the early development of the City and the greater West, and as an important focus of community for a significant portion of the population for generations.

Beyond the story of the church itself and its features and biographical details, Old Saint Mary’s has broader significance as a metaphor for a history nearly unknown in the City the Irish helped build, with the remains of Kathleen Sullivan, the Irish benefactor, interred in the basement of her Irish church, hidden in plain sight.

Sunday November 22 - Kathleen Walkup, Professor of Book Art, Mills College, Oakland “Press came in pours of rain”: Cuala Press and the Legacy of Elizabeth Corbet Yeats

Other Local Irish Cultural Events:

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E-Book - Our publication The Irish of the San Francisco Bay Area - Essays on Good Fortune is now available as an E-Book. Click here to preview and download

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

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Myles Dungan in conversation with Colm Toibin at the Mechanics Library - Oct. 2014

ILHS website photo gallery

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