The Great Famine
The Blight ….
On Thursday March 12, 2015, Professor Mary C. Kelly will present a talk on the subject of Ireland’s Famine from the Irish-American perspective.
Dr. Kelly is the author of “Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), where she tracks the legacy of the Great Famine within America’s immigrant history and its impact on Irish ethnic identity.
Moving beyond traditional emphases on Irish-American cornerstones such as church, party, and education, Kelly maps the Famine’s legacy over a century and a half of settlement and assimilation, and reveals a painful memory that has endured fitfully, but unquestionably, throughout Irish-American historical experience.
The Government ….
The talk will illuminate why it took so long for the offspring of Irish immigrants to confront the trauma caused by the potato blight, and why the course of Famine commemoration in the later 20th Century constitutes such a crucial dimension of the ethnic Irish experience in the United States.
She reveals the painful memory that has endured fitfully, and unquestionably, throughout Irish-American historical experience. It took well over a century for the offspring of Irish immigrants to the US to recognize and understand the trauma caused by the potato blight. Feelings of discomfort drove successful second and third-generation Irish Americans to experience a form of historic amnesia when it came to their ancestors’ troubled past. Kelly shows the evolution associated with public memory and trauma and the ways political and cultural rhetoric framed this debate.
Dr. Kelly hails from Co. Mayo, Ireland, and is Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University, NH, where she specializes in Modern American and Irish history. Her scholarly interests include Famine memory, Irish-American identity, and Irish Catholic Irish culture in urban America.
The presentation will be on Thursday March 12, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:00, and the talk is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Education Room of the Bunker Hill Museum. Presented by Charlestown Historical Society.
NOTE: due to weather conditions and possible issues with the Museum building, this event may be re-scheduled or possibly given a change in venue. Sign-up for Constant Contact updates to be informed by email, or re-visit this website closer to the date.