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Local Events of Interest

Spring 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 7:00pm
Timothy White, Political Science, Xavier University, Cincinnati
Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process
Greene Hall, 3347 N. Downer Ave, UW-Milwaukee Campus

Professor Timothy White will discuss a recent volume of essays entitled Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Building on a variety of approaches in political science and the social sciences more generally, Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process evaluates the successes and limitations of the peace process in Northern Ireland and considers how — or whether — what has been learned here can be applied to other regional conflicts.

February 21-23, 2014
Tionól Gaeilge, Irish Language Weekend
Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Milwaukee

A warm welcome waits you with classes at every level, from absolute beginner to those almost fluent. The event also features our annual Douglas Hyde commemorative lecture and the popular Siopa Leabhar bookshop. We are grateful to Milwaukee Irish Fest Center (1532 Wauwatosa Ave. Milwaukee) for hosting the event this year.

Registration: Weekend Tuition $90; Free to all UW-Milwaukee students.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, Wauwatosa, is available at a rate of $89 per night. The hotel offers free parking and complimentary shuttle service to anywhere from 9am to 10pm every day.

Flyer and registration form (pdf)

We thank you for your interest in CCS and look forward to seeing you in 2014.

Friday, February 28, 2014
The Scholar and the Library
Michael Beebe, English, UW-Milwaukee
"James Joyce's Ulysses and the Birth of Bio political Subjectivity"
Room E281, Golda Meir Library, UW-Milwaukee

A recipient of a 2013-14 Chancellor's Golda Meir Library Scholar Award, Beebe's will discuss his award-winning research on the ways that Irish literary giant James Joyce expressed an emergent form of Irish political subjectivity in his iconic novel Ulysses. Beebe's bio political critique of Joyce's work and times engages one of modern literature's greatest figures on questions of citizenship, national sovereignty and the public good in the late days of British dominion over Ireland.

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 6:00pm
Aisling Gheal (Bright Vision) Screening
Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Drive, UW-Milwaukee

Join us for a free screening of Irish filmmaker Dónal O Céilleachair's breathtaking new documentary about Ireland's sean-nós tradition. Aisling Gheal are a team of women passionately keeping Sean-nós alive and attracting young protégés all the time. Amongst them is 10-year-old Shahira Apraku who attends the local Gaelscoil and embodies an entire new generation of Irish speakers. Shahira's journey, the struggles of the women, the songs of the Sean-nós and the flow of the Sullane river provide parallel intersecting narrative vehicles for this documentary, yielding insights into this part Celtic culture while challenging some of our key contemporary notions of 'Irishness' in the process.

Sunday 6, 2014, 2:00-6:00pm
Tartan Day Kirkin'
All Saints Cathedral, 818 E Juneau Ave., Milwaukee

This year's Kirkin' is on Sunday April 6 (actually on Tartan Day this year) at 2:00-6:00 pm at All Saints Cathedral, 818 E Juneau Ave., Milwaukee. After the church service (during which your tartan can be blessed), a reception and food follows, and a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Arborath (the model for our Declaration of Independence). There is also a raffle. In past services, there has been a Concerto for Pipe Organ and Bagpipe Band. Kilts/tartans are encouraged, but not required. Free.

CCS will celebrate Tartan Day on campus April 16th – more information on that event at a later time.

Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:30pm
Iarla O'Lionáird, Life, Love and Death, Sean-nós performance
Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N. 4th St., Milwaukee

O'Lionáird grew up and learned his craft in the musical heartland of Cúil Aodha in the West Cork Gaeltacht. From his early recording of the vision song, Aisling Gheal, while still a boy, through his recent recordings, O'Lionaird has established himself both as a masterful exponent of Sean Nós Song and as a pioneer in its renewal and development. O'Lionáird has always been a collaborator and an artist seeking new fields of engagement. His collaborations with Peter Gabriel on Ovo have taken on an increasingly classical form. His song-cycle with Gavin Bryars, Anail De (The Breath of God), reflects a deep artistic collaboration and friendship with the composer. Similarly, he has worked extensively with acclaimed Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy and his group The Crash Ensemble. O'Lionáird recently completed a tour including a sell-out show at The National Concert Hall in Dublin with The Gloaming, his new band, which also features fiddler Martin Hayes.

UWM students receive a discount so that a single ticket only costs $5. Please call the box office at 414-271-0711 and mention being a UWM student to receive the discount. For more information please visit Present Music's website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 6:30-8:00pm
Tartan Day Celebration
Tyler Hackworth
Ancient, Old and New: The Evolving Landscape of Scotland
Greene Hall, 3347 Downer Ave., UW-Milwaukee Campus

Tartan Day celebrates the Declaration of Arbroath. The Declaration is in the form of a letter sent to Pope John XXII, dated the 6th of April, 1320 and signed by Scotland's chieftains, churchmen, and nobility. As a definition of Scottish independence, it is a stirring manifesto which ranks among the world's great statements. It is particularly important as the sturdy response of a small nation to stronger powers who sought to curtail its freedom. This event is celebrated every April as Tartan Day.

The Center will mark this special day on Wednesday, April 16th with a talk titled Ancient, Old and New: The Evolving Landscape of Scotland. Guest speaker Tyler Hackworth will give a talk about how Roman hands, medieval stones, and modern steel have blended, giving cities like Edinburgh, a unique beauty and aura of ancient footsteps in modern shoes. Free.

Friday, May 9, 2014, 6:00-8:00pm
Certificate Awards Ceremony
UWM Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Drive, Milwaukee

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of our students at the annual Certificate Awards Ceremony. Congratulations go out to Andrew Martins, Maggie McGwinn, Lauren Messner, and Alexander Knox for completing their certificates.

This evening of Celtic conviviality begins with a reception and will include a short program of Irish music by Blackthorn Folly and Irish dancing with Marquette Highschool Celtic Club.

Graduation Speaker: New addition to our faculty from Ireland, Dr. Alison Donnelly will give a lively presentation entitled "Timing is Everything: How Irish wildlife is responding to global climate change."

This event is free and open to the public and a warm welcome awaits all.

Fall 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013, 6:30pm
Samuel Beckett Exhibit Reception
Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Milwaukee

The Irish government's Samuel Beckett Exhibit details Nobel Prize winning Beckett's Irish origins, and influence on world literature. The festivities will begin at 6:30 PM on Friday the 13th of December with a reception to mark the opening of the exhibit at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center at 1532 Wauwatosa Ave. Milwaukee.

A Dublin native, Professor Andrew Kincaid, from the English Department and Celtic Studies program at UWM, will give a short presentation on the influences that made Beckett a great Irish author and playwright. There will be a screening of Rough for Theatre 1 a twenty minute film based on Beckett's The Gloaming starring two late great Irish actors Milo O'Shea and David Kelly.

Friday, November 8, 2013, 7:00pm
Chuck Ward Memorial Lecture
Christopher Shannon, Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia
"Irish Catholics in the Golden Age of Hollywood"
Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Milwaukee

Christopher Shannon is an associate professor of history at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and has taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Notre Dame, and Saint Mary's College. Professor Shannon has published widely in the field of American cultural and intellectual history, and has a particular interest in Irish American history.

His talk, "Irish Catholics in the Golden Age of Hollywood," is based upon his book, Bowery to Broadway: The American Irish in Classic Hollywood Cinema (University of Scranton Press, 2010). In his book, Shannon argues that Irish-American themed films of the 1930s and 1940s presented the Irish as people defined by a powerful ethic of social solidarity rooted in local urban communities. The characters in these films often reject the American Dream of individual advancement in favor of maintaining their local neighborhood ties to family, friends and church. Using clips, the talk will trace this theme through one of the most popular Irish-American genres of the period, the gangster films of James Cagney. Don't miss what promises to be a wonderful celebration of Irish America.

This presentation will take place at 7:00pm following a reception at 6:30pm. The Irish Fest Center is situated at 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa.

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Celebrate Samhain, The Celtic New Year
UWM Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Dr., Milwaukee

You're invited to join us for an evening of fiendish fun at our annual Halloween Celebration. Come celebrate the Celtic New Year when the Pookah and his wee gentry are up to all kinds of devilment and demons are a ghoul's best friend. There will be seasonal refreshments galore, a presentation on the ghosts of Milwaukee's Irish Third Ward by Allison Jornlin, stories from Eamonn O Neill, and music by Black Thorn Folly. So, file your fangs, iron your cape, stay away from the garlic and come in costume for a great night

Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:30pm
Skara Brae Concert

Join us at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center Halla Mór concert featuring Skara Brae on Friday October 25th. More details available at Skara Brae was formed in the late 1960s by County Donegal sisters Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and their brother, the late Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, along with friend Dáithí Sproule from Derry, Northern Ireland. A shared love for mixing traditional songs and contemporary arrangements led them to blaze new trails with complex vocal harmonies and inventive guitar and keyboard accompaniments. Their love of Irish language song made them a seminal sound in traditional music. The concert takes place at 7:30 at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center on 2213 W. Wisconsin Ave. Admission at the door is $23 and advanced tickets cost $19. There is a special rate of only $5 for Center for Celtic Studies students with a coupon. Coupons are available at the Celtic Studies office in Holton 290 or in class from your instructor.

Monday, October 14, 21, 28, and November 4, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Celebrate Samhain, The Celtic New Year

County Clare on 1234 N. Astor St., will be hosting a Monday at 7:00 PM Irish movie screening. To honor the centenary of the 1913 Lockout, the television series Strumpet City will be shown. Strumpet City was a landmark in Irish television, a production on a scale never before attempted by RTE and never matched by the state broadcaster since. It was adopted by Hugh Leonard from James Plunkett's acclaimed novel and directed with considerable skill by Tony Barry. It depicts life in Dublin in 1913 and features excellent performances by David Kelly, Cyril Cusack, Frank Grimes, Bryan Murray, Donal McCann, with Peter O'Toole as the labor leader Jim Larkin. The screening in the Joyce Room will be introduced by John Gleeson and there will be a discussion following the screening. The event is free and open to the public. Dublin porter will be served.

October 4-6
UW–Madison Irish Language Weekend
Lowell Center, UW–Madison Campus

This event will provide an opportunity for Irish language immersion. In the words of Mike Donahue, "The teachers, other students and the activities inside and outside the classroom combine to make this one of my favorite weekends." For specifics on registration and cost, see the Irish Language Culture Weekend website.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Kick-off Céilí
Greene Hall, 3347 N. Downer Ave.

For more information about the annual Kick-off Céilí (a traditional gathering involving song and dance), please see the event flyer (pdf).

Spring 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013 at 6:30pm
Failte chuig Céiliúradh 2013
Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Drive

Welcome to our annual celebration of our students' achievements. Come join us for afternoon tea with Irish soda bread and fairy cakes. There will be lovely Irish music by the young and talented group Cuil A Lin, Irish tea and soda bread and fairy cakes.

The event kicks off at 6:30 at the Hefter Center 3271 N Lake Dr. It is free, and the public are very welcome. This year's group of recipients namely: Brianna Crea, Emily Antonicci, James Elliott, and Jessica McGilliray, will be presented with their Center for Celtic Studies Certificates. You are guaranteed a joyful and celebratory Celtic evening. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:00pm
Mary McPartlan, Academic Coordinator and Director of Arts in Action at the National University of Ireland, Galway
Histories of Irish Traditional Women Singers and Their Songs
Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Drive

Mary McPartlan has been working in the music industry for the last 12 years. She has worked with TG4 as well as the Galway theater company Skehana. She is currently a Fulbright scholar at Lehman College, New York where she teaches a course on Irish traditional women singers. Mary is a marvelous traditional Irish singer who is known for her two studio releases The Holland Handkerchief and Petticoat Loose. She recently completed an album with President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland blending his poetry with her song.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:00pm (Rescheduled)
Look Behind You!
Hefter Center, 3271 N. Lake Drive

Look Behind You!, a melding of image and voice, anecdote and memory, showcases Bobbie Hanvey's prize-winning photojournalism along with radio-edits of his interviews with some of Northern Ireland's best-known figures. These are complemented and contextualized by Steafán Hanvey's critically-acclaimed song-writing and singing. Together, Bobbie and Steafán document the ordinary and at the same time the extraordinary, the public and the private in a way which dares to promote Seamus Heaney's claim that "the end of art is peace".

Saturday, February 23, 2013
Gaeltacht Deireadh Seachtaine
Lá Gaeilge, our 2013 Irish Language Day takes place Saturday February 23 at the Hefter Center. It features classes in Irish language for everyone from absolute beginner to daoine líofa and workshops in Sean Nós song and dance. Lunch will be available. Students attend free, but for non-students there is a $35 registration fee which includes lunch. This is an enjoyable way to immerse yourself in Irish culture and meet new friends while learning to bless, praise, and "curse" them, if needs be in the language of Heaven.

Please fill out and return the attached Registration Form to:

Center for Celtic Studies
UWM Holton Hall, P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:00pm
MKE Unplugged
Cuíg Gúthanna and special guest Nathan Andrew
Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
2419 E. Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI

Bríghid, Maíre, Fíona and Brídín Malone, together with Kate Early, are Cuíg Gúthanna (Five Voices), a group of women from the Chicago area, who carry on the vocal traditions of their Irish and Scottish forebears. As mother and daughters, the Malones have sung together most of their lives, as Bríghid has done with her own mother.

Free and open to the public. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

Fall 2012

Saturday, November 17
James Liddy Book Launch, 4:00-6:00pm
Michael Joyce Room, County Clare Irish Inn & Pub, 1234 N. Astor Street, Milwaukee

James Liddy, On American Literature and Diasporas
Edited by Eamonn Wall
Published by Arlen House (Dublin, 2013).

Speakers include Eamonn Wall (U. of Missouri-St Louis), Alan Hayes (Arlen House), James Rogers (University of St. Thomas), José Lanters (UWM), John Gleeson (UWM).

The event is sponsored by the UWM Department of English.

November 10-11
Celtic Film Festival
Marquee Theatre, Union South, UW-Madison Campus

We would like to draw your attention to the Celtic Film Festival that will be taking place this weekend, Saturday November 10th and Sunday November 11th at the the Marquee Theatre, Union South on the UW-Madison Campus.

This festival is a celebration of Celtic film featuring recent cinema from the Celtic world. Included are such noteworthy feature films as Saviors, Vinyl, Midnight Drives, and Ballymun Lullaby. Also included are programs of short films from Ireland, Scotland, and Cornwall. ADMISSION IS FREE. Further information can be found at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Halloween Céilí, 7:00-10:00pm
Greene Hall, 3347 N. Downer Ave., UW-Milwaukee Campus

Samhain approaches—the ancient Celtic festival that marks the time when the boundary between the world of the living and the dead becomes blurred and anything can happen. You're invited to join us for an evening of fiendish fun at our annual Halloween Céilí. Come celebrate the Celtic New Year when the Pookah and his wee gentry are up to all kinds of devilment and demons are a ghoul's best friend. There will be seasonal refreshments galore, explorations of horror literature, music by Ceol Cairde and dancing for all (instructions provided).

Come in costume for a great night on Wednesday, October 31st from 7:00-10:00 pm in Greene Hall, 3347 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-229-6520.

Wednesday, October 18-20, 2012
The Midwest Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies
Marquette University in Milwaukee

The Midwest Region of the American Conference for Irish Studies is holding their 2012 conference on October 18-20, 2012, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With its theme of "Emancipation: Ireland and the World," the conference hopes to encourage us to think about the concepts of freedom and citizenship as expressed by the Irish at home and around the world. Topics to be covered include the struggle for Catholic rights, women's rights, and freedom from the British Empire. Keynote addresses will be given by Dr. Michael Patrick Gillespie, Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment at Florida International University, and Dr. James S. Donnelly, Jr., Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If you have any questions, or would like to register for the conference, please call Dr. Tim McMahon, Associate Professor of History at Marquette University by phone (414) 288-3559, or visit

Wednesday, October 18-20, 2012
The Session: Conference on Irish and Irish American Music and Entertainment
The Ward Irish Music Archives and Milwaukee Irish Fest
1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Milwaukee WI 53213

The Ward Irish Music Archives and Milwaukee Irish Fest will be holding their first-ever Irish and Irish American Music and Entertainment conference, The Session, on October 18-20, 2012. The Session will focus on traditional and popular Irish music through presentations, video screenings, and live music, featuring such world-renowned masters as Kevin Burke and Dáithí Sproul.

The event kicks off on Thursday, October 18th, 2012 with a reception, followed by the first annual Chuck Ward Memorial Lecture, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Celtic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Daniel Neely, leader of the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra, will present "Evenings of Music and Song: The Big Session in Irish Music" at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center. Lecture at 7:00pm; doors open at 6:00pm.

If you would like to register for The Session, or view the schedule and locations of presentations and featured events, please visit

Both events come together on Saturday evening for a Gene Kelly centenary celebration, featuring a discussion and screening of Singin' in the Rain. This event takes place at 6:00pm at Cudahay Hall on the Marquette University campus, 1313 West Wisconsin Avenue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 11:30am-1:00pm
Carlos Núñez Performance & Discussion,
Helene Zelazo Center 171, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.
UWM Campus
Event flyer (pdf 17mb)

Please join us for a special performance and discussion with Carlos Núñez, one of the world's most celebrated Celtic bagpipe artists, on Wednesday, October 10th from 11:30 am-1:00 pm in the Helene Zelazo Center, 2400 East Kenwood Boulevard, room 171. His music is influenced by a variety of cultures, from ancient and contemporary Celtic (with a unique Galician swing) to Medieval Galician-Portuguese, and also combines the sounds and styles of Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.

This event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Don't miss this great opportunity to engage informally with Carlos and enjoy his amazing music.

For more information call the Center for Celtic Studies at 414.229.6520 or e-mail