Irish Scholar and theater critic Fintan O’Toole delivers the 2018 Robert Fagles Memorial Lecture at Princeton University
Irish theater critic and scholar Fintan O’Toole will present the 2018 Robert Fagles Memorial Lecture, entitled “Brexit, Ireland and the Rise of English Nationalism,” on Friday, March 2 at 4:30 p.m. in East Pyne Room 010 on the Princeton University campus. Part of the 2017-18 Fund for Irish Studies series at Princeton University, this event is free and open to the public.
O’Toole’s writing on Brexit, the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, has won both the European Press Prize and the George Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2017.
“Brexit, Ireland and the Rise of English Nationalism” explores the roots of Brexit in the unacknowledged crisis of English identity, the threat it poses to the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland, and the reasons why Ireland will not follow its nearest neighbor out of the European Union.
Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s leading public intellectuals, is a columnist for The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg ’53 visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton. He also contributes to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, and other international publications. His books on theater include works on William Shakespeare, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Thomas Murphy. His books on politics include the best sellers Ship of Fools and Enough is Enough. In 2011, The Observer named O’Toole one of “Britain’s top 300 intellectuals.” He has received the A.T. Cross Award for Supreme Contribution to Irish Journalism, the Millennium Social Inclusion Award, and Journalist of the Year in 2010, the Orwell Prize and the European Press Prize. O’Toole’s History of Ireland in 100 Objects, which covers 100 highly charged artifacts from the last 10,000 years, is currently the basis for Ireland’s postage stamps. His most recent book is Judging Shaw: The Radicalism of GBS, published by the Royal Irish Academy, and he has recently been appointed official biographer of Seamus Heaney.
Robert Fagles, for whom the annual Memorial Lecture is named, was a member of the Princeton faculty for 42 years in the Department of Comparative Literature and a renowned translator of Greek classics. His critically acclaimed translations of Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” became bestsellers.
The Fund for Irish Studies, chaired by Princeton professor Clair Wills, affords all Princeton students, and the community at large, a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, politics, and economics not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” The series is co-produced by the Lewis Center for the Arts. The spring 2018 edition of the series is organized by Toole as acting chair of the Fund for Irish Studies.
Information about the Fund for Irish Studies series can be found at fis.princeton.edu. Other events scheduled in the current series include:
- Award-winning writer Sally Rooney reads from her debut novel Conversations with Friends on March 9
- Acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins screens and discusses his documentary Song of Granite on April 6
- Alvin Jackson, the Sir Richard Lodge Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh, presents the lecture “John Redmond and Edward Carson: Bloodshed, Borders and the Union State” on April 27
The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan, Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies.