In conjunction with the Special Collections exhibition “‘A terrible beauty is born’: The Easter Rising at 100,” the Library hosted a set of talks commemorating the beginning of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Shortly after noon on April 24, 1916, Pádraig Pearse emerged from the newly formed headquarters of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic at Dublin’s General Post Office. A small band of republicans’ brief insurrection over Easter Week 1916 resulted in their declaration of independence from Great Britain to form the Irish Republic (Poblacht na hÉireann). Quickly and violently squashed by the British, the Easter Rising became a defining moment for the complex landscape of Irish culture, politics, and history in the 20th century.
Dr. John Montaño of the History Department gave an overview on the politicization of Irish culture and revolutionary acts of “Irishness” during British colonial rule and the development of the physical force tradition (from which Pearse and the younger revolutionaries drew) from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
Dr. Bernard McKenna of the English Department guided the audience through a close reading of W. B. Yeats’s “Easter, 1916,” in which he identified juxtaposing imagery that suggests Yeats’s anxiety and uncertainty about a post-Rising Ireland.
Thanks to Drs. Montaño and McKenna for their great presentations!