Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures

IACI Virtual Presentations

Are you looking for intellectual nourishment or just good storytelling about Ireland past and present? Look no further. We offer an attractive menu of options. 


Though its connections with American academics, scholars, and practitioners around the world, the Irish American Cultural Institute is able to draw on the deep knowledge and painstaking training of experts in a broad array of fields related to the rich history and culture of modern and contemporary Ireland. 


Already the Institute has successfully launched a series of talks (each lasting 45-60 minutes) on such topics as the Great Famine and Irish emigration over the period 1845-1900; Daniel O'Connell and Irish anti-slavery; Irish traditional music (with performance intermixed); Irish art and politics in the twentieth century; and Ireland and Brexit. 

We are pleased to announce the following schedule of programs, with more to be announced.  All programs are subject to change and will begin at 6pm EST, unless otherwise noted:

March 2 (Saturday): Tony Varley: Title: “Father John Hayes, Muintir na Tire (“People of the Countryside”), Vocational Solidarity, and Organizing Irish Agriculture between the 1930s and the 1950s.”


 Tony Varley lectures in politics and sociology at the University of Galway. He has recently co-edited Land Questions in Modern Ireland (2013) and Integration through Subordination: The Politics of Agricultural Modernisation in Industrial Europe (2013).  


 March 16 (Saturday): Andy Bielenberg: Title: “Death and Killing in the Irish Civil War of 1922-23.”


Andy Bielenberg is a Senior Lecturer in the School of History, University College Cork, where he lectures on Irish social and economic history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He also teaches about and undertakes research on the First World War, the War of Independence, and the Civil War, with a special focus on County Cork. He received his doctorate from the London School of Economics in 1992. His recent publications include Ireland and the Industrial Revolution, 1801-1922 (2009), which summarizes many years of research on Irish industrial history; An Economic History of Ireland since Independence (2013), co-authored with Raymond Ryan; and “Exodus: The Emigration of Southern Irish Protestants during the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War,” Past and Present, no. 218 (Feb. 2013).   


April 6 (Saturday): Gavin Foster: Title: “The Civil War in County Kerry.”


Gavin Foster is associate professor of Irish history in the School of Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. His book The Irish Civil War and Society: Politics, Class, and Conflict (2015) won the James S. Donnelly, Sr., Prize for books on history and the social sciences from the American Conference for Irish Studies. His work has appeared in The Country of the Young: Interpretations of Youth and Childhood in Irish Culture (2013)The Atlas of the Irish Revolution (2017); Kerry: History and Society: Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County (2020); Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition, Civil War (2020)and the journals Field Day Review; Saothar; Contemporary European History; New Hibernia Review; and History Ireland. He is presently writing a book on the social memory of the Irish Civil War based on extensive oral-history interviews.  


April 20 (Saturday): Adrian Grant: “Housing and Urban Development in Derry and Belfast after 1945.”


Adrian Grant is lecturer in history at Ulster University. He is the author of Derry: The Irish Revolution, 1912-23 (2018) and Irish Socialist Republicanism, 1909-36 (2012). He was recently the project lead for the rejuvenation of the Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN) project; he is currently leading a new research project exploring histories of everyday life during the Troubles. He was principal investigator on the Historical Urbanism project, which investigated the history of urban redevelopment in post-Second World War Derry. His current research explores the impacts of rapid changes to urban environments on everyday life, mobility, and social connections.


May 3 (Friday): Kevin Reilly:  “Who’s Afraid of James Joyce and Finnegans Wake?” 


May 18 (Saturday): Bill Kissane: “De Valera’s Ireland: A Civilization on the Periphery?”


Bill Kissane is an associate professor of politics at the London School of Economics. An expert on comparative and Irish politics, he has published widely on twentieth- century history. His books include The Politics of the Irish Civil War  (2005), After Civil War: Division, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Modern Europe (2013), and Civil War: The Contemporary Challenge (2016). His most recent article on the Irish Civil War was “The Geographical Spread of State Executions during the Irish Civil War” in Social Science History in 2021.


June 8 (Saturday): John Cunningham: “Ireland from Below, 1917-1923.”


John Cunningham is a lecturer in history at the University of Galway. His publications include ‘A Town Tormented by the Sea’: Galway, 1790-1914 (2004) and Unlikely Radicals: Irish Post-Primary Teachers and the ASTI (2009)He is also the author of a biography of Tom Glynn, labor journalist and a leading figure of the Industrial Workers of the World in Australia and South Africa.  


June 29 (Saturday): Nicholas Canny: “Ireland’s Historical Debates or Disputes over Ireland’s Past: Causes and Consequences.”


Nicholas Canny is a leading authority on early modern Irish history. His 1976 study The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: a Pattern Established, 1565–76 that brought him to international attention. He is the only person to have won the Irish Historical Research Prize on two occasions.

Canny's work is noticeable for its sharp examinations of the ideology of colonisation. He has contributed enormously to current understanding on the Spanish influences on English colonial policy in 16th-century Ireland. In addition, he has built hugely on David Beers Quinn's thesis of Ireland as a practising ground for English colonial policy in the Americas. Canny has so far written and/or edited nine major books and over fifty-five academic papers and reviews.


These talks have been and will continue to be recorded for later use and become available soon after each event. Please see our archived presentations below:   


They’ much Power as we Give Them - Kate Costello-Sullivan