Fairfield’s Irish Studies Program Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Nobel Prize-Winning Poet Seamus Heaney

Fairfield’s Irish Studies Program Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Nobel Prize-Winning Poet Seamus Heaney

Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney

Irish literary scholar and curator Geraldine Higgins, PhD, takes Fairfield University behind the scenes of Dublin’s critically acclaimed exhibition, Seamus Haney: Listen Now Again, Oct. 4

We hope that attendees will walk away with a greater appreciation of how art can affect real life and help people in conflict overcome their fear.

— William Abbott, PhD, co-director of the Irish Studies program

Fairfield University’s Irish Studies program will give audiences an insider’s look behind the scenes of Dublin’s critically acclaimed, multisensory exhibition Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, a celebration of the Nobel Prize winning poet’s life and work, during a special lecture and slide show presentation by curator Geraldine Higgins, PhD, on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held on campus in the University’s Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room.

The first exhibition to be housed in Dublin’s new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre at College Green, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again skillfully threads together Heaney’s life and poetry to take visitors on a multi-sensory journey from his origins throughout his remarkable career. Dr. Higgins, who also serves as the director of Irish Studies at Emory University, meticulously selected objects for the exhibition from both the archives of Emory and the National Library of Ireland, which include original manuscripts, unpublished poems, diary entries, photographs, and personal items, including the desk where Heaney wrote in his family home and a lamp that belonged to WB Yeats. The exhibit, sponsored by the National Library of Ireland, opened in July 2018 and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors during its three year run.

Recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century, Seamus Heaney’s literary works tell the stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances, most notably the violence in Northern Ireland during the period of “The Troubles” between 1970-2007. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, and died in August 2013 at the age of 74. 

Fairfield Irish Studies program co-director William Abbott, PhD, says that guests attending Dr. Higgins’ lecture can expect a fascinating lesson in Irish literature and history, and also in the ways that societies remember their great, creative geniuses.  

“Museums are becoming modernized with technology in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago,” Dr. Abbott said, referring to the Heaney exhibit’s innovative audio-visual components. “We hope that attendees will walk away with a greater appreciation of how art can affect real life and help people in conflict overcome their fears.”   

Dr. Higgins specializes in 20th century Irish literature and culture. She joined the Emory faculty in 1996 after completing a D.Phil at Trinity College, Oxford and a BA in English and history at Trinity College, Dublin. She is the author of two scholarly books, Heroic Revivals from Carlyle to Yeats and Brian Friel. Dr. Higgins also writes about representations of Irishness in popular culture such as The Quotable Yeats: Modified in the Guts of the Living, and Tara, The O’Haras, and the Irish Gone with the Wind.

Dr. Higgins' lecture is presented by Fairfield University’s Irish Studies program and is co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, the English Department, and the MFA in Creative Writing Program.

For more information, contact Irish Studies co-directors Dr. Abbott at wmabbott@fairfield.edu or Marion White, MFA, at mwhite@fairfield.edu.

Seamus Heaney: The Dublin Exhibit by Geraldine Higgins, PhD

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Farifield University Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room

Additional Details:

Go behind-the-scenes of Dublin’s critically acclaimed, multisensory exhibition, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again — a celebration of the Nobel Prize-winning poet’s life and work — with curator and Irish literary scholar Dr. Geraldine Higgins.

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Last modified: 09-21-18 9:37 AM

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