Skip to main content

It's Bloomsday in Montreal!

Here's how you can celebrate with Concordia's School of Irish Studies.
PLUS: Public lectures, a 2-week summer intensive and more...
June 8, 2017
By J. Latimer

James Joyce's Ulysses is "seen by most as the foundational text of modern Irish literature." James Joyce's Ulysses is "seen by most as the foundational text of modern Irish literature."

When Ireland's prime minister Enda Kenny came to Concordia in May, his historic visit underlined the evolving influence of the School of Irish Studies.

“For the first time in more than six decades, a sitting Irish prime minister visited Montreal — and he chose to come see us!” says Michael Kenneally, the school's principal and chair.

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny stressed the importance of the mandate of Irish Studies, and the need to teach Ireland’s history and share its rich culture with others.”

The next stop for that mandate? Festival Bloomsday Montreal

Montreal meets James Joyce: Festival Bloomsday

June 16 is Bloomsday, one of the world's most notable literary holidays — and this year, for the sixth time, Concordia's School of Irish Studies is helping Montrealers celebrate.

As Concordia scholar Emer O'Toole once explained, "Bloomsday commemorates the fictional date in 1904 that James Joyce paints with such flair in Ulysses (1922), [which is] seen by most as the foundational text of modern Irish literature and by many as the greatest text of the modernist movement."

The epic novel, which loosely parallels Homer’s Odyssey, primarily follows the wanderings of Leopold Bloom (Odysseus), along with his wife, Molly Bloom (Penelope) and Stephen Dedalus (Telemachus).

Joyce expert Kenneally is providing the keynote address for the 2017 edition of Festival Bloomsday Montreal.

In "Introducing Mr. Joyce's Ulysses" on June 14, he will explore the resulting literary revolution, as well as the elemental aspects that bind the novel together and sustain its appeal.

“I will provide a brief context, then focus on some of the narrative strategies and modernist principles that are the hallmark of Joyce’s achievement,” Kenneally explains.

The School of Irish Studies is also holding free, public Bloomsday-themed academic panels under the theme "Voices of James Joyce." Author Denis Sampson will discuss his new book The Found Voice (2016) — a study of how five major writers found their unique style.

Festival Bloomsday Montreal runs from June 10 to 16, 2017.

"Introducing Mr. Joyce's Ulysses" by Michael Kenneally is at 7:30 p.m. on June 14 at the Jewish Public Library (5151 Côte-Ste-Catherine). The Bloomsday academic panels start at 11 a.m. on June 12 in Father McEntee Reading Room (H-1001.01) of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.)

Irish prime minister Enda Kenny visited the School of Irish Studies. Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the School of Irish Studies in May 2017.

Coming up at Concordia's School of Irish Studies

Molly Byrne speaks on stakeholder-engaged research

On June 20, Molly Byrne — a senior lecturer at the National University of Ireland Galway — is coming to Concordia for a public lecture.

Based on Byrne’s fieldwork in in Ireland, "Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement: An Irish Example of Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes" will examine the challenges of stakeholder-engaged research.

As the Ireland Canada University Foundation James M. Flaherty visiting professor, Byrne seeks to improve population health by developing and advocating for the use of behavioural science in intervention research to promote change.

The lecture is sponsored by Ireland Canada Universities Foundation and co-sponsored by a number of Concordia academic and research units including: The School of Irish Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Science, the PERFORM Centre, the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre and the International Behavioural Trials Network.

"Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement" takes place on June 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Father McEntee Reading Room at Concordia. A reception will follow the lecture.


The 2-week Irish Studies summer intensive

For the first time this year, the School of Irish Studies is offering an intensive summer course.

Evolution of the Irish Cultural Landscape: 1600-2017,” which runs from August 14 to 24, will cut across four areas of study — geography, history, literature and Irish Studies.

The interdisciplinary evening class will use the Irish landscape as a text to explore the evolution of Ireland from the early modern period to the present day. Guest lecturer Kevin Whelan, director of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre in Dublin, is teaching the course.

He will examine environmental themes, including vernacular housing, bogs, woodlands and settlement. Whelan will also discuss the Irish language, literature and how the Irish landscape has been represented in arts and film. Historical topics to be examined include colonialism, landlordism, the Famine, emigration and the Troubles.

Consult the School of Irish Studies course list for details on the new summer course and other fall courses. 

Maureen Murphy, Concordia's new Peter O'Brien Visiting Scholar

In September, the School of Irish Studies welcomes Maureen Murphy as the Peter O'Brien Visiting Scholar.

Murphy, co-director of the undergraduate Irish Studies minor at Hofstra University in Long Island, is set to teach two courses: “Highlights of Irish Literature” on Tuesday evenings and “Irish Mythology and Folklore” on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Find out more about Concordia’s School of Irish Studies.


Back to top

© Concordia University