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February 19, 2015

Folklore and Flaherty:
A Symposium on the First Irish-Language Film

Free Admission
Thursday February 19, 1:30pm - 4:00pm


In celebration of the rediscovery and preservation of Robert Flaherty's short film Oidhche Sheanchais (A Night of Storytelling), the first Irish-language "talkie," the symposium participants will discuss the film within the larger context of Irish folklore and its storytelling and song traditions. Screenings of the film will precede and follow the papers and discussion.

Sponsored by the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, the Harvard Film Archive, Houghton Library and the Provostial Fund for Arts and Humanities.

Symposium Participants

Kate Chadbourne, PhD from Harvard Celtic Department 1999; singer and poet; teacher of Irish and Irish folklore and mythology in Harvard Extension and Harvard Summer School; author of "The Knife Against the Wave: Fairies, Fishermen, and the Sea," Béaloideas 80 (2012), 70–85.

Maureen Foley, filmmaker-director, producer and writer of Home Before Dark (1997) and American Wake (2004); great-granddaughter of Máirtín Ó Conghaile, an Aran Island storyteller whose stories were collected in the 1890s and published as Scéalta Mháirtín Neile in 1994; manager of special projects, Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Harvard.

Barbara Hillers, lecturer in Irish folklore, University College Dublin; PhD from Harvard Celtic Department 1997; associate of the Celtic Department (and spotter of OS in HOLLIS).

Catherine McKenna, Margaret Brooks Robinson Professor and Chair, Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University.

Deirdre Ní Chongaile, expert in Aran Island song traditions; National University of Ireland, Galway PhD; award-winning blogger on Aran Island songs.

Natasha Sumner, PhD candidate in Celtic languages and literatures at Harvard (expected 2015); transcriber and translator of the soundtrack of Oidhche Sheanchais.

Reception follows at Houghton Library

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