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:

May 3 (Friday), 7pm ET: Kevin Reilly:  “Who’s Afraid of James Joyce and Finnegans Wake?” 


Kevin Reilly is President Emeritus and Regent Professor with the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, having served as its sixth President from 2004-13. He has written widely on Irish literature and culture, biography and autobiography, and higher education governance and policy. His most recent publication on James Joyce is “Get a Job and Get a Life—with James Joyce: Why Reading the ‘Jocoserious’ Joyce is Useful Fun” in Liberal Education, 106, No. 1/2 (2020).

He has taught the Joyce course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and delivered several programs on Joyce for Wisconsin Public Radio’s University of the Air. In 2009, the Irish Voice weekly named him one of the top 100 Irish-American educators. A member of the Board of Directors of the Irish American Cultural Institute since 2022, he also serves on the Board of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.

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