“The Politics of the Irish Harp Symbol from Henry VIII to Brexit”
On Monday, April 6, at 4 p.m., in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner, Mary Louise O’Donnell, PhD, will discuss the origin of the Irish harp symbol and its history and significance in Irish political iconography through the centuries. Dr. O’Donnell is a harpist, musicologist, and Fulbright scholar. She holds a doctorate from the University of Limerick and is a former Irish Research Council postgraduate scholar and postdoctoral fellow. Her first book Ireland's Harp: the Shaping of Irish Identity c.1770 to 1880 was published by UCD Press in 2014. She has also published widely on topics relating to Irish cultural history, semiotics, and performance studies. Some of her most recent research can be found in Musicians and their Audiences: New Approaches to a Timeless Division (Ashgate, 2016) and Thomas Moore and Romantic Inspiration (Routledge, 2017). Dr. O’Donnell has performed extensively throughout Ireland, Europe, Africa, and Asia as a soloist and with various ensembles; she has also appeared on BBC, RTÉ, CNN, and NHK (Japan). Working alongside her sister, Dr. O’Donnell recently recorded an album which includes compositions for pedal harp, portable Irish harp, and voice to harp accompaniment by the nineteenth-century Irish composer Charles Egan. This event, co-sponsored by the Center for Irish Studies and Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open to the public.
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