Speaker Series 2018

The ILHS presents a wide array of leading scholars and accomplished writers at our monthly Speaker Series events that typically take place the last Sunday of the month (September to April) at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, unless otherwise noted.  Events are $5 and free for members.  No reservations or advance purchase are required.


Sunday, October 28 – Dan McGovern on “Eugene O’Neill and Ireland”

Eugene O’Neill, the only American to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, told his son Eugene, Jr., that “The one thing that explains more than anything about me is that I’m Irish. And, strangely enough,’ he complained, “it is something that all the writers who have attempted to explain me and my work have overlooked.”

Dan McGovern, the president of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House will attempt to remedy that oversight. He will explore with you O’Neill’s Irish heritage, the influence of the Irish Players of the Abbey Theatre on the young playwright, and the reception in Ireland of O’Neill’s work during his lifetime and today.

McGovern will draw upon the research he conducted for his article “Eugene O’Neill’s Place in Irish Theater Today: Interviews with Irish Theater Scholars,” which appears in the latest issue of The Eugene O’Neill Review published by the Pennsylvania State University Press. His insights will also be informed by his co-chairmanship of the inaugural Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre to be held in New Ross, Ireland, October 11–14, 2018.

Dan McGovern served in three presidential administrations as a senior government official, with the State Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the western United States. Dan also served in state government for 25 years. Among other positions, he was general counsel of Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation.

In retirement, Dan’s avocation is theater. He is the president of the board of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, in Danville and co-chair of the Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland. Dan is also a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Eugene O’Neill Review published by the Pennsylvania State University Press, and an article of his will soon appear in the Arthur Miller Journal, also published by the Pennsylvania State University Press

This event will take place on Sunday, October 28 at 5pm at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco.

 


Sunday, November 18 – Claudia O’Callaghan on “Klondike Mike, an Alaskan Oddyssey”

The Irish Literary & Historical Society will present a talk by Claudia O’Callaghan titled “Klondike Mike, an Alaskan Oddyssey”. The talk will be held at the United Irish Cultural Center on Sunday, November 18, at 5:00 pm in the St. Francis Room.

This year marks the 220th Anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, which consisted of three movements: The Klondike Rush (Yukon Territory) 1896 -1899, the Nome Rush (1899 – 1909) and the Fairbanks Rush (1903-1911).  Claudia O’Callaghan, a long-time ILHS member, will recount the history of a family member who participated in all three.

Michael Ambrose Mahoney, (aka Klondike Mike) the son of Irish immigrants, was a Paul Bunyan-type figure: a boxer and “high kicker”, an itinerant lumberjack, a master dogsled musher, and a gold prospector who eventually struck it rich in the gold fields and in later life became a well-known public speaker.

Come and hear about two of his most famous exploits: carrying a piano on his back up the 33 mile Chilcoot Pass, and bringing the body of the deceased mayor of Seattle through 400 miles of unexplored Alaskan territory by dog sled during the dead of winter while trailed by wolves.

This event will take place on Sunday, November 18 at 5pm at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue and Sloat Blvd.

The event is free for members and $5 for non-members.