Book launch: Cambridge History of Ireland

Boston College will host a launch of  The Cambridge History of Ireland on Sept. 20 at Burns Library. Written by a team of more than 100 leading historians from around the world, The Cambridge History of Ireland is the most comprehensive and authoritative history of Ireland to date. Four volumes bring together the latest scholarship, setting Irish history from 600 to the present within broader Atlantic, European, imperial and global contexts. Boston College contributors to the volumes are historians Kevin Kenny and Robert Savage. A reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Following the reception, Liz O’Donnell, former Irish Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs, will offer remarks on the Northern Ireland peace process, the advancement of women in Ireland, and contemporary political issues, including diversity and inclusion. The event will conclude with a panel discussion and audience Q&A with O’Donnell and the four volume editors: Thomas Bartlett (a former Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies), James Kelly, Jane Ohlmeyer, and Brendan Smith. Sponsors: Boston College Libraries, the Global Leadership Institute, and Cambridge University Press, in collaboration with the Center for Irish Programs and Consul General of Ireland in Boston.

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GroundTruth Project

Award-winning journalist Charles Sennott will present “GroundTruth in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era” on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. A former Middle East Bureau Chief and Europe Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe, Sennott has reported on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in at least 15 countries, including the 2011 revolution in Cairo and the Arab Spring. Sennott is the founder and executive director of The GroundTruth Project, dedicated to training the next generation of international journalists for the digital age. Sennott is also the co-founder of GlobalPost, an acclaimed international news website. Sponsor: Lowell Humanities Series

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How Art Works

In her new book How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2018), Boston College Professor of Psychology Ellen Winner takes on a number of questions about the arts, such as “What makes something art?” and ‘Why do we seek out and even cherish sorrow and fear from art when we go out of our way to avoid these very emotions in real life?” Also, ‘How do we decide what is good art? Do aesthetic judgments have any objective truth value?” In a piece for the New Yorker, Yale psychologist Paul Bloom calls Winner’s new book “exhilarating” because she draws on research in psychology, including studies from her own lab, to provide some answers to these questions. Winner directs the Arts and Mind Lab, which focuses on cognition in the arts in typical and gifted children as well as adults. She is the author of more than 100 articles and three other books–Invented Worlds: The Psychology of the ArtsThe Point of Words: Children’s Understanding of Metaphor and Irony, and Gifted Children: Myths and Realities.

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David Hopkins

Boston College Associate Professor of Political Science David Hopkins and co-author Matt Grossmann have been honored with the Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award from the American Political Science Association for Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats. The award recognizes a book published in the last two years that made an outstanding contribution to research and scholarship on political organizations and parties. Hopkins’ newest book is Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which examines the partisan divide in American politics. Hopkins places the current partisan and electoral era in historical context, explains how the increased salience of social issues since the 1980s has redefined the parties’ geographic bases of support, and reveals the critical role that American political institutions play in intermediating between the behavior of citizens and the outcome of public policy-making. The widening geographic gap in voters’ partisan preferences, as magnified further by winner-take-all electoral rules, has rendered most of the nation safe territory for either Democratic or Republican candidates in both presidential and congressional elections – with significant consequences for party competition, candidate strategy, and the operation of government.

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New from Suzanne Matson

In her new novel, Ultraviolet (Catapult, 2018), BC Professor of English Suzanne Matson tells the story of three generations of women, shining a light on the complexities of marriage, motherhood, aging, and the end of life. Spanning 80 years and two countries, Ultraviolet reveals the drama that is within every existence and the strengths and fragilities of people’s relationships with others. Matson will read from Ultraviolet at a Dean’s Colloquium on Sept. 13 at 4:30 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. Matson is a poet and author of the novels The Hunger Moon, A Trick of Nature, and The Tree-Sitter. Read a piece drawn and adapted from Ultraviolet in the most recent issue of Boston College Magazine. | More from BC News.

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Ireland’s Global Revolution?

To what extent should the Irish revolution of 1919-23 be understood as part of a global—as well as national—story? Fearghal McGarry, a professor at Queen’s University Belfast, will give a talk on Sept. 12 that examines how the Easter Rising has come to be remembered in more pluralistic terms during the “Decade of Centenaries” and explores the implications of this commemorative shift in terms of understanding Ireland’s post-war experiences. An expert in 20th century Irish history, McGarry is the author of the books, The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916; The Abbey Rebels of 1916, and Eoin O’Duffy: A Self-Made Hero, as well as many book chapters and articles. The lecture, which begins at 4:15 p.m., will held in Devlin Hall, room 101. Sponsor: Center for Irish Programs.

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Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard

Writer and publisher Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) is known for founding Roycroft, a community of artists and craftspeople in East Aurora, New York. He established a press and wrote and produced two magazines, The Philistine and The Fra, as well as a series of biographical pamphlets titled Little Journeys. Hubbard and the Roycrofters are the subject of a book by a BC alumnus as well as an exhibit at BC. Bruce A. White, who earned an M.Ed. and an M.A. from Boston College, has recently published a new and expanded paperback edition of his book Elbert Hubbard’s The Philistine: A Periodical of Protest (1895 – 1915). White’s book offers a unique chronicle of Hubbard and his magazine, which featured work by Stephen Crane and Wizard of Oz illustrator W.W. Denslow. On display at Burns Library through October 1 is the exhibiton “Dreams of Art & Glory: Book Craft by the Roycrofters.” Co-curated by Barbara Adams Hebard and Andrew Isidoro, the exhibit focuses on products of the Roycrofters’ bookbinding and printing shops, and features holdings from the BC Libraries that highlight Roycrofter artisan designs, including the Little Journeys series, beautifully printed and hand decorated text blocks, and books in stunning modelled leather bindings. More from the Burns Library blog.

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