Revival to Revolution – literary career of Thomas MacDonagh


A two-day event focusing on the literary career of UCD alumnus and revolutionary figure Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916), comprising talks, exhibition and film screening.

DATE: 24 & 25 June 2015 Time: 10am - 5pm

VENUE: National Gallery of Ireland

Revival to Revolution is a two-day event focusing on the literary career of UCD alumnus and revolutionary figure Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916). As the centenary of the Easter Rising approaches, this symposium will investigate a series of cultural shifts that brought about the revolutionary actions culminating in the 1916 Rising. Distinguished experts in the fields of Irish History, Literature and Art History will contribute lectures on MacDonagh’s revivalist affiliations placing special emphasis on The Irish Review (1911-1914) as illustrative of the close relationship between art and politics during this time.

On June 25th at 2.30pm in the Lecture Theatre of the National Gallery of Ireland there will be a public screening of RTE’s documentary On Behalf of the Provisional Government: Thomas MacDonagh by Aindreas O’Gallchoir (1966) courtesy of RTÉ Archives. Former Director General of RTE Cathal Goan will chair this session.



Prof. Declan Kiberd, University of Notre Dame (Welcome address)

Prof. Denise Ayo, University of Notre Dame

Prof. Kurt Bullock, Grand Valley State University

Prof. Alex Davis, UCC

Prof. Nicola Gordon Bowe, NCAD

Dr Shane Kenna, TCD

Dr PJ Mathews, UCD

Dr Conor McCarthy, NUIM

Dr Conor Mulvagh, UCD

Ruth O’Donnell, Artist Printmaker, Graphic Studio Dublin

Cathal Goan, Former Director General, RTE

An exhibition of holdings selected from UCD Special Collections will introduce and contextualise MacDonagh and The Irish Review.

To book your place please click here.

Irish Revival Network contact details:

Twitter: @IrishRevival


The event is aimed at the general public and academics.


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This project has been funded by an Irish Research Council New Foundations Award and is kindly supported by the UCD Humanities Institute


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Catherine Wilsdon

PhD Candidate, UCD School of English, Drama & Film


Catherine is completing a PhD on J.M. Synge’s European encounters in the UCD School of English, Drama & Film. She was recipient of the Irish Research Council posgraduate award in 2012 and the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations Scheme 2 (Marking the National Decade of Centenaries) 2014. Catherine is co-founder of the Irish Revival Network, a research network that brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines working on Irish revivalism.

Giulia Bruna

Research Associate


Giulia Bruna is a Research Associate of the UCD Humanities Institute and lectures in the UCD School of English, Drama & Film. She is co-founder of the Irish Revival Network.

Dr PJ Mathews

Senior Lecturer in the UCD School of English, Drama and Film


PJ is co-editor (with Declan Kiberd) of Handbook of the Irish Revival which will be published by the Abbey Theatre Press in May 2015. He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to J.M. Synge (CUP, 2009) and author of Revival (Field Day, 2003). Dr Mathews is Director of Academic Podcasting for UCD Scholarcast and a member of the governing board of RTE.