Professor Emeritus Peter Kuch
University of Otago, New Zealand

The Otago Years

Inaugural Professorial Lecture: Thinking about Irish Studies

Professor Peter Kuch, Eamon Cleary Chair and Director, Irish Studies programme, Division of Humanities. College of Education Auditorium, Union Street East, Wednesday 20 August 2008, 5.30pm.

Click here for a podcast of Professor Kuch's inaugural professorial lecture.

Boston College: Morrissey College of Arts and Social Sciences, Peter Kuch lecture

16 October, 4.30pm - 6.30pm

Professor Peter Kuch speaks about this recent book on divorce in Joyce's Ulysses. Bloom's "Divorce, not now" and Molly's "suppose I divorced him"—whether whim, wish, fantasy, or conviction—reflect a forgotten Irish practice of petitioning the English courts for divorce that Professor Kuch uncovers in his reappraisal of marriage in Ulysses. Peter Kuch is the inaugural Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has published widely on Yeats, Joyce, Eliot, Irish theatre, Irish and Australian film, literary theory and Irish/Australian history. More information here.

Leuven Centre for Irish Studies Lectures in Irish Studies, Peter Kuch 'Joyce's Ulysses and the Law: Sex, Divorce and Issues of Public Morality'

You are all cordially invited to the first Leuven Centre for Irish Studies lecture of 2018-2019 which will be given by Peter Kuch (University of Otago) on Joyce's Ulysses and the Law—Sex, Divorce and issues of Public Morality on Thursday 11 October at 5 pm in the Jos Creten Room (LETT 01.52).

Friday Seminar: Louis De Paor, 'A non-poet writing non-poetry in non-Irish for non-people: introducing Seán Ó Ríordáin'

Editor, researcher, and well-known Irish poet Louis De Paor presents on the famous Irish poet Seán Ó Ríordáin, Friday 28 September, 4pm in Castle seminar room D.

Castle LDP

De Paor has been Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway, since 2000.

His published works include a monograph on the work of Máirtín Ó Cadhain, an anthology of twentieth-century poetry in Irish, Coiscéim na haoise seo, co-edited with Seán Ó Tuama, and has edited bilingual and critical editions of Irish poets selected poetry. He was Jefferson Smurfit Distinguished Fellow at the University of St Louis-Missouri in 2002 and received the Charles Fanning medal from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2009. He was Visiting Professor of Celtic Studies at Sydney University in 1993, a Fulbright Scholar at New York University in 2013 and the University of California, Berkeley in 2014, and Burns Scholar at Boston College in 2016.

His most recent research project is a critical anthology of twentieth-century poetry in Irish with English translations, Leabhar Na hAthghabhála: Poems of Repossession (Bloodaxe 2016).

Louis De Paor: Poems of Repossession: Twentieth-century Poetry in Irish, 25 September 2018 6:30pm — 8:30pm in the Dunningham Suite, Dunedin Public Library

Sponsored by the Centre for Scottish and Irish Studies, Louis De Paor speaks on modern and contemporary Irish poetry, and his experience of editing anthologies and critical editions of twentieth-century Irish poets.

Fintan O'Toole at the University of Otago, 6 September 2018

Audio of Fintan O'Toole's talk can be heard at this link (public; no login required). Many thanks to everyone who came along!

Fintan OToole at Otago

Fintan O'Toole in Auckland

Fintan OToole Auckland

From left to right: Denise Flanagan, Honorary Vice Consul; Cathy O'Sullivan, Chair of Irish Business Network of New Zealand; Fintan O'Toole, guest of the Eamon Cleary Trust, Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Otago; and Peter Kuch, Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies, University of Otago

Fintan O'Toole spoke today with Kathryn Ryan, on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme. The podcast of the interview can be accessed here. O'Toole speaks in Dunedin this evening, 6 September.

Fintan O'Toole Lectures - Auckland 3 September, Dunedin 6 September

Leading Irish public intellectual and journalist Fintan O'Toole will be speaking on Brexit and the Irish context, in both Auckland and Dunedin, in early September.

The Dunedin lecture takes place Thursday 6 September, 6.30pm, in Burns 1 Lecture Theatre on the University of Otago campus. Poster in pdf form here.

The Auckland lecture is on Monday 3 September, 5.30pm, in the PWC building, 188 Quay Street. This lecture is ticketed: information about purchasing a ticket can be found here. Poster in pdf form here.

Secretary of State Visits

As part of his week-long visit to New Zealand, the Rt Hon David Mundall MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, visited the Irish and Scottish Studies Centre to meet Irish and Scottish post-graduate students and learn about the Centre's promotion of Scottish literature, history and culture.

SoS looking at posters SoS visit to 99 Albany

Dublin James Joyce Summer School

The Dublin James Joyce Summer School will run from 1st July-8th July 2018. Professor Peter Kuch is one of the invited lecturers.

Irish Studies postgraduate students profiled in the Alumni News

The latest cohort of Irish Studies postgraduate students were recently profiled in the Alumni News section of the University of Otago website.

Alumni Postgrads

Lecture by Peter Kuch 'Ulysses and the hidden history of Irish Divorce, 1857–1922'

Professor Peter Kuch recently gave a lecture entitled "Ulysses and the hidden history of Irish Divorce, 1857–1922," at Concordia University, in Montreal, based on his recent publication Irish Divorce / Joyce's Ulysses. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences wrote a article in anticipation of the lecture, which you can read here.

Public Lecture: Professor Stephanie Schwerter

From Pushkin to Pasternak – Seamus Heaney's Passion for Russia

The Eamon Cleary Trust and the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies are pleased to host a lecture by Stephanie Schwerter (Professor of Anglophone Literature, University of Valenciennes, France), entitled "From Pushkin to Pasternak – Seamus Heaney's Passion for Russia". Previously, Professor Schwerter taught translation studies and comparative literature at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and chaired the German-French translation programme at the Fondation Maison des sciences de l'Homme in Paris. Before moving to France in 2008, she lived in Northern Ireland and worked at the University of Ulster and at Queen's University, Belfast. She is the author of Northern Irish Poetry and the Russian Turn: Intertextuality in the work of Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and Medbh McGuckian (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). In addition to numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters she has co-edited Bridging Cultures: Intercultural Mediation in Literature, Linguistics and the Arts (Ibidem, 2012) and Transmissibility and Cultural Transfer: Dimensions of Translation in the Humanities (2014). Her current research is for a book to be entitled Belfast, Beirut and Berlin in Contemporary Film.

Professor Schwerter is also presenting at the Department of Media, Film and Communication.

Stephanie Schwerter Schwerter Poster

Eamon Cleary Honours, Undergraduate, and Postgraduate Scholarships for 2018

Established in 2016 by the University of Otago Council from a generous donation by the Eamon Cleary Trust, the Eamon Cleary Trust Study Scholarships were created to support University of Otago students undertaking research in Irish Studies at postgraduate level, and support students undertaking courses in Irish Studies. Three scholarships are available, the Undergraduate Study Scholarship (applicants must be enrolled in a paper that is a component of the Irish Studies minor programme at 200-level or above at the University of Otago for the year of the award), the Honours Scholarship (applicants must be enrolled in a 400-level paper with an Irish Studies focus), and the Postgraduate Study Scholarship (applicants must be enrolled in a Doctoral or Research Masters programme in Irish Studies at the University of Otago for the year of the award; please discuss your proposed application with Professor Peter Kuch, Eamon Cleary Chair in Irish Studies ahead of submitting your documentation to the Scholarships Office).

Applications close 1 November, 2017.

Private meeting with A Shoilse / His Excellency, The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on the occasion of his state visit to New Zealand.

Kuch and Higgins

Recently, our inaugural Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies, Professor Peter Kuch, met with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, during his state visit to New Zealand (the first head of state to meet with our new Prime Minister). In his address at the state dinner, President Higgins made specific mention of Peter's recent monograph in the context of the impressive amount of research about the Irish contribution to New Zealand. Indeed the whole address is worth watching, which you can do here:

Public Lecture: Professor John McCourt, 'The Island and beyond: Irish (literary) Studies in a transnational world'

Wednesday, 20 September, 5.30pm, Burns 4

John McCourt is Professor of English at the University of Macerata. He previously taught at the Università Roma Tre where he was director of CRISIS (the center for research in Irish and Scottish literature) and at the University of Trieste (where he co-founded and continues to co-direct the Trieste Joyce School). In this talk, Professor McCourt analyses how modern Irish (literary) studies are navigating a transnational world.

He is the author of many books and articles on James Joyce and the 19th and 20th century Irish literature including The Years of Bloom: Joyce in Trieste 1904 - 1920 (2000). In 2009, his edited collection, James Joyce in Context, was published by Cambridge University Press. In the same year he published Biographical Issues: The Many Lives of Yeats and Joyce (Bulzoni). This was followed by Roll Away the Reel World: James Joyce and Cinema (Cork University Press (2010).) He is a Trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation and a member of the Academic Board of the Yeats Summer School. In 2015 he published Writing the Frontier Anthony Trollope from Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press). He recently co-edited Flann O'Brien: Problems with Authority with Paul Fagan and Ruben Borg (Cork University Press) and is currently editing a collection of essays on Brendan Behan.

Visiting scholars, Kevin Rockett and Emer Rockett

Public Lectures

Emer Rockett, Trinity College, Dublin, presented a public lecture titled, "The Panorama and Ireland." This powerpoint presentation focused on picture-going in Ireland prior to the invention of cinema. Wed, 10 August, 2016.

Prof Kevin Rockett, Trinity College, Dublin presented a public lecture titled, "Film and Irish Revolution." This talk explored cinema relating to the 1916 uprising and War of Independence, and considered British and Republican views of the period and films made in subsequent decades. Wed, 17 August, 2016.


Prof Kevin Rockett hosted seminars for students of Irish Studies, History, Film and Media, on "Cinema in Ireland" (Tues, 9 August, 2016) and "The Los Angelesation of Ireland: Censorship, Culture and Film from the 1910s to the 1970s" (Tues, 16 August, 2016).

HUM Rockett Posters

1916 Documentary Premiere Screening

New Zealand premiere screening of the Keough-Naughton Institute of Irish Studies (University of Notre Dame) documentary 1916 The Irish Rebellion was held at the Auckland War Museum on Tuesday, 21 June, 2016.

The event featured the only New Zealand screening of the documentary and a panel discussion with leading Irish studies academics Professor Judith Fox, Professor Chris Fox, Briona Nic Dhiarmada (from the Keough-Naughton Institute) and University of Otago Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies Peter Kuch.

The documentary, which is narrated by Liam Neeson, tells the story of the 1916 Easter Rising and combines rarely seen archive footage with contemporary visuals and analysis from a number of the world’s leading experts in Irish history.

1916 Easter Rising Centenary conference

The Centre of Irish and Scottish Studies and Toitū Otago Settlers Museum hosted a two-day conference open to the public that brought together local and international experts to begin telling the story of New Zealand's response to the 1916.

"'Yet no clear fact to be discerned': the New Zealand response to the 1916 Easter Rising" was held in Dunedin on 22-23 March 2016. The conference was one of several hundred international events remembering 1916 as a pivotal time in Irish history. Please visit the conference website for more information.

1916 conference

Eamon Cleary Undergraduate and Honours Scholarships - 2016

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Eamon Cleary Scholarships!

James McCulloch was awarded the undergraduate scholarship and Iain Sutherland was awarded the Honours scholarship.

Eamon Cleary Scholarship winners 2016
Eamon Cleary Scholarship winners 2016

Left to right: Professor Peter Kuch (Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies), James McCulloch (undergraduate scholarship winner), Iain Sutherland (Honours scholarship winner), Jude McCracken (Donor and Funding Manager, Alumni and Friends).

Yeats, Heaney & Pastoral

A public lecture was presented by Bernard O'Donoghue on Thursday 1 October 2015.

Bernard O'Donoghue was born in Co Cork in 1945 and he still spends part of the year there. Since 1965 he has lived in Oxford where he taught Medieval English and Modern Irish poetry at Magdalen and Wadham Colleges. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham. He has published books on medieval love poetry and on modern Irish poetry, especially Seamus Heaney. He has also published six books of his own poetry including Selected Poems (Faber 2008) and Farmers Cross (Faber 2011).

Reunion - 2014

The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies enjoyed a reunion of staff, associates, and postgraduate students past and present:

Irish Studies Reunion
Irish Studies Reunion

Left to right back row: Prof Liam McIlvanney (Scottish Studies); Dr Will Martin, (Post Doctoral Fellow); Kerri Haggart (PhD candidate); Jared Lesser (PhD candidate); Dr Pete Dulgar

Left to right middle row: Vincent O'Sullivan (CISS Associates); Ruth Macklin, (MA candidate); Dr Lisa McGonigle; Ailbhe McDaid (PhD candidate); Alison Finegan (IEM, Otago); Prof Peter Kuch (Irish Studies)

Left to right front row: Sharon Matthews (PhD candidate); Dr Rory Sweetman (CISS Associates) August 2014

Public Lecture: “Sailing to an Island”: The poetry of Irish and Scottish islands

Presented by Dr Lucy Collins of University College, Dublin.

For generations islands have been an inspiration to Irish and Scottish poets. This lecture will explore how island poems have helped to shape our understanding of nation and community, as well as of spiritual and creative experience.

This free event was held on Thursday 20 March, University of Otago. Click here to see the poster.

Inaugural St Patrick's Day Lecture: 'Fighting for readers: Swift’s Dublin publishers in the 1750s'

Presented by Emeritus Professor Andrew Carpenter of University College, Dublin.

Jonathan Swift was the most significant Anglo-Irish writer of the eighteenth century and his works sold widely. This lecture looks at Swift’s life and works and then at the scuffle that developed in Dublin when an upstart bookseller challenged an established bookseller for the right to print and sell the hot property that Swift’s works had become.

Held on Monday 17 March, University of Otago.

Click here to see the poster. This was a free event.

Dunedin Celtic Arts Festival 13-20 October 2013

'Joycean Worlds' 3-6 October 2013

Irish Studies at the University of Otago presented a 3 day seminar that aspired to bring together dedicated and enthusiastic Joyceans from New Zealand and Australia to share their ‘worlds’ with one another, and with distinguished speakers Professor Vicki Mahaffey (University of Illinois) and Dr Tony Thwaites (University of Queensland). Click here for the programme for the event.

The seminar included the following public lectures, engaging for all lovers of Literature:

"Practicing Joyce", by Professor VIcki Mahaffey (University of Illinois); and

"Wakeing Worlding", by Dr Tony Thwaites (University of Queensland).

Remembering Seamus

The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies hosted a ‘wake’ for Seamus Heaney on Monday 9 September 2013.

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney

Professor Luke Gibbons, 'Limits of the Visible: Representing the Great Irish Famine'

For more information about Prof Gibbons and his presentation held on 5 September 2013 please visit the Irish Studies homepage.


Visit of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese

In October 2007, the University of Otago conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Laws on the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. Click here to read about the visit in a report in the University of Otago Magazine (pg 38).

President and Eamon

From left to right: Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg, Mr Eamon Cleary, President Mary McAleese, Chancellor Lindsay Brown, Professor Peter Kuch (Eamon Cleary Chair of Irish Studies).

President and Skegg

From left to right: Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg, President Mary McAleese, Chancellor Lindsay Brown.

© 2022 Peter Kuch · · Website by Nick Bosch Web Developer