The new scientists in Ireland - a tribute to the Loebers

Friday, 18 March 2011

There is no fee for attendance – should you wish to attend please register in advance with Marc Caball (

Rolf and Magda Loeber have made an extraordinary contribution to the study of Ireland’s material, cultural and literary heritages from the time of their first involvement in Irish affairs through the Irish Georgian Society in the late sixties and early seventies. Rolf’s ‘Irish country houses and castles of the late Caroline period: an unremembered past recaptured’ [Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society: XVI (1973)] inaugurated a long and distinguished series of scholarly studies on previously obscured or neglected aspects of Ireland’s heritage. Among Rolf’s ground-breaking works are his A biographical dictionary of architects in Ireland, 1600-1720 (1981) and The geography and practice of English colonisation in Ireland from 1534 to 1609 (1991). This achievement is all the more remarkable given the professional demands of their work and careers as academic researchers at the medical school of the University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

This symposium in their honour will focus in the main on the Loebers’ magisterial A guide to Irish fiction, 1650-1900 (Dublin, 2006).



  • Introduction: Professor Andrew Carpenter and Dr Marc Caball (UCD)

Session 1

Chair: Dr Máirín Ní Cheallaigh (UCD)

Professor Margaret Kelleher (NUIM): Wanted an Irish novelist? – changing the research question

Professor Ian Campbell Ross (TCD): ‘From Meriton Latroon to Narka the Nihilist’: analysis and synthesis in Irish fiction, 1650-1900

Dr Charles Benson (TCD): ‘White rabbits and black turkeys’: problems in bibliography and collecting

11.00am-11.30am Coffee/Tea


Session 2

Chair: Professor David Dickson (TCD)

Dr Máire Kennedy (Special Collections, Dublin City Public Libraries): ‘For little masters and misses’: fiction for children in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Ireland

Dr Clíona Ó Gallchóir (UCC): ‘To be is to be perceived’: questions of setting and location in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish fiction

Professor Bill McCormack (Former Keeper of the Edward Worth Library [1733], Dublin): Fiction and its (up-)setting, George Moore up to his tricks

Sandwich Lunch at UCD HII (12.30pm-1.30pm)


Session 3

Chair: Dr Clara Cullen (UCD)

Dr Fionnuala Dillane (UCD): Still ‘waiting in the margins’: locating Irish women journalists in the nineteenth-century British press

Dr Arnold Horner (UCD): Pushing back boundaries in time and space: forty years of settlement study by Rolf (and Magda) Loeber

Professor Kevin Whelan (Director, Keough Naughton Centre, University of Notre Dame): Inventing the west of Ireland

2.30pm -3.00pm Coffee/Tea


Session 4

Chair: Professor James McGuire (UCD and Dictionary of Irish Biography)

Professors Rolf and Magda Loeber and Dr Anne Mullin Burnham: Before and after the Guide to Irish Fiction

Download full programme event details (PDF - 2.1MB)

For further information please contact