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Scholarcast 35: Via Holyhead, Material and metaphorical meaings between Ireland and Wales

Claire Connolly


This lecture explores the Holyhead Road as a cultural corridor along which people, books, and ideas move, and is part of a larger project examining infrastructural links as sites of cultural exchange between Britain and Ireland from Swift to Joyce. The lecture begins by following Buck Mulligan's invitation in the opening of Ulysses to 'come and look' at the sea, and at the mailboat crossing from Kingstown to Holyhead. Looking at the sea takes us to questions of boundaries and connections, to the local, national, and global scales of identity and belonging, and to the contested and diverse meanings of routine journeys between Ireland and Britain. The representation of different aspects of this route by Katharine Tynan, W.B. Yeats, Sean O'Casey, Thomas Kinsella, Emyr Humphries and R.S. Thomas highlights the affective dimensions of the crossings and journeys made through Ireland, Wales and England, and suggests the lines of influence, connection, and contest that travel along these transport routes.

Claire Connolly

Claire Connolly is Professor of Modern English and Head of the School of English at University College Cork. Her research and teaching interests include Irish writing; the novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries;  romanticism in Ireland, Scotland and Wales; Welsh-Irish cultural exchanges; and Ireland and cultural theory. Her book publications include A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829 (Cambridge UP, 2012), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture, edited with Joe Cleary (Cambridge UP, 2005), and Theorizing Ireland (ed.) (Palgrave, 2002). She has also edited works by Maria Edgeworth, Sydney Owenson, and Menna Gallie.


Series edited by: John Brannigan
General Editor: P.J. Mathews 
Scholarcast original theme music by: Padhraic Egan, Michael Hussey and Sharon Hussey.
Recording, audio editing, photography and development by: John Matthews & Vincent Hoban at UCD IT Services, Media Services.

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