~ PROGRAM ~
TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL HARVARD CELTIC COLLOQUIUM
Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures
Harvard University

All Sessions of the Colloquium are held
in the Thompson Room (110) in the
Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA


Thursday October 6, 2005

11:00 am  Barker Center, Room 107

             Round Table on the State of the Field -- Sharon Paice MacLeod
            This is an informal round-table discussion on the state of the field in Celtic Studies.   

 

5:00 pm ~  John V. Kelleher Lecture
Sponsored by the
Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures,
Harvard University

Faculty Club Library, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Dr. Philip T. O'Leary
Department of English, Boston College

"Who's Irish? Whose Irish?:
Writers of Irish, Writers of English, Writing in Ireland"


~ This event is open to the Public ~


Friday October 7, 2005 - Colloquium Sessions Begin
Barker Center, Thompson Room, 12 Quincy Street

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.  Coffee and Conversation

9:15 - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Announcements


9:30-10:30 a.m.  SESSION ONE

Tadhg Ó Dúshláine, University of Ireland, Maynooth; Department of Modern Irish

Corkery’s Critique on Caoine Airt Uí Laoire


Corkery’s myopic interpretation of ‘scoil’ in the concluding lines of the keen as referring to the native bardic tradition has obscured the intrinsic nature of Caoine Airt Uí Laoire as a European elegy in the vanitas tradition. ‘Scoil’ read as ‘scola mortis’, however, helps define the context and sees this poem as an expression of the post-Tridentine Catholic rejection of the native heroic tradition and an embracing of its preoccupation with the theme of death.


Shamus MacDonald

Death and Dying in Gaelic Nova Scotia

This paper will examine a number of customs and beliefs associated with death and dying in the Scottish Gaelic culture of Nova Scotia. Based largely on recent fieldwork conducted within this community and other primary sources, it will also make some preliminary conclusions about the retention of these aspects of Gaelic culture in Eastern Canada. Issues such as those raised in O’Suilleabhain’s Irish Wake Amusements will be considered in relation to twentieth century Nova Scotia. Field-recordings will be used to illustrate.

10:30-10:45  Break

10:45-11:45  SESSION TWO

David Ingle

Recreational Fighting in 19th Century Ireland

I have analyzed over 200 Irish songs on alcohol consumption during the 19th century. Of those "street ballads" which tell stories about drinking, the largest single theme is 'fighting' - a theme rare in British songs of that period. The majority of Irish songs about drinking and fighting concern the widespread rural practice of "faction fighting". They present unapologetic views of "fighting for fun" which agree with reports of witnesses during homicide trials (1840-1880). My analysis of song themes reveals motivations for fighting and allows a comparison of this "quintessentially Irish" institution with group fighting traditions in other cultures


Marie Clague, University of Liverpool, Centre for Manx Studies / School of English

Cross Linguistic Discourse Markers in the Isle of Man

The Manx spoken by children attending the Manx Gaelic immersion school Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in the Isle of Man is showing discourse markers, calqued on English and created by the children themselves. This paper examines the use of one such marker ‘gollrish’ and compares it with the use of its English source ‘like’. The paper will then contrast this usage with that of the English discourse markers apparent in the Gaelic of the last generation of native Manx speakers.

11:45-12:00  Break

12:00-1:00  SESSION THREE

Marion Löffler, University of Wales, Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies

Iolo Morganwg, the Battle of Saint Fagan’s, and ‘Traditionary Evidence’ in Nineteenth Century Welsh History Writing

In 1883 ‘Giraldus,’ in a contribution to The Red Dragon. The National Magazine of Wales on “The Last Battle in Glamorgan,” quoted Iolo Morganwg’s assertion that:
       . . . there was living in Glamorgan, about thirty years ago, several old people that remembered the        Battle of St. Fagan’s: One of them assured me, that the River Ely was actually reddened by human        blood;. . .(vol. III (1883): 151-3.)
The note sparked a heated debate on its veracity, which brought to light various versions of this oral tradition, most of them ascribed to Iolo himself. It encircled other historians and their treatment of such “traditionary evidence”; and expanded to encompass the “verification of [other] old traditions,” such as the “massacre of the Bards” by Edward I.
A close reading of the debate will reveal the changing attitude toward Iolo Morganwg and oral tradition in mid-Victorian Wales, and the growing fondness of historians and educated public alike for “weighing evidence aright.”



Amélie Ghesquière, Collège Français Jules Verne, Paraguay

France and the Policy of Neutrality of the Irish Free State during the Second World War

The foundation of the Irish policy of neutrality in World War II is embedded in the process of division between Ireland and Great Britain and the creation of the Irish Free State by the Treaty of London on 6th of December 1921. The independence and the sovereignty of Ireland and the other Dominions recognised by the Status of Westminster in 1931 conferred the right to stay neutral upon the members of the British Commonwealth in the event that Great Britain became engaged in a conflict. During the 30s, some politicians continued to pretend that the Dominions were obliged to support Great Britain should it enter a war. At the end of the 30s, in a particularly unsettled Europe, Ireland chose to be neutral. The Free State considered its choice of neutrality an inalienable right. With the support of the majority of the population and the political community, Ireland maintained that the exercise of this right was a test of its independence. Ireland decided to pursue foreign diplomatic relations with all the countries engaged in the Second World War. The relations between France and Ireland probably experienced the most complicated period in their history since the Free State maintained its legation in Vichy France. The Irish policy of neutrality has been misunderstood internally and externally. How could the policy of neutrality have allowed the Irish Free State to assert its own independence? What did this policy consist of? How can we assess the complexity of Franco-Irish diplomatic relations during the Second World War? How did France view Ireland's policy of neutrality?

1:00-2:30  Lunch

2:30-2:45  Announcements

2:45-4:15   SESSION FOUR

Whitney Papailiou

Amairgen Gluingel and Pre-Christian Ideology

The first of the poems attributed to Amairgen Gluingel in the Lebor Gabála Érenn presents readers with intriguing imagery, but its interpretation has been controversial. While it is unlike virtually anything in pre-modern Western literature, it is nevertheless closely paralleled by passages in early Indic texts, including the Svetasvatara Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad, and the Bhagavad Gita, expressing belief in monism. Drawing on this comparison, and supported by passages in the 'pseudo-historical' prologue to the Senchas Mar, Forbuis Droma Damhghaire, and other Celtic and Greek/Roman texts, this paper argues that the pre-Christian Celtic world-view was probably monistic.


Peg Aloi, Emerson College

"Neacha neamhbeo agus nithe nach bhfuil ann" ("Unalive beings and things that don't exist"): Echoes of the Otherworld in the Poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill's poetry is thematically complex, melding ancient and contemporary modes of thought to describe elements of the human and natural worlds in an anachronistic, idiosyncratic style. This paper will posit a definition of the Irish otherworld as it is portrayed in Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill's poems, considering her use of imagery and language with reference to otherworldly beings, locales and situations. The poet has herself admitted to some cognitive dissonance when attempting to unravel the meaning of the otherworld tradition in early Irish texts, and her own comments on the creative process will be considered, alongside of critical commentary and analysis. Poems in several English translations (Paul Muldoon's, John Montague's and my own) will be utilized, allowing for a brief inquiry into the problems of translation in capturing what is essentially an Irish concept.


Yasuko Kazama-Takaba, Waseda University, Tokyo, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Features of Hands/Artists: the Book of Kells and its Decoration

It is generally agreed among scholars that at least four hands/ artists worked on the Book of Kells, one of the most beautiful of the Insular gospel manuscripts. This paper will analyze the features of each hands/ artists by examining depictions of animals, especially those not native to the British Isles or entirely imaginary. These differing depictions suggest that there were some different ideas among the hands/artists about the Bible and Christian theology.



4:15-4:30  Break

4:30-6:00  SESSION FIVE

Cynthia Neville, Dalhousie University, Department of History

Knights, Knighthood and Chivalric Culture in Gaelic Scotland, 1050-1300

Scholars are in general agreement that the European-style knight arrived in the British Isles at the time of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. A new French-speaking aristocracy, endowed with sometimes extensive gifts of land and privilege, quickly extended its influence over the Conqueror's new kingdom and, in the generations thereafter, into the peripheral region of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. "Such was the supremacy of this 'French' culture", one historian has opined, "that even the outlying parts of the British Isles were sucked into its vortex". Yet, Gaelic magnates who were also knights do not feature prominently in the chronicles of the medieval British Isles, and in particular those relating to Scotland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. While recent scholarship has done much to illuminate the political, military and legal status of the knight in the kingdom in the so-called 'Anglo-Norman era' of Scottish history, this work has been concerned primarily with analyzing the spread of military feudalism and the knight's feu rather than with exploring the status, manners and social significance of knighthood within the kingdom, or with answering questions about the degree to which the native aristocracy in particular accepted European notions about knightly conduct and behavior. This article explores the subject of knights and knighthood in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Scotland. Emphasis is placed on an examination of the extent to which members of the kingdom's Gàidhealtachd absorbed, internalized, and in turn gave expression to the manners, customs and values of European-style knighthood. The study draws heavily on written sources such as chronicles and charter texts, as well as on the literature of the years between the mid-twelfth and the late thirteenth centuries. Equally valuable as evidentiary materials are the waxen seals of medieval Scottish noblemen. Collectively, these sources reveal that the Gaelic aristocracy of Scotland understood full well the significance that European culture attached to the figure of the mounted fighting man. Yet they indicate also that native lords mediated the foreign culture of Europe through the filter of their own mores and, in many cases, that they were not prepared to adopt new customs wholesale. In fact, the hold of native ideas about status, honour and noble behavior endured well into the thirteenth century.


Roxanne Reddington-Wilde, Cambridge College (Boston, MA)

Linn nan Creach: Was the Scottish Highland Clan System a Response to the Lawlessness of the "Age of Forays?"

Linn nan Creach: The Age of Forays, as the chaotic, late 1500 to early 1700's were known in the Scottish Highlands. Did the "clan system" (as it is popularly known but oh so poorly defined) come into its "classic" form during and in response to the chaotic power vacuum left by the downfall of the Lordship of the Isles and the continuing inability of Scotland's central government to assert effective control of law over the many miles of Highland hillside and islands? Answering this first requires one to pin down the social organization implicit in a phrase such as "clan system" and then to show that it did not exist prior to the period in that form. A variety of sources of evidence, such as Gaelic poetry, Scots parliamentary decrees and material culture will be assayed to test the question posed in the title of this paper.


Bob Purdie, Ruskin College, Oxford

Hugh MacDiarmid and Celticism; or the "sleekit Presbyterian moderation" of the Scots

This paper will discuss the influence of Irish nationalism on the Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid. It will discuss his highly selective use of Irish ideas in constructing his critique of Scottish culture in the 1920s. It will show why transplanting "Sinn Féin" nationalism to Scotland led to a moderate and pragmatic strategy that alienated MacDiarmid. And by contrasting Scottish and Irish nationalism in the twentieth century, it will show why aspects of the latter that tend to be taken for granted, actually require explanation.


Saturday October 8, 2005

8:00 - 8:45  Coffee and Conversation

8:45 - 9:00  Announcements

9:00 - 10:30  SESSION SIX

Charlene Shipman, Harvard University, Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures

Rewarding Informers in Cáin Domnaig and the Laws of Wihtred

Both the Irish text Cáin Domnaig and the Anglo-Saxon laws of Wihtred contain sections concerning violations of the laws of Sunday. This paper will focus on one concept common to both, i.e. rewarding the informer of anyone caught working on a Sunday with half the transgressor's fine, and offer suggestions of possible common source material.


Máire Ní Annracháin, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Department of Modern Irish

Figurative Language in Merriman's 'The Midnight Court'

2005 marks the bicentenary of the death of Brian Merriman, whose long poem 'Cúirt an Mheán-Oíche' ('The Midnight Court') is an undisputed gem in the post-bardic Irish literary canon. Commentators almost universally praise the richness of its language, but that richness has not been adequately analysed. This paper investigates whether the poem is built upon metaphor, which is generally accepted as the bedrock of poetry in the Western tradition, or whether its linguistic richness might be more clearly understood through a consideration of its use of metonymy. The paper will also seek to relate Merriman's preferences in figurative language both to the substantive themes of the poem and to widespread patterns in Irish poetry.


Brian Ó Conchubhair, University of Notre Dame, Department of Irish Language and Literature

Writing on the Margin: Brian O Nuallain and The Islandman

It is well know that Brian O Nuallain's classic text An Beal Bocht/The Poor Mouth draws on several Irish-language autobiographies and, in particular, Tomas O Criomhthain's An tOileanach/The Islandman. This paper is based on an examination of annotations made by O Nuallain on his personal copy of An tOileananch/The Islandman. By scrutinizing O Nuallain's comments, this presentation furthers our understanding of O Nuallain's complicated relationship with the Irish language and with An tOileanach/The Islandman, and provides further evidence of his admiration for the Blasket island text.


10:30 - 10:45  Break

10:45-12:00  SESSION SEVEN

Brian Ó Broin, Department of English, William Paterson University

Máirtín Ó Cadhain's Literature and the Political Situation of Post-War Ireland

   Máirtín Ó Cadhain was interned for IRA activity by the Irish government for most the Second World War, and following his release in 1944, launched himself into a publishing career of extraordinary prolificacy. Until 1939 (when his IRA activity led to his internment) his only major non-folkloric publication was the 1939 short-story collection Idir Shúgradh agus Dáiríre, which, ironically, was published by the government publishing house An Gúm. The material he published from 1945 on was marked by a strongly political agenda.That agenda was clear from 1947, when Ó Cadhain won the Oireachtas literary competition for his groundbreaking novel Cré na Cille, which subversively lampooned Irish politics.
   The relationship between Ó Cadhain and the Irish government was both fractious and symbiotic. An Gúm, recognizing the quality of Ó Cadhain's work, republished Idir Shúgradh agus Dáiríre four times between 1941 and 1951 (the first time, of course, while he was still in prison). In 1948, however, An Gúm refused to publish Cré na Cille without certain major revisions and Ó Cadhain was forced to turn to the private publishing house of Sáirséal agus Dill, who published the novel in 1950. Meanwhile, however, with a Fine Gael-led Interparty Government in power, the Fianna Fáil newspaper The Irish Press serialized Cré na Cille between February and September, 1949. After his release from the Curragh internment camp, Ó Cadhain worked for the Department of Education as a folklore collector among Connacht turf-workers in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, and in 1947 took a job as official translator in Leinster House. Working for the entity he despised took its toll on him and after a series of health scares in the 1950s, Ó Cadhain accepted a lectureship in Irish at Trinity College, Dublin. Here, although working for an Anglo-Irish institution he never respected, he could resume his activities against what he felt was the two-facedness and lip service of Fianna Fáil without fear of repercussion.


Angie Gleason, Trinity College, Dublin, Department of Medieval History

Feis, fled, oenach: What the Laws Reveal

This paper will examine feasts, banquets, and festivals in early Ireland, as evidenced by the vernacular legal material. Stress will be given to the venue, auspices and foundation of the events, as well as the pragmatics and logistics involved. Comparisons and contrasts to the early saga literature and hagiography will be discussed.


Robin Chapman Stacey, University of Washington, Department of History

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (in Medieval Welsh Law)

Recent work on the Welsh lawbooks and subsidiary Welsh legal material (the Cynghawsedd and Damweiniau) is beginning to suggest that the lawbooks were far more than the more-or-less objective compilations of traditional custom and legal practice that they have long been taken as being. Rather, they seem to have functioned as an important venue-perhaps even the most important venue-for the expression of ideas and opinions relating to contemporary Welsh politics. Huw Pryce has explored the political ramifications of the lawbook prologues, for example, and other recent work has highlighted the manner in which these seemingly dispassionate sources in fact comment directly on such "hot-button" issues as royal succession, Welsh marital practices, and the princely abuse of authority. This paper takes up another such issue, this time through the lens of "absence" (the dog that didn't bark in the night). One of the noticeable features of the lawbooks proper (especially when compared to the Cynghawsedd and Damweiniau) is the relatively limited role assigned in them to violence and violent acts. Not much space is devoted to the explication of violent crime; indeed, the contrast between the presentation of violence in the Welsh lawbooks and that in the roughly contemporary English lawbook known as Bracton is striking. Furthermore, when treated in the Welsh lawbooks, violence appears for the most part as adequately circumscribed and contained-an impression totally at odds with contemporary chronicle evidence on the subject. This paper will explore this curious "failure to bark," arguing that it represents a deliberate construction by the jurists for their own political purposes.


12:00-12:15  Break

12:15-1:15  SESSION EIGHT

Sarah McGarrell, Boston College, Department of Irish Studies

"Monasticism, Blefid and the Division of Power: Assessing the Airgialla and the Ecclesiastical Power Structure"

The 9th century Airgialla kingdom of Ireland has often been neglected by historians who regard it simply as powerless tribute people of the Uí Neill dynasty . However, in his unpublished doctoral dissertation "The Kingdom of Airgialla", Fr. Tomás Ó Fiaich (1923-1990), Cardinal of Armagh and well respected early Irish historian, carefully traces the genealogies of leadership and, through his research, creates an entirely different image of Airgialla. Utilizing Fr. Fee's thorough investigation of the kingdom, this paper will look beyond Airgialla as a tribute tribe. Rather, it will suggest the Airgialla, in response to social change, consciously moved into the developing ecclesiastical power structure to the exclusion of political influence.


Laurance Maney

High Kings and Pipe Dreams: Rethinking John Vincent Kelleher's Theory of Revision to the Early Irish Annals

Best known in America for his wide ranging contributions in the field of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish literature and his invaluable efforts to bring the field of Irish studies into the American academic mainstream, the late John Kelleher also made a major contribution to the study of Early Christian Ireland in the 1960s with a complex theory of multi-layered revision to the Irish annals that challenged scholars to abandon the comforting blend of myth and wishful thinking that passed for the history of Ireland's first Christian centuries. Fifty years later in light of recent studies that have identified the chronological apparatus of the Irish annals and their various sources the time has come to reconsider the implications of Kelleher's radical hypothesis.

 

1:15-2:30  LUNCH

2:30-2:45  Announcements

2:45-4:15  SESSION NINE

David Morris, University of Notre Dame, Department of History

The Rise of Christian Nomenclature

   Personal names have the capacity to demonstrate conceptions of group identity that cannot be perceived in literary or chronicle sources. While isolated examples are of marginal utility in constructing cultural or social changes, a large pool of names can reveal much about a particular society and the ways in which it conceives itself and the degree to which it is influenced by neighboring societies. Naming patterns can also underline great cultural shifts that would otherwise be indiscernible. One of the most striking examples of this approach is the dramatic rise of religious names in Scotland from the twelfth century onwards. Within the space of approximately two centuries, a majority of the population across Scotland—as well as large parts of Europe—came to have Christian nomenclature, reversing the dominance of Continental Germanic names that previously held sway.
    The rise of Christian names in Scotland is complicated by the fact that naming patterns had already undergone a radical change from the end of the eleventh century onwards. The British Isles were one of the principal focal points of the “aristocratic diaspora” that saw a largely Francophone aristocracy expand beyond its continental homeland in the High Middle Ages. This cultural influence from the Continent resulted in the partial replacement of Gaelic and Anglo-Saxon names throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. The great shift in naming patterns that resulted from this settlement provides strong evidence of cultural assimilation between indigenous societies and their newly transplanted aristocracies. One can then gain sufficient perspective into the extent to which these changes underline social transformation. Using the extensive body of Scottish royal charters, we can analyze medieval naming patterns and thereby gain a fuller understanding of Scotland’s unique role as the meeting ground of Franco-Norman, Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic culture.



Jennifer Kewley Draskau, University of Liverpool, Centre for Manx Studies

Language Death and Resurrection in the Isle of Man

The current resurgence of Manx Gaelic (popularly cited as an example of a language death) arouses controversy: apologists echo Haugen (on American-Norwegian) that, 'Manx' or not, it is THEIR Manx; others decry the putative Kunstsprache character of 21st century Manx, question its pedigree and continuity with earlier forms, or quote the English influence evident in Late Manx; reduction and confusion of syntactic and morphophonological rules; increased use of periphrastic rather than inflected tenses.
This paper examines, by tracing the use of inflected tenses from 'Classical' Manx, via 'Late Manx' to present-day Manx, the continuity and renewed vitality of 21st century Manx.


Nia Powell, University of Wales, Bangor

Taxation and the 'Acts of Union'

This paper reviews new information from a two year research study of lay taxation records in Wales during the period 12981-1689. This information throws new light on the constitutional structure of Wales during the early modern period, and suggests that the hitherto unquestioned interpretation of the sixteenth century 'Acts of Union' as instruments assimilating Wales into an English administrative system should be revised.


4:15-4:30  Break

4:30-6:00  SESSION TEN

Aled Llion Jones, Harvard University, Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures

The Hengerdd: Some Literary Theoretical Perspectives

The earliest Welsh poetry has received relatively little attention from the point of view of literary theory. This paper outlines some of the many areas in which these more recent concepts may enrich discussion of the old texts, and even vice versa. Focusing primarily on the works of 'poets' such as 'Anerin' and 'Taliesin', the paper is mainly concerned with notions of authorial and textual identity.


Jon Williams, Columbia University, Department of English and Comparative Literature

Animal Speech in Culhwch and Olwen

This paper reads the speech of the oldest animals (lines 859-908) as indicative of aboriginal or ancient language that keeps valuable secrets but that must be mediated and interpreted. This ancient language is a submerged remnant of a prior human polity, not only pre-Anglo-Norman but also older than Culhwch and Olwen's contextual milieu. Rather than suggesting a world of animals in conversation with one another, I suggest a world in which a chthonic human presence is recalled by the figures of the various animals which Gwrhyr encounters on his search for Mabon. Some contemporary critical theory of the animal--Peter Singer and his ilk--may be used to analyze this sequence of Culhwch and Olwen.


Morgan Franck, Fordham University

Gendered Colonial Discourse in the Mabinogi

Scholars have noted that the women in Pedeir Keinc Y Mabinogi are extraordinarily powerful characters who wield great influence over the men in the tales, although they do this entirely within the framework of boundaries and political restrictions placed on women by medieval Welsh society. I believe that the author's sympathetic portrayal of women who manipulate the system from within is a reflection of Wales's political position: the Welsh knew that they had little power to resist the Norman incursions into Wales, but knew that there were ways of gaining power from within the system. My paper will be an examination of gendered colonial discourse in the Four Branches, and how it applies to Wales's political position at the time that the tales were redacted.


Sunday October 9, 2005

8:00-8:45  Coffee and Conversation

8:45  Announcements

9:00-10:00  SESSION ELEVEN

Anthony Watson, Harvard University, Divinity School

Exile in the Love of God: Theology of Celtic Martyrdom

This paper explores the link between the theological justification of martyrdom in the early Christian church and its expression in the Celtic one, a link which cuts to the very heart of the Celtic monastic movement. While there was some local variance in the application of doctrine, this paper demonstrates that the early Celtic church was both aware of and operated from solid theological doctrine established in the early days of Christianity. In so doing this paper questions modern views of a Druid-oriented, geographically isolated Celtic church at odds with central Christian authority.


Annie Donahue, University of New Hampshire

The Acallam na Senórach

This paper presents an interpretive reading of the Acallam na Senórach as a medieval instruction manual for canon marriage. Crafted to respond to the social issues of its author's milieu, it includes a pattern of monogamous marriage that is inconsistent with the pre-Christian setting of the text. The deliberate inclusion of these church-sanctioned marriages suggests the author's intention to use a popular narrative tradition to effect a change in behavior and encourage compliance with canon law.

10:00-10:15  Break

10:15-11:45  SESSION TWELVE

Timothy Bridgman, State University of N. Y., Albany, Department of Special Collections and Archives

Keltoi, Galatai, Galli

Many scholars have noted that in the ancient Greek and Roman source material that has come down to us, several names exist to designate the people/peoples whom we now refer to as 'Celts'. Hecataeus of Miletus says that there were Celts living in and around Massalia about 500 B.C. He gives the names of a people and two towns, but does not mention the name 'Celts'. Herodotus was the first ancient author to use the name 'Keltoi'. It remains unclear if he was referring to a people, tribe, or subgroup. Later authors used other names such as Galatai. The Romans used still other names, such as Galli. This paper seeks to examine possible reasons as to why different ancient authors chose to use different naming strategies in their writings and what they hoped to achieve.


Joseph Eska, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Spelling Celtic the Roman Way: an Orthographic Solution to a Linguistic Problem

While there is general consensus that the Hispano-Celtic form LVGVEI is the dative singular of the divine name Lugus, there is none at all about what its orthography represents phonologically and morphologically; from the proto-Celtic perspective, the form should appear as orthographic *<LVGOVEI>. Various types of analogies or paradigm shifts, none of them compelling, have been proposed to account for the attested orthography. This paper will demonstrate that the attested form is phonologically and morphologically regular when one takes account of an oft-attested, though sporadically implemented, Hispano-Celtic sound change and the Roman orthographic convention known as 'economic spelling'. This is yet another example in which ancient epigraphists got things exactly right, while modern commentators have sought to find error or difficulty where none exists.


Chao Li, Yale University, Department of Linguistics

Verbal Nouns in Celtic Languages

This paper examines different proposals concerning the verbal noun in three Celtic languages (Irish, Welsh and Breton), and finds that in each language the verbal noun shows both nominal features and verbal features. It is concluded from this that the verbal noun is really like a word (e.g., attack) which has different parts of speech. Which part of speech is used depends on the syntactic position in which it occurs. In addition, the paper gives a tentative explanation of the use of genitive case for the (pronominal) object of a verbal noun in the three languages, notably Irish.

 

11:45-12:00  Break

12:00-1:00  SESSION THIRTEEN

Mary O'Donoghue, Babson College, Department of Arts and Humanities

Finding, Taking, Sharing: Translation of Irish Language Poetry and (Un)Principled Pleasure

In his essay “The Translation Impulse”, poet Gabriel Rosenstock exults in the creative work of translation, writing of it as an act of “finding pleasure, taking pleasure, and, one hopes, sharing pleasure.” Yet his jouissant celebration of translation elides the possibility for traducing the original text. Through close critique of her own work in the translation of Irish-language poetry into English, the speaker will investigate those very same sites of pleasure – ‘finding’, ‘taking’, ‘sharing’ – in terms of their potential for betrayal.


Paul-André Bempéchat, Harvard University

Breaking The Wagnerian Curse: Guy Ropartz' and Charles Le Goffic's 'Le Pays'

Since Wagner's "conquest" of Paris, French musicological banter has consistently
focused on his preponderant influence on the evolution of a French operatic
school. His concept of "Gestamtkunstwerk," a "fusion of the arts," became the
mantra of both the literary as well as musical communities of France and
Wagner's complex compositional leitmotif system eventually overpowered the
traditionally pristine, transparent textures of the Gallic tradition. After
the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, anti-German sentiment naturally pervaded
French thinking, developing into formal anti-Wagnerism. In 1871 the Société
Nationale de Musique
was founded, its mandate being to "de-Germanize", protect
all that could possibly be construed as "French" in music and to heal the nation
from its Wagnerian wounds. This paper proposes to bring introduce the most
significant Breton opera, "Le Pays" (“The Homeland,” 1908-12), adapted for the
stage by its author-librettist Charles Le Goffic, with his colleague, composer
Guy Ropartz. They adapted Wagner's inexorable influences - Ropartz had been a
pious pilgrim to Bayreuth in his youth - for their own nationalistic goal to
weave the heartbreaking Breton novella onto a poignant Breton musical tapestry.

 

1:00  Closing Remarks

 

[End of Program]