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John J. Burns Library


Burns Visiting Scholar

Boston College's special collections and rare books, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance.

Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies

Since 1991, the Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program has brought to Boston College a long and distinguished series of academics, writers, artists, journalists, librarians, and notable public figures who have made significant contributions to Irish cultural and intellectual life. Burns Scholars teach courses, offer public lectures, and engage with the rich resources of the John J. Burns Library in their ongoing research, writing, and creative endeavors.

The Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program is a cooperative venture between the Boston College Center for Irish Programs and the Boston College Libraries. It was established by and receives continuing support from the family and friends of the Honorable John J. Burns (Class of 1921), who also generously contributed to the creation of the John J. Burns Library and support the growth of its extraordinary collections pertaining to Irish history, literature, music, and culture. The Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program has also benefited from support by the Office of the Provost.

In recognition of its 25th anniversary, Boston College Communications profiled the Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies program in a November 7, 2016 article

In October 2016, Irish America magazine also published a special supplement in celebration of this milestone. You can read a web version, or download the supplement as a high-resolution or low-resolution PDF.

Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies - Fall 2017

Photo of Lauren Arrington

Lauren Arrington is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. Prior to her appointment in 2009, she was Adrian Research Fellow in English at Darwin College, Cambridge. She has also taught twentieth-century literature at Goldsmiths and Queen Mary University, London, and at Oxford University. She received her doctorate in English from Oxford and a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama from University College Dublin.

Arrington is the author of two monographs: Revolutionary Lives: Constance and Casimir Markievicz (Princeton University Press, 2016) and W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State: Adding the Half-Pence to the Pence (Oxford University Press, 2010). She has also published articles on topics ranging from Irish Modernism to women's suffrage poetry and agitprop theatre. She is a frequent BBC commentator and writes articles and reviews for the Irish Times and Times Literary Supplement.

The founding general editor of International Yeats Studies, Arrington will serve as the associate director of the W.B. Yeats International Summer School in 2018 and 2019.

A recipient of residential research fellowships from Trinity College Dublin's Long Room Hub, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and Cambridge University's Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Arrington will devote her Fall 2017 residency as Burns Visiting Scholar to furthering her research on Yeats and the Cuala Press. She will also host a symposium on Late Modernism & Expatriatism and deliver a public lecture.


Symposium: Late Modernism & Expatriatism, Saturday, October 14, 2017

Burns Visiting Scholar Lauren Arrington will host a symposium that explores Late Modernist literary texts within the context of expatriatism. It will feature keynote talks by Jed Esty and Bonnie Costello. Additional speakers will include Mary Burke, Glenda Carpio, Marjorie Howes, Andrew Kuhn, Lucy McDiarmid, Derek Miller, Paige Reynolds, John Paul Riquelme, Kelly Sullivan, and Keri Walsh. The symposium will be presented by the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College. The event will be free and open to the public. For further details and advance registration, please visit the Center for Irish Programs website.

“Shell-shocked Walt Whitmans”: W.B. Yeats and the War Poets at Rapallo
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Burns Library Irish Room, 4:30PM

From 1928 until 1934, W.B. Yeats was a seasonal resident in Rapallo, a small town on the Italian Riviera where Ezra Pound had decamped from Paris in 1924. Together, they hosted younger poets who flocked to them for instruction and inspiration. Important friendships emerged between writers who were key to shaping post-war poetry in English. Among the most important was the bond between Englishman Richard Aldington and Irishman Thomas MacGreevy, who both fought in the Great War. Yeats famously excluded the “war poets” from his 1936 Oxford Book of Modern Verse. This lecture will revisit Yeats’s attitude to the younger generation, take aim at his pejorative description of them as “shell-shocked Walt Whitmans,” and reassess Aldington and MacGreevy’s writings about the war during their visits to Rapallo.


Follow the link below to read about each of the more than thirty Burns Visiting Scholars whom we have welcomed to campus since the program began in 1991. For several of our more recent scholars, you will find links to streaming recordings of their public lectures.

Previous Burns Visiting Scholars