Mary C. Kelly

Picture of Mary Kelly

Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D., is Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University, where she has taught for twenty-five years. Her Masters in Modern Irish History is from University of Galway, in Ireland, and her Ph.D. in Modern American History is from Syracuse University. Her research explores Irish-American ethnic identity and the historical relationship with Ireland. She recently edited the book Navigating Historical Crosscurrents in the Irish Atlantic (Cork University Press, 2022), and also published Ireland's Great Famine in Irish American History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) and The Shamrock and the Lily (Peter Lang, 2005). Professor Kelly was honored with the 2016 Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Committee Ambassador Award and a 2014 Keene State College President's Outstanding Women in New Hampshire Award. She hails from Westport, in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland.

 
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Mary C. Kelly's Programs

Ireland's Great Famine in Irish-American History: Memory and Meaning

Ireland's Great Famine in Irish-American History: Memory and Meaning

Drawing on material from her book Ireland's Great Famine in Irish-American History, Dr. Kelly will discuss the role of the Famine in shaping Irish-American ethnic identity. Focusing on the long-term impact of the episode between the 1840s and 1990s, she explores the shadowed landscape of Famine legacy and its status in Irish-American culture today. Referencing contemporary press accounts and the writings of Famine survivors and their descendants, Dr. Kelly shows how interrogating Famine memory enables the Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to deal with the material and emotional inheritance of this tragic experience.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Soldiers of Destiny: Ireland's Struggle for Independence, 1598-1998

Soldiers of Destiny: Ireland's Struggle for Independence, 1598-1998

One of the most striking aspects of the Irish-American historical landscape is the enduring bond between immigrant community and ancestral home. Predictably, this transatlantic narrative is dominated by Catholic-centered political activism and expression. However, the history of Irish-American nationalism should also acknowledge the contribution of Protestant advocates for the cause. This talk focuses on Protestant involvement in 1916-era nationalist activism. The Easter Rising prompted Protestants of various denominational affiliations to stamp their imprint on the nationalist narrative at a crucial juncture in its evolution. In addition to addressing 1916-centered campaigns, this talk probes Protestant deliberation on thorny issues of Ulster's fate and Ireland's contending religious traditions, and culminates with the concerted labors of these partisans in the Protestant Friends of Ireland organization of 1919-22.

This program is also available as an online presentation.