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Speaker to examine legendary military leader of ancient Ireland

Author: Arts and Letters


Joseph F. Nagy, professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will examine Fionn MacCumaill, the legendary leader of the high king of Ireland’s select warriors (Fianna), at the University of Notre Dame’s annual “Why Irish?” colloquium.

Titled “Fionn: The Irish Hero,” the lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at 3p.m. Sept. 26 (Friday) in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

Nagy specializes in medieval Celtic literature and coordinates the UCLA Program in Oral Tradition Studies. He is the author of “The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition,” “Conversing with Angels and Ancients: Literary Myths of Medieval Ireland,” “A New Introduction to Buile Suibhne: The Adventures of Suibhne Geilt: A Middle Irish Romance,” and “A New Introduction to Two Irish Arthurian Romances.”

A former editor of the Celtic Studies Association of North America Yearbook and Western Folklore, Nagy teaches courses in Old Irish, Middle Welsh, Celtic mythology, literature and folklore, and comparative studies of oral tradition and mythology. He earned his doctorate in Celtic languages and literatures from Harvard University in 1978.

Sponsored by Notre Dame’s Department of Irish Language and Literature, “Why Irish?” brings international speakers to campus to examine the role of the Irish language in various disciplines.

Contact: Tara MacLeod, Irish Language and Literature, 574-631-7615,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on September 05, 2008.