Thursday, October 24, 2019

Brexit in a British, Irish, European and Global Context

I also gave a version of this lecture at Bloomfield Public Library (NJ) in Spring 2019.

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Medieval Studies and Bogus Identity Politics

Re: " Symbols of Past Used by Right Upset Scholars"/"Medieval Scholars Joust With White Nationalists. And One Another" ( New York Times, May 5th, 2019).

The very term medieval (Latin for "middle-aged") is a construct, referring to Europe between the collapse of the Roman Empire around AD450 and the "Renaissance" one thousand years later. This thousand-year period is Eurocentric by definition, and that cannot be altered. No similar collapse occurred elsewhere, nor did any similar Renaissance. The Europe of this period was overwhelmingly white, Christian, and patriarchal, and any attempt to redefine that is simply an attempt to remake the medieval period in a 21st-century American image. This may be culturally commendable, but it is unscholarly.
The Kalamazoo Congress has tried to appease cultural relativists by organizing sessions on medievalism in the modern world, as it did in 2018 with a session including the paper "Fuck this Shit: How Can You Not Say Something?"
Traditional medieval scholarship may not be trendy or controversial, but it is worthy, scholarly, and content-driven. The social-media battle you describe in your article, driven by trollish demagogues specializing in identity politics, does not represent it.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Lecture on Ireland at Bloomfield Library Wed 8th March 6pm

"Celtic, Gaelic, or Anglo-Irish: Which is the Real Ireland?"

Bloomfield resident Brian Ó Broin, a medieval literature professor at William Paterson University and a prizewinning Gaelic novelist, traces the history of Ireland from pre-Celtic times through the series of invasions that brought Christianity, cities, castles, Gaelic culture and English culture to this mysterious island nation of North West Europe right up to the modern day. Using slides and recordings (and maybe even a song or two!) Professor Ó Broin demonstrates the color, the uniqueness, and the resilience of this modern European country which sent so many emigrants to America, as Ireland faces the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Ireland has always been a target of invasion. the Celts invaded Ireland three hundred years before Christ, completely displacing the previous stone-age culture whose mysterious structures, like that of Newgrange, still dot the landscape. Six hundred years of Pagan Celtic culture followed the invasion, and the tribal warrior culture of that period is still visible in surviving Gaelic texts such as the Fenian stories and the Táin Bó Cuailgne. An African-tinged Christian monasticism followed conversion to Christianity, and the monastic sites of this period are still to be found throughout the country, marked by their strange cone-tipped bell towers. Vikings saw easy pickings in these monasteries, and came to raid. They stayed, however, and founded Ireland's first cities, like Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick. The French-speaking Normans followed, bringing in feudal culture from England and France. Finally, the English themselves came, in several catastrophic waves, and still remain to this day in the six counties of Northern Ireland. The other twenty-six counties, however, have been a self-governing nation since 1922, constitutionally enshrining both the Gaelic and English cultures. Ireland is a member of the United Nations, and has been in the European Union since 1973.


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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Rutgers Phonology Project at WPUNJ

Helping out a linguistics doctoral student at Rutgers with her project on Irish phonology.

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Sunday, December 04, 2016


Greetings! This is the information page for the Code Club at Demarest Elementary School, Bloomfield, NJ

Professor Brian Ó Broin is the administrator. You can contact him at

Friday, December 02, 2016

Conradh na Gaeilge in William Paterson University, NJ

Cuan Ó Seireadáin ag labhairt le micléinn William Paterson University agus Gaeilgeoirí NJ faoi chur chun cinn na Gaeilge. 

Tabhair faoi deara go raibh duine i láthair go fíorúil freisin ó Ollscoil Pennsylvania.

Cuan Ó Seireadáin, representing Conradh na Gaeilge, spoke to William Paterson University Students and some NJ Irish speakers on a recent visit.

Note that we also had a virtual attendant from the University of Pennsylvania!

We also had visitors from Drew University!

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Sunny Winter Morning on WPUNJ Campus

A Shadow-Door in Raubinger

Rails and Shadows Interact in Raubinger

A Rail and Some Shadows in Raubinger

A Rail and Some Shadows in Raubinger

A Rail and Some Shadows in Raubinger

A Rail and Some Shadows in Raubinger

A Rail and Some Shadows in Raubinger

View towards Hobart Manor from Raubinger

New York City Through the Trees from WPUNJ

New York City Through the Trees from WPUNJ

New York City Through the Trees from WPUNJ

Rails against Rails in Raubinger

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lecture on Minority Language Promotion, WPUNJ Nov 30th, 2016

7pm, 30th November, 
William Paterson University,
University Commons Room 327 
A presentation by Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dublin

More Information:

Contact: Brian Ó Broin, 720 2641 and obroinb AT

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Irish (Gaelic) Activism in NJ Nov 30th 2016 - A Lecture

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