2008 ACMRS Symposium

Festivals to My Soul:
Performance and Ritual in Celtic Culture

Saturday, 18 October 2008
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium

Co-sponsored by the Scottsdale Public Library.
Free and open to the public.

Program Schedule

9:00am ~ Registration

Celtic exhibits, displays, music and dance demonstrations

10:00am ~ Welcome – Robert E. Bjork, ACMRS Director


Traditional Irish Music: Comhaltas — Four Peaks Irish Arts

Highland Dance: The Caledonian Society

Storytelling with Liz Warren: The Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion: Math’s Rebellious Nephews and the Maid of Flowers

~ Presentations ~

11:00am ~ That’s Entertainment! The Staging of Otherworlds in Medieval Irish Story, Joseph Nagy

11:50am ~ Ritual and Relics: performing the absent bodies of Irish saints, Karen Overbey

12:40 – 1:10pm Lunch Break (provided)

1:10pm ~ Mac Con Glinne and His Maker, Morgan Davies

2:00pm ~ From Hell's Kitchen to Hollywood: The Irish and the Movies, Ron Newcomer

About the Speakers

KAREN EILEEN OVERBEY is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tufts University, where she teaches courses on medieval architecture, Celtic and early Irish art, medieval pilgrimage and devotional arts, medieval dress and clothing, and art historical theory and methods. She has published several articles on visual and textual hagiography and is co-editor of Eolas, the journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies. Her recent publications include “Ambivalence and Anxiety at the Nun’s Church, Clonmacnoise,” Celtic Studies Association of North America Yearbook (Four Courts, 2008) and an article on the Irish Domanch Airgid reliquary in Tributes to Jonathan J. G. Alexander: Making and Meaning in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Harvey Miller, 2006), a book, Sacral Geographies: Relics and Reliquaries in Medieval Ireland, (forthcoming, 2009). Her current research project examines the role of saints’ cults and cultic objects in reshaping the social landscape in Norman conquests of Ireland, England, Wales, and Sicily; part of this project concerns the eleventh-century embroidery known as the Bayeux Tapestry, and she is co-editor of the forthcoming collection HIC EST: Re-approaching the Bayeux Tapestry (Boydell, 2009). ACMRS is pleased to have her participate in this year’s symposium.

JOSEPH NAGY is Professor of Celtic and Folklore in the English Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, the author of books on medieval Irish literature and oral tradition, and the founder and former editor of the CSANA Yearbook (published by Four Courts Press of Dublin), a periodical dedicated to cutting-edge studies of Celtic topics. He is also the Director of the On-Line Bibliography of Celtic Studies of the Celtic Studies Association of North America. Professor Nagy has a long association with ACMRS and we are pleased that he joins us now for the 2008 ACMRS Symposium.

RON NEWCOMER has a B.A. in directing and production from UCLA and ASU, and teaches screenwriting, cinema history, and film production at ASU and the Maricopa Community Colleges. He served as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Northern Ireland, and has written six books, including Moments in Film: An Essential Understanding and Film Production: The Creative Process for Kendall-Hunt Publishing. During his career he has produced more than 470 theatrical, television, and motion picture productions. Recently he founded The Center for Visual Education in association with the Alfred Hitchcock estate: www.centerforvisualeducation.com (username: guest; password: vedguest). ACMRS is delighted to have him participate in his sixth ACMRS Symposium.

LIZ WARREN , a fourth-generation Arizonan, is a storyteller, teacher, writer and co-founder of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Her recorded version of The Story of the Grail received a Parents Choice Recommended award in 2004 and a Storytelling World award in 2006. The Path of Truth, her new cd of Arizona family stories will be released in 2008. In June 2008, she was a featured teller at Cultra, the annual storytelling festival of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Belfast. Representing SMCC, she is the producer of the annual Mesa Storytelling Festival. Her new textbook, The Oral Tradition Today: An Introduction to the Art of Storytelling was published in 2008. ACMRS welcomes her to this year’s symposium.

MORGAN DAVIES did his graduate work at UCLA, where he studied Old Irish and Middle Welsh with Patrick Ford and Old English with Dan Calder. He has been at Colgate since 1990, teaching courses in Arthurian literature, early medieval literature, Celtic literature, the history of the English language, and medieval languages (including Old English, Old Irish, and Middle Welsh). His scholarly research has been devoted mainly to later medieval Welsh poetry (especially the work of the 14th-c. poet Dafydd ap Gwilym) and early medieval Irish literature, with emphasis on the nature of early Irish textual communities and in early Irish attitudes toward and conceptions of history, in particular with respect to the relationship between history and landscape. Morgan and his wife of 25 years, Melissa, who's an artist and the educator at Colgate's Picker Gallery, are both active in the environmental issues of their community, and helped found a land conservation organization, the Southern Madison Heritage Trust. ACMRS is honored to welcome him as a presenter at this year’s symposium.