Georgia Southern University

Irish Scholar to Speak at Georgia Southern

3-22 Irish scholar to speak at GSGeorgia Southern University’s Multicultural Student Center and the Center for Irish Studies will present a free lecture by internationally renowned historian Christine Kinealy, Ph.D., at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 2 in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room.

Kinealy, professor of history at Caspersen Graduate School at Drew University in New Jersey, will present “Daniel O’Connell, Frederick Douglass and American Slavery,” as part of the Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series.

“After the 1847 death of the Irish statesman, Daniel O’Connell, the sometime British Prime Minister William Gladstone described him as ‘the greatest popular leader the world has ever seen.’” said Howard Keeley, Ph.D., director of the Center for Irish Studies. “Known as ‘The Great Emancipator’ and ‘The Liberator,’ O’Connell developed popular mass politics through his ‘Monster Meetings,’ and he pioneered nonviolent political activism. O’Connell’s example inspired both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, among others. He was a role model for Frederick Douglass, who sailed to Ireland to meet his hero.”

In her signature lecture during a multi-day visit to campus, Kinealy will explore O’Connell’s efforts to end slavery in the context of his larger program of human rights advocacy, which also included his native Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. Kinealy will also highlight O’Connell’s relationship with Frederick Douglass.

“By contrast with many other anti-slavery activists, O’Connell opposed the policy known as gradualism: the step-by-step dismantling of the slave system,” explained Keeley. “He demanded an immediate and absolute end to ‘the slavery of men of color in the United States of America,’ which he called ‘the most hideous crime that has ever stained humanity.”

Kinealy received her doctorate in history from the University of Dublin-Trinity College, has authored more than a dozen books and numerous peer-reviewed articles and is considered among the foremost historians of nineteenth-century Ireland and Europe.

During her lecture, Kinealy will draw from her most recent book, The Saddest People the Sun Sees: Daniel O’Connell and Anti-Slavery. She will also visit students in three classes and discuss Ireland’s Great Famine of the 1840s. For more information, email Keeley at

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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