Oswego English professor receives sixth NEH grant for Yeats seminar

reading YeatsLike last summer, 15 schoolteachers from across the United States will spend four weeks in Galway, Ireland, studying the works of poet William Butler Yeats with Professor Ed O’Shea this summer. 

O’Shea, a professor of English, has received a $98,110 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to offer the summer seminar at the National University of Ireland at Galway.

It is his sixth grant from the NEH since 1992. “They have been going very well,” O’Shea said.

The Oswego professor’s seminar is one of 16 NEH Summer Seminars for School Teachers funded for 2006. Each seminar enables 15 schoolteachers to explore a topic with a scholar having special interest and expertise in the field. O’Shea’s proposal was selected along with projects by professors from such institutions as Harvard and Duke universities, Amherst College and the University of Virginia.

O’Shea’s first three summer seminars took place on the Oswego campus. He took the program to Ireland for the first time in 2003.

“Galway is an ideal place for a Yeats seminar since it is a delightful city in itself, but it is also close to important Yeats sites at Thoor Ballylee, Coole Park, and somewhat further, Sligo,” O’Shea wrote on his Web site on the seminar—www.yeats2006.org.

The 2006 seminar, “W.B. Yeats and the Two Irelands,” will focus on “Yeats’ often problematic relationship with both Celtic Ireland and Anglo-Ireland,” O’Shea said.

The seminar will begin July 3 in Galway. Participants are competitively chosen and receive a $3,000 stipend, which covers most expenses. Finalists were selected last month.

NEH seminars provide opportunities for teachers to be “re-energized intellectually,” he said.

O’Shea has been teaching and writing about Yeats for over 20 years. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Yeats, at Northwestern University, and Dolmer Press in Dublin published it under the title “Yeats as Editor.” He also compiled “A Descriptive Catalog of W.B. Yeats’s Library,” which has become a standard reference work in Yeats studies.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Under Ben Bulben—SUNY Oswego English Professor Ed O’Shea reads W.B. Yeats’ “Under Ben Bulben” in the Irish churchyard where the poet lies buried, with Ben Bulben in the mist, last summer. He received his sixth grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to offer a Yeats seminar for schoolteachers this summer.

(Posted: Apr 05, 2006)

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