Mary Burke

Why the Moon Travels

As a follow-on to the UCHI-facilitated UConn Reads panel on Irish Travellers (April 2021), Oein DeBhairduin, multi-award-winning Irish Traveller activist, scholar, and co-founder of LGBT+ Tara (Traveller and Roma Alliance) will discuss Why the Moon Travels (Skein, 2020), his retelling of Irish Traveller oral lore illustrated by Traveller artist Leanne McDonagh. This is the first book of Traveller folktales by a member of that indigenous and historically non-literate and nomadic Irish minority. In a public event open to all, DeBhairduin and McDonagh will speak to Mary Burke’s Honors Short Story online class about the opportunities and challenges of gathering and illustrating the oral tales. Contact for WebEx link and accommodations.

Sponsored by Irish Studies/English Department.

Tuesday, October 26, 2:00–3:00pm on WebEx

UConn Reads: Irish Travellers

Irish Travellers: The Nation State, a Marginalized Minority, and Climate Crisis. A panel discussion with Mary Burke (UConn), Malcolm Sen (UMass Amherst), and Jamie Johnson (Photographer). Live. Online. Registration reuiqred. APril 8, 2021, 4:00pm. UConn Reads. The Future of Truth. UConn Humanities Institute.

Irish Travellers: The Nation State, a Marginalized Minority, and Climate Crisis

April 8, 2021, 4:00pm. An online panel discussion. Registration required.

Join us for this panel discussion on Irish Travellers, part of the UConn Reads program, which focuses on The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (University of Chicago, 2016) by Amitav Ghosh.

The panel, organized by Mary Burke (Professor of English, University of Connecticut), considers global issues of environmental racism, environmental justice, and climate crisis with specific reference to Travellers, a racialized and historically nomadic indigenous Irish ethnic minority. Travellers’ traditional lifestyle, centered around mobile recycle and repair services offered to dominant Irish society, was an inadvertently environmentalist practice that was repressed and degraded by postwar Ireland’s coercive settlement policies, the wider implications of which will be read against the coming climate crisis and its threat to make refugees of millions with no cultural memory of the nomadic mode upon which to draw. The panel consists of UConn’s Mary Burke, author of a cultural history of Travellers with Oxford UP, UMass Amherst’s Malcolm Sen, editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Irish Literature and the Environment, and photographer Jamie Johnson, who has just published a collection of photographs of contemporary Traveller children. Leanne McDonagh (Traveller artist) and Mícheál Ó hAodha (scholar-activist) will serve as respondents.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at or by phone (860) 486-9057.