The 12th Annual Ernie O’Malley Lecture:
David Emmons discusses
“Exiles and ‘Evangelizers’: Catholic Ireland’s Western American Empire”
Thursday, November 18th at 7pm
In the twelfth annual lecture in this series endowed by Cormac K. H. O’Malley in honor of his father, Ernie O’Malley, Professor David Emmons presents “Exiles and ‘Evangelizers’: Catholic Ireland’s Western American Empire.”
Drawing from material in his recently published Beyond the American Pale: The Irish in the West, 1845–1910, Professor Emmons will speak about what the historian Patrick O’Farrell once called the “religious imperialism of Ireland,” the belief that God had set the Irish to wandering in order to make use of them as English-speaking evangelists. Irish Catholics, priests and laity alike, would follow wherever British imperialism or American expansionism had gone, subverting the Protestantism that animated both. This missionary Catholicism, however, turned the Irish from victims of British imperialism into the blunt instruments of American expansionism. Some Irish Americans were comfortable enough in the role; others were not, pointing out not just the irony but the injustice of Irish treating American Indians as cruelly as they themselves had once been treated.
A native of Denver and graduate of the University of Colorado, David Emmons is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Montana were he has taught since 1967. He is the author of numerous articles on the Irish in western America and three books, Garden in the Grasslands (1969); The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town (1989), awarded both the Robert G. Athearn Prize of the Western History Association and the Ellis Island-Statue of Liberty Centennial Prize; as well as Beyond the American Pale (2010).
Introductions by Cormac K. H. O’Malley, Prof. Joe Lee, and Alan Noonan (PhD candidate in History at University College Cork, Glucksman Visiting Scholar at NYU 2009-2010, and Visiting Student at University of Montana 2006-2007).