Dr. Guy Beiner, Craig and Maureen Sullivan Millennium Chair, professor of history and director of Irish studies at Boston College, will deliver the 19th annual Rev. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Lecture, hosted by the Department of History, on Monday, March 6, at 4:30 p.m. in the Beaumier Suite of Raynor Memorial Libraries.
Beiner’s lecture is called “Forgetting a Global Pandemic: Lessons from the Spanish Flu” and will touch on his edited collection, “Pandemic Re-Awakenings: the Forgotten and Unforgotten ‘Spanish’ Flu of 1918-1919.” Released last year, the book brought together work from 22 scholars on five continents.
Beiner is a distinguished historian of 19th-century Ireland and history and memory. His work crosses disciplinary boundaries as he began researching the interconnections between folklore, history and memory in Ireland during the 1990s and, until recently, he was based at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He has been a frequent visiting scholar in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. Beiner is the only two-time recipient of the Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society for the best book combining historical and folkloristic materials and methodologies. He was honored for his works, “Remembering the Year of the French: Irish Folk History Social Memory” and “Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster.”
In the late 2010s, Beiner turned his attention to the Spanish Flu pandemic, a topic which proved sadly prescient given what the world has faced since 2020.
The annual Casper Lecture was inaugurated by the History Department in 1993 to honor Rev. Henry W. Casper, S. J., a longtime member of the history departments at Creighton University and Marquette University, where he retired as professor emeritus in 1974. He was an expert in 19th century European History and in American church history; his most important work was a three-volume history of the Catholic Church in Nebraska. The Casper Lecture, as well as several programs for graduate students in history, is funded by an endowment from Dr. and Mrs. Wayne L. Ryan of Omaha. Ryan was a student of Casper’s at Creighton.