This discussion will look at how conventional ideas of ‘manhood’ or ‘maleness’ – which are often associated with ‘strength’, ‘virility’ or ‘dominance’ – are impacted by concepts and experiences of ageing. The discussion is chaired by journalist and author Hilary Fannin (pictured), with panellists including lecturer in Film and Media Studies Tony Tracy, author Mike McCormack and lecturer in Irish Drama at UCD, Cormac O’Brien.
The Bealtaine Discussion Series 2023 is devised and presented in association with Dr. Michaela Schrage-Frueh (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures) and Dr. Maggie O’Neill (Irish Centre for Social Gerontology) from the University of Galway.
Hilary Fannin (CHAIR)
Hilary is an award-winning playwright, novelist and newspaper columnist. Up until January this year, for the past decade she has been writing a weekly column for The Irish Times and was named Irish Broadsheet Columnist of the Year in 2019. Her memoir, Hopscotch, was published to critical acclaim in 2015. Her first novel, The Weight of Love (2020 ) won the John McGahern Award for debut Irish fiction.
Tony Tracy is lecturer in Film and Media Studies and co-founder of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, University of Galway. His research centres on film history and Irish cinema with a particular interest in masculinities. His monograph is White Cottage, White House: Irish American Masculinities in Classical Hollywood Cinema (SUNY 2022). He has authored numerous articles and co-edited a number of collections including Ageing Masculinities in Irish Literature and Visual Culture (Co-edited with Michaela Schrage-Früh) (Routledge, 2022), Irish Masculinity and Popular Culture: Tiger Tales (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and John Huston: Essays on a Restless Director (McFarland, 2010). He was part of the Irish research team of the Gender-Net Plus ERA-Net project “MASCAGE – Gendering Age: Representations of Masculinities and Ageing in Contemporary European Literatures and Cinemas” (2019-2022).
of both the UK Academy of Social Sciences and the Gerontological Society of America.
Mike McCormack is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Mayo. His previous work includes Getting it in the Head (1995), Crowe’s Requiem (1998), Notes from a Coma (2005), which was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award, and Forensic Songs (2012). In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and in 2007 he was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. His latest novel, Solar Bones (Tramp Press, 2016), won the Goldsmiths Prize, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Best Novel and Best Book, and the Dublin International Literary Award (previously known as the IMPAC). He was nominated for a slew of other awards, including the Booker Prize. His new novel, This).
Dr. Cormac O’Brien
Dr Cormac O’Brien is a lecturer in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. Cormac has published widely on masculinities and sexualities in Irish culture, as well as several landmark essays on HIV/AIDS in Irish culture and politics. His first book, Masculinities and Manhood in Contemporary Irish Drama: Acting the Man was published in December 2021.