Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Posted in Announcements

photo is a headshot of Dr. Casey. Background is blurred and focused image consists of him wearing a burnt orange sweater with a white collar.

Georgetown University’s Global Irish Studies Initiative, in association with the Department of History, presented:

Queer Americans in Post-Revolutionary Ireland: Sex, Socialism, and the Occult, 1921-1933

Dr. Maurice J. Casey

Wednesday, October 4. This event was free and open to the public, but registration was required.

Was there a sexual revolution within the Irish revolution? This talk will explore this question through the lives of two American couples who relocated to Ireland during the 1920s: the Harvard Professor Arthur Kingsley Porter and his photographer wife Lucy Kingsley Porter; and the high-society couple Chester A. Arthur III, grandson of the 21st US President, and his wife, the little-known poet Charlotte Wilson. While living in Ireland, both couples explored avant-garde ideas of sexuality. Residing in rural Donegal, the Kingsley Porters lived for a time alongside Arthur Kingsley Porter’s boyfriend Alan Campbell. Based in literary Dublin during much of the 1920s, Chester Alan Arthur had affairs with other men and collaborated with his wife on an esoteric theory of human sexuality. Both couples were close to important Irish figures within intellectual and radical worlds. How did their Irish contemporaries understand the queer dynamics of these couples? What were the afterlives of their sexual and political experiments in 1920s Ireland? Asking such questions can shed new light not only on Ireland’s place within the wider history of early 20th century sexual modernity, but also reveals the vibrant and less-considered lives of migrants within post-independence Ireland.

Dr. Maurice J. Casey is a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, where he works on the project Queer Northern Ireland: Sexuality before Liberation. From September to October 2023, he will be a visiting researcher based at Boston College. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2020.

This event was free and open to the public. If you wish to make a donation to support the Global Irish Studies series of free lectures and seminars, it will be gratefully received. Please go to our Giving page to make a tax-free donation or click on the button below: