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March 2017

March 8th, 2017 / 7:00 PM

Irish-American Autobiography with Jim Rogers

Irish-American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims, and More.

The Museum is pleased to welcome back James Rogers, director of the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies and editor of New Hibernia Review: A Quarterly Record of Irish Studies. Rogers will present a program on his new book, Irish-American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims, and More, which examines the question as to whether or not there is a distinct Irish identity in America. The program will be on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom.This program is free and open to the public.

Rogers’ book seeks to answer the question “is there still a distinct Irish identity in America?” While the age of heroic immigration is over, and today the term “Irish-American” almost always means an American of Irish descent, the Irish of today have nonetheless stayed among the most visible ethnic group (not in the least because St Patrick’s Day has been adopted by the nation at large). However, for all the external trappings of Irishness, the terms, traditions, and nuances of that identity stay elusive. Rogers’ book opens a new window on the shifting meanings of “Irishness” over the twentieth century by looking at a range of works, including celebrity memoirs, which have never before been considered as a distinct body of literature.

James Rogers has spent most of his adult life working directly in Irish Studies.A native of Minnesota, he attended Metropolitan State University and the University of St. Thomas. Since 1996 he has been director of the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies, and assumed the editorship of New Hibernia Review in 2006.Rogers was also president of the American Conference for Irish Studies from 2009 to 2011.He is a widely published essayist and poet. He has contributed articles on regional Irish history to New Letters, Minnesota’s Irish, Elysian Fields Quarterly, and The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America from University of Notre Dame Press. He also edited and introduced Extended Family: Essays on Being Irish American from New Hibernia Review (Dufour Editions, 2013).

A book signing will immediately follow the program and copies of his book Irish-American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims, and More will be for sale.

For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department via email at or by telephone 309-827-0428.Free parking will be available at the Lincoln Parking Deck located one block south of the Museum on Front Street.

March 9th, 2017 / 12:10 PM

Lunch and Learn: Designing a Better Future presented by Johnathan Green

Join Johnathan Green, Illinois Wesleyan University Provost, for a discussion on the launch of a new interdisciplinary major: Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Learn why they believe a liberal-arts college is the perfect hope for this contemporary and revolutionary new curriculum.

March 22nd, 2017 / 12:10 PM

ISO Lunch and Listen

March 22 12:10 p.m.

Lunch and Listen

As an extension of the Lunch and Learn series, the Museum, in partnership with Illinois Wesleyan University and Collaborative Solutions will host a “Lunch and Listen” program in the Gov. Fifer Courtroom. A member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra will play a lunch time concert that will preview works of an upcoming ISO performance. Watch the Museum’s website and Facebook page for more details coming soon!

March 25th, 2017 / 11:00 AM

Challenges, Choices, & Change: Farming in the Great Corn Belt exhibit opening program

The Museum’s next new permanent, Challenges, Choices & Change: Farming in the Great Corn Belt, will open to the public on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. with an opening program at 11:00 a.m.

This new exhibit will feature artifacts, images,video, digital inter-actives, and other hands-on activities, connecting visitors to McLean County’s rich farming and agricultural history.