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Lecture by Tara Guissin-Stubbs

March 19, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Scholar Tara Guissin-Stubbs, Associate Professor in English Literature and Director of Studies in English Literature and Creative Writing at Oxford University, lectures on “Symbols from Within, and Symbols from Without: The Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance” as part of Princeton University’s 2020-21 Fund for Irish Studies series.

This talk considers James Weldon Johnson’s assertion in his Preface to The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922) that the black poet needs to find ‘symbols from within rather than symbols from without’ in order to find a suitable form; in so doing, Johnson contends, the poet will be doing ‘something like what Synge did for the Irish’. It will discuss overlaps between the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance, to try to understand just what Johnson meant, and what this means for us now.

tara smiling with light brown hair wearing orange sweater
Photo courtesy Tara Guissin-Stubbs

Guissin-Stubbs is an associate professor in English literature, and director of studies in English literature and creative writing at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and dean of Kellogg College, Oxford. She is the author of a range of publications on Irish and American literature, poetry, and transatlantic culture, including American Literature and Irish Culture, 1910–1955: The Politics of Enchantment (2012); Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture with Doug Haynes (2017); and her most recent monograph, The Modern Irish Sonnet: Revision and Rebellion (2020). She is also the book reviews editor for the open access journal International Yeats Studies and a senior fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford. Her next book project will build on her public engagement work on poetry and structure, which discovers analogies for poetry within nature and visual art to find new ways of thinking about poetry, and to break down some of its mystique.


This virtual event is free and open to the public. Join the lecture via Zoom Webinar; registration required.


This event is recorded for archival purposes only and will not be available for viewing after the event.


The event will include live closed captions in English. Patrons can join the Webinar and view captions or connect directly to the captioned event through StreamText. Reference these instructions for using StreamText (PDF).

If you are in need of other access accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.


March 19, 2021
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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