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Mechanics’ Institute

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3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States

June 2015

14th Annual Bloomsday Celebration: Re-Joyce in the Stacks

Tuesday, June 16th @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Muses, Music and Dramatic Readings from James Joyce’s Ulysses Presented by the Mechanics' Institute, co-sponsored by The Irish Literary & Historical Society Sojourn though the streets of Dublin with Leopold Bloom and other characters featured in James Joyce’s quintessential novel Ulysses and other works. The evening includes dramatic readings and song performed by Bruce Bierman, John Ilyin, Esther Mulligan, Melanie O’Reilly, Josiah Polhemus, and Laura Sheppard. Fiddler Anne Goess and musicians offer lively accompaniment with a selection of traditional and…

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October 2015

Shamrock Isle: the Irish at the PPIE at Mechanics’ Institute

Wednesday, October 21st @ 6:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Shamrock Isle: the Irish at the PPIE - A lecture with public historian Elizabeth Creely Mechanics' Institute Library & Chess Room Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 6:00 PM Mechanics' Institute San Francisco. Join Elizabeth Creely as she explores the phenomena of Irish Villages at World Fairs, beginning with the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and ending at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. In Chicago, the "Irish Industrial Village" presented an image of Ireland rehabilitating itself under British supervision.…

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February 2016

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, discussion group, Mechanics’ SF

Wednesday, February 10th @ 6:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Discussion Group. Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 6:45pm - 7:45pm This modernist bildungsroman traces the religious and intellectual evolution of Stephen Dedalus. Joyce’s debut novel uses literary techniques the author would develop further in his later works, and concerns the awakening and self-exile of Joyce’s fictional alter ego – who will appear again in Ulysses. Widely considered to be one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century, this book…

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, discussion group, part 2 at Mechanics’

Wednesday, February 24th @ 6:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Discussion Group. Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – 6:45pm – 7:45pm This modernist bildungsroman traces the religious and intellectual evolution of Stephen Dedalus. Joyce’s debut novel uses literary techniques the author would develop further in his later works, and concerns the awakening and self-exile of Joyce’s fictional alter ego – who will appear again in Ulysses. Widely considered to be one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century, this book will…

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March 2016

Author Timothy Egan reading @ Mechanics’ Institute

Wednesday, March 2nd @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Free

1916 Easter Rising Centennial Commemoration Event Series at Mechanics’ Institute Mechanics’ Institute is pleased to co-sponsor this series with the Irish-American Crossroads Festival, Irish Literary and Historical Society, Humanities West. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero Timothy Egan tells the Irish American story through the life of Thomas Francis Meagher.  A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was…

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Women’s Roles in the 1916 Easter Rising – Sinéad McCoole

Sunday, March 20th @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

Irish-American Crossroads is proud to present Sinéad McCoole. Irish historian, author, broadcaster, scriptwriter, and exhibition curator. As a curator, she has originated and collaborated on a number of important exhibitions on Irish history and Irish art both in Ireland and the US. Her areas of expertise include The Rising, the War of Independence, and Civil War, with an emphasis on the role of women. As an author, McCoole has published No Ordinary Women: Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900-1923 and…

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Remembering Irish Women of the Easter 1916 Rising

Thursday, March 31st @ 6:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Free

Remembering Irish Women of the Easter 1916 Rising. A reading and conversation with Sinéad McCoole. Mechanics Institute, SF. 6 pm. Free for Crossroads donors, $15/general public.  

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April 2016

Voices of the Easter Rising 1916: A Theatrical Evening of Irish Poetry, Stories and Song

Thursday, April 28th @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

This performance created especially for the centennial expresses the passions of poets, protesters and activists in the quest for independence. This staged reading includes inspiring passages by playwright Sean O’Casey, speeches by political leader James Connolly, poems by Patrick Pease and William Butler Yeats, the daring deeds of Countess Markievicz, and first-hand accounts of the revolt by fighter Margaret Skinnider and more. Live music of the revolution brings it all together. Directed by Hal Gelb. Admission for all events: Members…

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Film Screening of Michael Collins (1996)

Friday, April 29th @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Free – $10

Directed by Neil Jordan, Liam Neeson, and Aidan Quinn, this biopic of the IRA co-founder Michael Collins, Rickman plays Éamon de Valera as a man who begins as Collins’ revolutionary ally and ends as his philosophical opponent. Covering the end of the Easter rising to Collins’ assassination in 1920, this movie was the highest grossing film ever in Ireland on its release in 1996, surpassed only by Titanic four years later. Both its cinematography and score were nominated for Oscars.

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June 2016

Bloomsday Noon Celebration and Lunch

Thursday, June 16th @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 12:00pm Admission includes lunch and libations. Eat, Read, Walk on the Wild Side of Dublin! A special Bloomsday menu will be served with community readings of Ulysses by James Joyce and lively conversation! Bring your books and favorite passages! Bloomsday attire is welcome!

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February 2017

Remembering Tom Hayden, Mechanics’ Institute

Thursday, February 9th @ 6:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Tom Hayden, who passed away last October, was an iconic figure in America’s anti-war movement and a campaigner over many years for peace and justice in Northern Ireland. He led an extraordinary life of organizing, writing, and political reform. He put himself on the line during Mississippi Summer in 1964, was a principal opponent of the Vietnam War, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial, and served nearly 20 years in the California legislature. He was the principal author in…

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June 2017

Annual Bloomsday Celebration @ Mechanics’ SF

Friday, June 16th @ 6:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Annual Bloomsday Celebration Dinner, Concert, and Community Readings Friday, June 16, 2017 - 6:00pm Eat, Read, Drink, and Walk on the Wild Side of Dublin! The evening begins with a special Bloomsday menu with lively musical interludes featuring a Celtic music ensemble with singers Melanie O’Reilly, Esther Mulligan, & John Ilyin; and Michael Booi Volk (mandolin), and Pat Duffey (guitar). This is a community reading of Ulysses by James Joyce -- so, bring your book and be ready to read…

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June 2018

Bloomsday @ Mechanics, SF

Saturday, June 16th @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Music, Readings, and Cuisine! Eat, Drink, Read, and Walk on the Wild Side of Dublin! The evening begins with a special Bloomsday menu with lively musical interludes featuring a Celtic music ensemble with singers Melanie O’Reilly, Esther Mulligan, and John Ilyin accompanied by Anne Goess on violin and others! This is an open mic and community reading of Ulysses by James Joyce -- so, bring your book and be ready to read and share your favorite short passages! Bloomsday attire…

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August 2018

An Evening with the Eugene O’Neill Foundation

Wednesday, August 15th @ 6:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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  An evening with Eric Fraisher Hayes, who has directed over 20 different Eugene O'Neill plays, and actors from the Eugene O'Neill Foundation who will talk about their upcoming season and perform scenes from the production of Hughie by Eugene O'Neill which will be part of an international theater exchange between Danville, California and New Ross, Ireland. Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St, San Francisco

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October 2019

Irish Revolution History- Dr. Myles Dungan

Monday, October 14th @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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This four part series will take place every Monday starting October 14 and ending November 4th! Dr. Myles Dungan (PhD Trinity College, Dublin, 2012) will be leading the conversation. For three years (1919-1922), Irish radical nationalists took on the military might of the British Empire in an uneven struggle. This short course examines how they fought their colonizers to a standstill, and achieved independence. Oct 14 Topic: An introduction to the Irish revolution 1919 - 1921 A short account of…

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Irish Revolution History- Dr. Myles Dungan

Monday, October 21st @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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This four part series will take place every Monday starting October 14 and ending November 4th! Dr. Myles Dungan (PhD Trinity College, Dublin, 2012) will be leading the conversation. For three years (1919-1922), Irish radical nationalists took on the military might of the British Empire in an uneven struggle. This short course examines how they fought their colonizers to a standstill, and achieved independence. October 21 Topic: Newspapers, propaganda and the Anglo-Irish War How nationalist newspapers were censored and suppressed…

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Irish Revolution History- Dr. Myles Dungan

Monday, October 28th @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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This four part series will take place every Monday starting October 14 and ending November 4th. Dr. Myles Dungan (PhD Trinity College, Dublin, 2012) will be leading the conversation. For three years (1919-1922), Irish radical nationalists took on the military might of the British Empire in an uneven struggle. This short course examines how they fought their colonizers to a standstill, and achieved independence. October 28 Topic: War in the Shadows: Michael Collins and covert intelligence How Collins, as IRA…

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November 2019

Irish Revolution History- Dr. Myles Dungan

Monday, November 4th @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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This four part series will take place every Monday starting October 14 and ending November 4th! Dr. Myles Dungan (PhD Trinity College, Dublin, 2012) will be leading the conversation. For three years (1919-1922), Irish radical nationalists took on the military might of the British Empire in an uneven struggle. This short course examines how they fought their colonizers to a standstill, and achieved independence. November 4 Topic: What did you do in the War of Independence, Grandad? How to use…

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The Waterboys: O’Shaughnessy, Mulholland and the Delivery of ‘Liquid Gold’

Friday, November 8th @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Free

In partnership with Hinterland. The story of two Irish-born engineers, from very different backgrounds, who had a profound impact on the growth of California's two greatest cities -- by guaranteeing adequate supplies of water. One of California's leading historians and activists, Gray Brechin (Imperial San Francisco) will discuss the controversial Hetch Hetchy dam project and its motive force, Irish engineer Michael Maurice O'Shaughnessy. Myles Dungan (How the Irish Won the West) will follow up with the parallel and equally divisive…

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The Irish of the Comstock Lode

Friday, November 8th @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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Free

Filmmaker Geordie Lynch tells the epic tale of how the discovery of silver in 1859 transformed San Francisco from a mining boomtown into a world-class metropolis. Geordie's presentation intersperses video clips from his documentary film-in-progress "City of White Gold" with a fascinating account of four Irishmen from humble origins who challenged the most powerful bank in the West for control of the mineral-rich Comstock Lode.

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The Alpha Male in Irish History

Saturday, November 9th @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. Irish historian and broadcaster Myles Dungan on 'How to Keep Great Irish Women Down (temporarily)' -- a tongue-in-cheek survey of Irish 'alpha' males from Charles Stewart Parnell to the prurient and relentless Roman Catholic Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. Daniel Cassidy was a much-loved musician, and academic who ran the Irish Studies programme at New College, San Francisco up to the time of his death in 2008.

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The Irresistible Rise of the Type Trail

Saturday, November 9th @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. Kells-based artist (via the far less chic location of Paris) Mark Smith will discuss the first decade of a unique project combining type, linguistics, art installation, and lots of walking. The annual Kells Type Trail -- a multilingual extravaganza of creative design based on the Irish love of words and a multiplicity of fonts - is a concept destined for world domination, one neighbourhood / town / city at a time. Mark will be in conversation…

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Celts, Kilts and Croatians

Saturday, November 9th @ 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. How the Clash met the Clancy Brothers and gave birth to the Pogues, and what strange Fairy Tales of New York followed. Jim Lockhart -- the legendary Horslips Celtic-rock multi-instrumental frontman, long-time music producer, and all-round good egg, offers his take on the development of a raucous and legendary corner of recent Irish popular music history.

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James Joyce and Paris

Saturday, November 9th @ 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. James Joyce arrived in Paris to study medicine in 1902, with orders from his parents to return home for Christmas. A discouraging start to what became an extraordinary relationship between man and city. In James Joyce and the Matter of Paris, UC Berkeley Professor of English, Catherine Flynn, explores Joyce's interaction with the city where Ulysses was published in 1922. In conversation with playwright Matthew Spangler.  

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Brian Murphy: A Life in Sport

Saturday, November 9th @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. Broadcaster Brian Murphy is almost as well-known to Irish sports fans as to San Franciscans. He is the sage and erudite 'US Murph' of the Second Captains podcast. As well as four hours a day 'on air' on KNBR Radio's 'Murph and Mac' morning show he somehow finds time to write books! Six so far, three devoted to the exploits of the World Series-winning Giants of 2010, 2012 and 2014. He will be in conversation with…

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The Cruelty Men: Irish Novel of the Year, 2019

Saturday, November 9th @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. Emer Martin is a true renaissance woman (adult writer, children's writer, artist, filmmaker). Her fourth novel, The Cruelty Men, was nominated for Irish Novel of the Year 2019, and was described by Irvine Welsh as 'a tidal wave that drags you like a piece of debris through Irish history'. It is an unsentimental, multi-generational saga of the dark days in Ireland from the 1930s to the 1960s when the unholy Trinity of Rome, rum and reaction…

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Brexit — An Irish Perspective

Saturday, November 9th @ 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. The UK has a Halloween appointment with destiny. If that manifests as a 'no deal' implosion, Boris's trick is unlikely to be Ireland's treat. Ireland's San Francisco Consul General Robert O'Driscoll, Derryman Matt Regan (Senior VP Government Relations with the BAYAREA Council), and Irish journalist and historian Myles Dungan, discuss the implications for Ireland of the UK exit from the EU.

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Adapting Lying in Wait

Saturday, November 9th @ 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

n partnership with Hinterland. The theatrical adaptation sessions of Matt Spangler (The Kite Runner) have become a feature of the Hinterland (Kells) festival. This time it's slightly different in that Matt only has to travel from Mountain View to explain how he would approach adapting Liz Nugent's chiller Lying in Wait ('crackles and snaps like a bonfire on a winter's night' -- A.J.Finn). Liz will be looking on, so no pressure really.

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Liz Nugent — Public Interview

Saturday, November 9th @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. With her debut novel Unravelling Oliver mystery writer Liz Nugent made a spectacular entrance onto the Irish and international literary stage. She followed up with Lying In Wait and Skin Deep, and her books have all been number one bestsellers. She has been long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award and is a frequent winner at the Irish Book Awards. Liz was named 'Irish Woman of the Year' in Literature in 2017. She will be in…

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The 1984 Anti-Apartheid Produce Strike

Saturday, November 9th @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. Mary Manning knew virtually nothing about apartheid in South Africa when, at the age of 21, she carried out a directive of her union and refused to 'ring up' the sale of two Outspan oranges. She was suspended by Dunne's Stores and nine of her co-workers walked out in support, thus becoming central figures in a prolonged strike. Mary Manning, co-author of Striking Back: The Untold Story of an Anti-Apartheid Striker, will be in conversation with dramatist…

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Tom Maguire: An Irish Impresario in 19th Century San Francisco

Sunday, November 10th @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. Glen Gendzel, San Jose State University historian, looks at the rollercoaster career of Tom Maguire, son of New York Irish pre-Famine immigrants. Maguire was an illiterate taxi driver when he joined the California Gold Rush. He then rose to the top of the theater business in boomtown San Francisco, making and losing several fortunes in the process, before (spoiler alert!) he eventually went bankrupt and fled back to New York.

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Horslips and Shamrock’n’roll

Sunday, November 10th @ 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. Irish music -- where it has come from, how it's been developing, why Sinéad (O'Connor of course) sings sean-nós, and how Horslips fit into the story. The second instalment of Irish musical legend, Jim Lockhart's musings on the 'Long March' of modern Irish popular music, and on the part played in the revolution by those maestros of Celtic Rock, the five Horsemen of the Apocalypse, better known as Horslips.

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The Short Stories of Ethel Rohan

Sunday, November 10th @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. As well as being an accomplished novelist -- her 2017 debut, The Weight of Him was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book -- Ethel Rohan is also a master of that very Irish (and Russian, and American) format, the short story. She has two well-received short story collections to her credit (Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone). Ethel will be in conversation with Hinterland director Tony Bucher.

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Adapting STRIKING BACK

Sunday, November 10th @ 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. Kellie Hughes (Irish theatre director) and Matt Spangler (The Kite Runner) discuss their stage adaptation of Mary Manning's saga of her role in the 1984 anti-Apartheid supermarket produce strike, a creative process that began at Hinterland (Kells) in 2018, and moved forward with a rehearsed reading at the 2019 Hinterland Festival, which drew a standing ovation from an appreciative audience, Mary Manning herself amongst them.

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From Talking Funny to Talking for TED

Sunday, November 10th @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$15

In partnership with Hinterland. What do you do if you don't like public speaking and you have to speak in public? You hide in a closet, right? Not if you're Dave Nihill. Instead you learn to be a stand-up comedian. You keep at it until you win one of the most prestigious US comedy competitions. You give a TED talk about it, then you pass it all on in a best-selling book Do You Talk Funny? Join us for some…

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Slow Printing in a Digital World

Sunday, November 10th @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mechanics’ Institute, 3rd Floor Library 57 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
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$10

In partnership with Hinterland. In 2017, the town of Kells inherited a mothballed printing works in which lurked some rare and precious 19th century offset machines. They are now at the centre of The Printworks (a Mark Smith project) where 21st century types (pun intended) will come to learn and love 19th century technology. Mark will be joined onstage by Dr. Kathleen A. Walkup, Professor in Book Art at Mills College, Oakland, and an occasional blogger at New Irish Journal.

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