Presented by Professor Elizabeth McKillen as part of the History
Department Symposium Series.
For much of her early life, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington devoted herself primarily to the women’s
suffrage cause in Ireland. Yet when her pacifist husband, Frank Sheehy Skeffington, was brutally
executed without trial by British troops during the Irish Easter Rebellion, Hanna travelled to the
United States on lecture tours to raise funds for the Irish nationalist cause. Professor McKillen
will explore Sheehy Skeffington’s lectures and consider their importance in shaping political
debates over President Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policies. Sheehy Skeffington’s ideas proved
particularly significant in influencing public opinion within Irish America and a U.S. Left political
subculture. McKillen also will consider why the Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the
FBI) considered Sheehy Skeffington a threat to national security and relentlessly tracked her
activities throughout her tours.
This lecture is the fourth in the 2018-2019 Department of History Symposium Series, which is supported
in part by a grant from the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Fund.
The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. For more information or a
reasonable accommodation, please contact Mark McLaughlin: (207) 581-2028;