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James Mackillop

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James MacKillop, Ph.D.

            As a professional writer for thirty years, James MacKillop has published more than 1.7 millions words in parallel careers as a scholar/critic and a journalist. In a search of Internet sites, one finds his name most often as the author of the Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology and the Penguin Myths & Legends of the Celts, the most prominent of his seven books. He is co-editor, with Maureen Murphy, of An Irish Literature Reader, the world’s most widely used college-level textbook in that field. Although actually born of Highland Scottish descent, MacKillop is the past president of the American Conference for Irish Studies, and his controversial Unauthorized History of organization may be downloaded for free {see publications}. For twelve years he led a theater and archaeology tour to Ireland. At present he is editor of the Irish Series at Syracuse University Press.

            Even before establishing credentials in scholarship, MacKillop was an arts journalist in broadcast and print media. His Celtic studies post-doc at Harvard included time for advanced film theory, and he taught film history for seven years and also produced. His stage reviews began with the classical music station WONO-FM and continued with the Syracuse Post Standard and also the New Times, where he has been a contributing editor since 1984.  Reviews and feature stories often total 60,000 words a year and have earned him the Syracuse Press Club Award for Criticism sixten times.

            Lastly, MacKillop also travels professionally as an invited public speaker, appearing three dozen times in four countries, and as a tour leader of theater excursions. For Syracuse Stage, the city’s professional theater, he has led well-subscribed tours to London, England, and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Ontario.