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James Mackillop

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Speaking Appearences

Public Appearances

A teacher of public speaking with broadcast experience, James MacKillop has been in demand at lecterns for three decades. At first he was listed in the Speakers’ Bureau at Onondaga Community College as a service to organizations like the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. That led, along with his publications, to professional invitations in four countries.


Selected Topics

            *“Celtic Calendar Feasts: from Halloween to Groundhog Day”

“Contemporary American Playwrights:” A. R. Gurney, John Guare, David Mamet, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, Edward Albee, Terence McNally, Lanford Wilson, John Patrick Shanley, etc. One or selection can be tailored to the occasion, as with British and Irish playwrights.

“Contemporary British Playwrights:” Alan Bennett, Harold Pinter, Ronald Harwood, Michael Frayn, David Hare, Mike Leigh, Rona Munro.

“Contemporary Irish Playwrights:” Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh, Marina Carr, Tom Murphy

“Culloden: Story of the Last Land Battle Fought in the British Isles”

*“Halloween: Origins and Controversy”

“Irish Cinema,” with general videos; also with selections of hundreds of rare feature films

*“Irish Heroic Literature: Cúchulainn, Fionn and Deirdre”


“Northern Ireland: How It Happened”

“Saint Andrew’s Day and Scottish Celebrations”

The Quiet Man Speaks,” with video

“Seamus Heaney, the Soft-Spoken Nobel Laureate”

            *“Strong Celtic Women” (most popular topic)

            Robert Burns: “The Immortal Memory,” “Address to the Haggis” (in dialect)

            “Theater Scene: a) London, b) New York, c) Canadian Festivals, d) Dublin

            *Why Do the Irish Have Red Hair?”

            “Why People Hate Critics?”

Additional presentations may be tailored to a group’s needs, such as Italian-Irish relations for the Daughters of Columbus, etc.

*These four are often tied in with the books Dictionary of Celtic Mythology (Oxford) and Myths and Legends of the Celts (Penguin)



            Listed in the current catalogue of:


                        New York Council for the Humanities

                        Speakers in the Humanities

                        1500 Broadway, Suite 1700

                        New York, New York 19930

                        Tel: (212) 233-1131

                        Fax: (212) 233-4607




The Council sponsors only “Strong Celtic Women.” Any organization of any type in New York State that can muster forty persons for an audience may request Dr. MacKillop’s presence for free. The Council pays his fee and all expenses up to $250.



Professional Speaking Appearances (selected)

            Cattaraugus Genealogical Society, Salamanca, New York

            CinéGael Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

            East Yaphank Civic Association, East Yaphank, New York

            Gaelic & Historical Society, Mabou, Nova Scotia

            Gifford Lecture Series, Syracuse, New York: Introducing Frank McCourt

            Institute for Retired Professionals, Syracuse, New York

            Irish American Cultural Institute, Syracuse, New York

            Irish American Cultural Institute, Wayne, Michigan

            LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York

            Modern Language Association, Houston, Texas

            Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York

            Montauk Public Library, Montauk, New York

            National Council of Teachers of English, Detroit, Michigan

            Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

            Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, New York

            Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

            Saint Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

            Society for Cinema Studies, National Convention, Syracuse, New York

            SUNY at Cortland, New York: Gilbert Cahill Memorial Lecture

Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York:  Mary Marshall Memorial Address

            Université de Lille, Lille, France

            Université de Rennes, d’Haute Bretagne, Rennes, France

            University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

            University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island

            Wednesday Morning Club, Rome, New York



“Delicious  . . . a delicious presentation!”

 Proinsias MacCana, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies


“The depth of your knowledge served with the lightness of your delivery has given us exactly the kind of speaker we wanted to bring to Montreal.”

                        Patrick Vallely, CinéGael Montreal


“I am extremely grateful for the success of your informative, articulate, vibrant and thorough discussion. Of all our speakers this season, you were the best.”       Carolyn Balducci, Montauk Public Library


“The club members were very impressed with your presentation and the great ease of your delivery. Your knowledge of the subject matter is quite impressive.” Donna Schonewetter, Wednesday Morning Club, Rome, New York