Fionnán Mac Gabhann Receives Leonard Norman Primiano Graduate Student Travel Award

AFS News, Prizes
headshot of Fionnán Mac Gabhann walking outdoors

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section of AFS is pleased to award the first ever Leonard Norman Primiano Graduate Student Travel Award to IU graduate student Fionnán Mac Gabhann (Indiana University).

Fionnán’s work heeds Leonard Primiano’s call to disrupt the artificial binary between folk and official religion by applying a folkloric lens to a member of the clergy, in this case Irish Catholic Priest Father Éamonn Ó Confhaola. Known as a healer and magically-endowed priest, Father Éamonn Ó Confhaola works with those who come to him for help in matters practical, spiritual, and philosophical. Using the lens of past local precedent, Father Éamonn Ó Confhaola engages his parishioners on issues of ethics and morality, community and society, tradition and modernity, and reality and truth.

Fionnán’s dissertation will focus on collective memory as articulated through a range of related genres of oral tradition including prophecy and charms as they are preserved, developed, and reimagined by vernacular historians or “seanchaí.” As Ray Cashman writes in his letter of recommendation, having immersed himself in the social fabric of the community where Father Éamonn Ó Confhaola works, “Fionnán is well positioned to advance considerably our work in study of vernacular religion, the ethnography of speaking, performance studies, memory studies, and contemplations of the relationship between individuals and tradition.”

We sometimes make mistakes, and we are happy to correct any errors that you may come across on our site. If you find an error, please let us know using the “submit a correction” link.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share your news

Have some important news to share? We can help you get it out there! Fill out the submission form and send it our way.