Publications

Forthcoming
Natasha Sumner. Forthcoming. “Kenneth E. Nilsen (1947-2012): Gaisgeach nan Gàidheal [Champion of the Gaels].” In North American Gaels: Speech, Story, and Song in the Diaspora, edited by Natasha Sumner and Aidan Doyle. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Natasha Sumner and Joseph Nagy. Forthcoming. “Vernacular Literature.” In Dánta: Poems from the Irish, edited by Brian Ó Conchubhair and Sam Fisher. Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University Press.
Natasha Sumner. Forthcoming. “The Fianna and the Folklore Collectors.” In The Gaelic Finn Tradition II, edited by Sharon Arbuthnot, Síle Ní Mhurchú, and Geraldine Parsons. Dublin: Four Courts.
Natasha Sumner and Aidan Doyle. Forthcoming. “North American Gaels.” In North American Gaels: Speech, Story, and Song in the Diaspora, edited by Natasha Sumner and Aidan Doyle. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Natasha Sumner and Aidan Doyle (eds.). Forthcoming. North American Gaels: Speech, Story, and Song in the Diaspora. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. Publisher's Version
2019
Natasha Sumner. 12/1/2019. “A Version of Diarmaid agus Gráinne Attributed to Three Storytellers.” Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, 66, Pp. 179-212. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Dieser Aufsatz enthält Erörterung, Text und englische Übersetzung der Version der Geschichte über Diarmaid und Gráinne, die 1930 nach Seán Mac Con Rís Erzählung niedergeschrieben wurde. Die Erörterung stellt zuerst den Erzähler und den Sammler vor. Als Nächstes wird auf den höchst ungewöhnlichen Umstand eingegangen, dass zwei spätere Märchensammler zwei weiteren Erzählern im Wesentlichen dieselbe Geschichte zuschreiben. Im Weiteren wird sowohl dargelegt, dass alle drei Texte als eine einzige Version (erzählt von Mac Con Rí) zu betrachten sind, als auch, dass nicht von einer Unehrlichkeit seitens des zweiten und dritten Sammlers auszugehen ist. Schließlich wird die Beziehung der Erzählung von Mac Con Rí zur breiteren Erzähltradition über Diarmaid und Gráinne betrachtet.
Natasha Sumner. 7/2019. “Review of The Early Finn Cycle, by Kevin Murray.” Speculum, 94, 3, Pp. 868-70. Publisher's Version
2018
Natasha Sumner. 2018. “Diarmaid and Gráinne in Oral Tradition.” In Tóruigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne: Reassessments, edited by Kevin Murray. Irish Texts Society Subsidiary Series 30, Pp. 107-58. London: Irish Texts Society.
2017
Natasha Sumner. 5/2017. “Fionn mac Cumhaill in Twenty-First-Century Ireland.” North American Journal of Celtic Studies, 1, 1, Pp. 82-106. Publisher's Version
2016
Natasha Sumner. 7/1/2016. “Efnisien’s Trickster Wiles: Meanings, Motives, and Mental Illness in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi.” Studia Celtica Posnaniensia, 1, 1, Pp. 73-89. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This article examines the character of Efnisien in the Second Branch of the medieval Welsh collection of stories known as the Mabinogi. From the mid-nineteenth century until the present day, Efnisien has proved a troubling character for critical analysis. A preliminary examination shows that typologically, due to his antagonistic irrationality, he shares traits with both trickster and psychopathic figures. After highlighting these aspects of his characterisation, the article moves on to an analysis of Efnisien’s function in the text. It is observed that Efnisien’s irrationality is incongruous with the contingency and social relevance of the other characters’ actions. He is shown to be the erratic, motivational force within catastrophe, and as such, to personify the inexplicable nature of such life-altering events and lend meaning to uncertain circumstances. From a Žižekian analytic perspective, he functions as a repository figure of ideological excess enabling the rationalization of incomprehensible trauma and securing the fictive narrative in which meaning is produced. Efnisien – trickster, psychopath, figure of excess – is thus shown to be vital to the production of meaning in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi.
Natasha Sumner. 2016. “Review of The Gaelic Finn Tradition, edited by Sharon J. Arbuthnot and Geraldine Parsons.” Celtica, 28, Pp. 250-54.
2015
Natasha Sumner, Barbara Hillers, and Catherine McKenna. 4/20/2015. “A Night of Storytelling and Years in the ‘Z-Closet’: The Re-discovery and Restoration of Oidhche Sheanchais, Robert Flaherty’s ‘Lost’ Irish Folklore Film.” Folklore, 126, 1, Pp. 1-19. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This article describes the acquisition by Harvard University's library of a print of Robert Flaherty's short 1934 film in the Irish language, Oidhche Sheanchais (A night of storytelling), the apparent disappearance of all copies of the film after 1943, the rediscovery of Harvard's copy in 2012, and the restoration process that has ensued. The authors discuss the song and the maritime legend at the heart of the film, as well as the film's significance as an early ethnodocumentary. The Appendix provides, for the first time, the text of the film's soundtrack, with full English translation.
Robert Flaherty (dir.). 2015. Oidhche Sheanchais. Edited by Natasha Sumner (Irish/English subtitles). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Film Archive [London: Gaumont-British Picture Corporation Ltd., 1935].
2014
Natasha Sumner. 2014. “How Popean was Rob Donn?: A Study in Intertextuality.” Aiste: Rannsachadh air Litreachas Gàidhlig / Studies in Gaelic Literature , 4, Pp. 96-113.
2013
Natasha Sumner. 2013. “The Ceudach Tale in Scotland and Cape Breton.” In Celts in the Americas, edited by Michael Newton, Pp. 218–47. Sydney, Nova Scotia: Cape Breton University Press.
Natasha Sumner. 2013. “Women’s Conduct and the Poetry of Sìleas na Ceapaich.” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 32, Pp. 304–24.
Natasha Sumner. 2013. “Laoidh an Tàilleir ‘The Ballad of the Tailor’: Sartorial Satire and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Scotland.” In Celts and their Cultures at Home and Abroad: A Festschrift for Malcolm Broun, edited by Anders Ahlqvist and Pamela O’Neill, Sydney Series in Celtic Studies 15: Pp. 327–47. Sydney, Australia: Celtic Studies Foundation, University of Sydney.
2012
Barbara Hillers. 2012. Buntús na Gaeilge: Textbook for Irish 133r: Intermediate Modern Irish. Edited by Natasha Sumner (Connacht dialectal adaptation). Harvard, private circulation.
2011
Barbara Hillers. 2011. Buntús na Gaeilge: Textbook for Irish 132: Introduction to Modern Irish. Edited by Natasha Sumner (Connacht dialectal adaptation). Harvard, private circulation.
Natasha Sumner. 2011. “James Thomson’s The Seasons, Gone Gaelic: The Emergence of a Poetic Trend.” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 30, Pp. 236–58.