Ireland House Oral History Collection

Charles Fanning

Charles Fanning, photo courtesy of Charles Fanning


4 November 2009

1 hour, 58 minutes, 45 seconds

Preferred Citation:

Ireland House Oral History Collection, Archives of Irish America, New York University

Biographical Note:

Charles Fanning was born in 1942 in Norwood, Massachusetts to Frances Patricia and Charles Fanning. His ancestors hailed from Galway and Cork. He attended public schools in Norwood before attending Harvard University where he received a BA in English literature in 1964. Fanning then attended the University of California at Berkley for a semester. He graduated from Harvard with an MAT in 1966, University of Pennsylvania in 1968 with a Masters Degree and in 1972 with a PhD. Before finishing school, Fanning began teaching at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts where he taught for 20 years. He formed an Irish Studies program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale which remains today. Fanning has published extensively on Irish America and Irish American literature. He is now retired, and at the time of the interview, working on a novel and finishing his memoir.


Photo Credit:

  1. Courtesy of Charles Fanning


  1. A two-boater is slang Fanning used in the course of the interview to describe immigrants who landed first in Canada, stayed there for a time and then boarded a second boat to migrate into the United States, in particular, Boston, Massachusetts.