The Mind’s Eye: An Unlikely Advocate for British Voting Rights

Aurora Bullett, Staff Writer

Professor Anthony Daly recently spoke during at the Mind’s Eye. (photo from

The Mind’s Eye was first established at MCLA in 1977 as a scholarly journal dedicated to “civic discourse and critical thinking constitutive of a liberal arts education”. Today, under the supervision of English Professor Victoria Papa, it takes the form of a series of lectures, symposia, and discussions dealing with “cultural topics, socio-political inquiries, theoretical concerns, and creative practices.” Papa describes The Mind’s Eye as a way “to give faculty an opportunity to share research and creative work that is in progress and to benefit from discussion.”


On March 2nd, History and Political Science Professor Anthony Daly gave a presentation “Fighting for Democracy: An Irish Radical’s Struggle to Change British Politics”. He focused on William Sharman Crawford, an influential Irish landlord who used his station in life to get involved in politics and advocate for voting rights in nineteenth-century England.


Daly received his B.A. in History and International Relations in 1998 from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. in European History in 2006 from Boston College. He has been teaching at MCLA for over sixteen years, starting in 2006. He teaches various courses pertaining to European history and history in general.


Daly’s presentation focused on William Sharman Crawford (1780-1861). Crawford was a wealthy landlord in Ireland who became an integral part of Chartism, a movement that emerged in London in 1836 and aimed to give political power to the working class. According to Daly, during the time of Chartism, “only about fifteen to twenty percent of men could vote.” Though Chartism was largely unsuccessful and became less active after 1848, Crawford remained consistent and organized various meetings, spoke with prominent political figures, and advocated in parliament. In fact, Daly described Crawford as “the most consistent of them all.”


Dr. Daly traveled to Ireland in order to conduct some of his research. He visited many landmarks of Crawford’s life including the two estates that he owned and a monument that was erected in his honor by his tenants after his passing which now resides in the middle of a field of cows.


On Thursday March 30th, at 5:30 pm at 49 Main St., History Professor Mariah Hepworth will present “D.W. Griffith, World War I, and the Antiwar War Film.” Her research centers on American Politics and how they are affected by popular culture. Her presentation will be on American Film Director D.W. Griffith and how he taught Americans to engage with war through cinema in a time when war was defining American culture. 


On Monday April 10th, at 5:30 pm in the CSI Atrium, English Professor J. Antonio Templanza will present “Milton’s Metaphors of Knowledge.” His research focuses on seventeenth-century authors and how fluidity of seventeenth-century intellectual culture allowed them to engage with various philosophical frameworks. His presentation will use John Milton’s Paradise Lost as a case study of Milton’s idiosyncrasies in his works after losing his sight.