BC Faculty Contribute to Major Work On Irish Studies

BC Faculty Contribute to Major Work On Irish Studies

Boston College faculty members have contributed to a two-volume collection of essays on Irish American history and culture that represents a major step in the field of Irish studies.

The essays are being published in a two-part special issue of the leading journal Eire-Ireland for which Irish Studies Program faculty member Assoc. Prof. Kevin Kenny (History) is serving as guest editor. Kathleen Costello-Sullivan, a doctoral student in English and Irish literature who has taught as a University fellow since 1999, is assistant editor for the project.

A reception will be held at Connolly House on Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate publication of the first volume, which covers the period from the American Revolution through the beginning of the 20th century. The second volume, scheduled for publication next spring, will focus on 20th-century events and trends related to Irish America.

"There have been issues of other journals and publications devoted to Irish America," said Kenny, "but this project offers an interdisciplinary view, and on a scale never before attempted. The Eire-Ireland volumes represent a flowering of scholarship in the relatively new field of Irish America. Irish-American studies are emerging as a new focus in the area of Irish studies, and these essays show the great possibilities for exploration."

Other BC contributors to the first volume are: Ruth-Ann Harris, a part-time Irish Studies faculty member, who examines themes in letters to home written by Irish immigrant women in the United States; Lect. Diane Hotten-Somers (English), who writes about the assimilation of Irish domestic servants, or "Bridgets," into the middle-class American home; and Catherine Eagan, recipient of a doctoral degree in English, who discusses the depiction of Irish racial characteristics in 19th-century Irish-American novels.

-Sean Smith


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