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About Irish Studies at Boston College

The Irish Studies Program at Boston College offers an interdisciplinary academic approach to the study of Irish culture and society. Individual undergraduate and graduate courses address social, political and economic history, literature, medieval arts, sociology, music, and the Irish language. The extensive Irish collections of the Burns and O'Neill Libraries enhance each of these disciplines, offering a wealth of resources to Boston College students and faculty.

Boston College was founded in 1863 by Ulstermen, Andrew Carney and John McElroy, S. J. Since that time, the University has maintained a special intellectual and social connection with Ireland and Irish America. In 1913, when Boston College relocated from Boston's South End to Chestnut Hill, the University honored that connection by naming the most significant room on campus the Irish Room. A focal point of the Irish Room is its imposing stained glass window depicting St. Patrick, which stands in dedication to the Boston Irish neighborhoods that supported the University from its inception.

Today, Boston College is one of the largest and most diverse Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States and our flourishing Irish Studies Program represents an important part of the Univerisity's mission. The Irish Studies Program, created in 1978 by Professors Kevin O'Neill and the late Adele Dalsimer, has become one of the most successful and influential Irish Studies programs in North America.

Our program offers an undergraduate minor in Irish Studies, an English Department MA in Irish Literature and Culture, and an MA in History with a concentration in Irish History. Doctoral programs in English and History attract, train, and successfully place outstanding PhD candidates within their respective disciplines.  Some vital components of the Irish Studies Program include the comprehensive lecture, film, and music series which are periodically presented.

Irish Studies freqeuntly collaborates with the University's McMullen Museum of Art to offer a number of exhibitions focused on the visual arts and Ireland, including Éire/Land, which The New York Times described as reaching "far beyond traditional art history into sociology, political science and gender studies." Please visit the Irish Studies calendar at for information on coming events.

BC's Irish Studies faculty is comprised of internationally recognized scholars whose influential publications and professional commitment have positioned them as leaders in the field. Their expertise spans a range of subjects, such as 18th, 19th, and 20th century Irish history and literature, Irish music and dance, and the American Irish. Faculty are also involved with such interdisciplinary fields as women's studies, American studies, ethnic studies, and area studies.


The William B. Neenan, S.J. Visiting Fellowship at Boston College-Ireland

Applications are invited for the Neenan Visiting Fellowship, at Boston College-Ireland, for 2016. The Fellowship is named to honour the work of the late William B. Neenan, S.J., who came to Boston College in 1979 as the University's first Thomas I. Gasson Professor. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1980 to 1987 before assuming the role of academic vice president and dean of faculties. During Fr. Neenan's tenure, the University established itself among the nation’s top institutions of higher education. Since 1998, Neenan had served as both vice president and special assistant to the president.

The Neenan Fellowship is open to any scholar working in the field of Irish Studies and requires the recipient to conduct research in Dublin. It may be held at any time during the calendar year, for a required minimum of two months. The holder of the Fellowship is awarded a stipend of €5,000, as well as an office in the Boston College-Ireland facility (including administrative support services) during their fellowship term. They will stage, with Boston College Ireland, a one-day research symposium based around their research interests.

The closing date for Fellowship application is December 4, 2015. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, along with an explanation of the research you wish to undertake in Ireland (including details of proposed outputs), to Professor Mike Cronin,

Professor Mike Cronin

Boston College

43 St Stephen’s Green

Dublin 2