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About Irish Studies at Boston College

The Irish Studies Program at Boston College, under the leadership of Interim Director James H. Murphy, 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 √Čire/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 /centers/irish/studies/calendar.html 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.