The M.A. in Irish Literature and Culture has a strong track record of graduates applying to and successfully completing Ph.D. programs at a range of prestigious universities, including the University of Notre Dame, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, Emory University, Fordham University, the University of Buffalo, the University of Chicago, and the University of Connecticut.
Many other graduates have found gainful employment in a variety of educational (high and middle school teaching, adjunct faculty at the college level, writing center directors) and other professional (library science, marketing, publishing) settings.
M.A. candidates are encouraged to utilize the Boston College Career Center.
Mollie Kervick (’16)
I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Irish Literature at the University of Connecticut. BC’s M.A. in Irish Literature and Culture provided me with outstanding preparation for doctoral work. I entered the program with a general interest in contemporary Irish poetry, but I wasn’t sure what I could do with that interest. Two years later, I left with a much clearer idea of how I could continue to develop and also market my area of scholarship. The program offered me intensive study in the Irish language, allowed me to work closely with exceptional faculty, and culminated in a comprehensive oral exam that was both a dynamic academic and social experience. In addition, the number of Irish cultural and academic talks, conferences, and events at BC and in the surrounding Boston-area further added to my rich experience.
Brendan Flanagan ('14)
The most significant decision I made in graduate school was the one to join the Irish Literature & Culture concentration. This small program fostered close professional ties —between faculty and students and among the students themselves — that gave me the support network I needed to master the challenges of graduate school. The program itself is intellectually intense and stimulating, allowing master's students a level of focus that you usually only find at the doctoral level. This combination of academic rigor and a strong learning community led me to my current profession as a teacher at the intermediate, secondary, and college level. The mentoring relationship I had with my advisor inspired me to become an educator and gave me a model of what a successful teacher-student relationship should look like. While the MA in English is an excellent program overall, I truly believe that it was the decision to fulfill the Irish Literature & Culture concentration that made me the professional educator I am today.
Eliscia Kinder (’13)
During my M.A. at BC, I worked at the Burns Library and have invested my career in libraries ever since. I was recently accepted into the University of Alabama’s MLIS program, where I will continue to explore the convergence of information science and the humanities. I currently work as a digital solutions librarian in New York City and am an active volunteer with the New York-based Irish Arts Center.
Allyson Manchester ('13)
I am a tenth-grade English teacher at Falmouth Academy, an independent secondary school on Cape Cod, M.A. When I went on the job market in 2014, my Boston College professors supported me in all aspects of my job search. They wrote thoughtful recommendations, revised my written materials, and prepared me for campus visits. Although I always loved my time in the M.A. program, I did not realize its value until I began teaching full-time at Falmouth Academy. My M.A. coursework challenged me to interpret literature in creative and meaningful ways. My work in the Teaching Fellows Program, then, showed me how to encourage students to develop interpretations of their own. Through the M.A. program I found a fulfilling career—and, more importantly, I feel confident in it.
Anastatia Curley (‘12)
I'm in an English Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. The Irish Studies M.A. definitely helped me along the way—it gave me an opportunity to do sustained work in Irish literature, something I wasn't able to do in my undergrad. That work continues to inform (content- and methodology-wise) what I'm trying to do in my dissertation—which will feature a number of Irish texts, considered as Irish texts, among works from other national contexts.
Marion Quirci (’11):
I am a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University at Buffalo, specializing in Irish literature, modernism, and disability studies. My dissertation, "Fitness for Freedom: Disability, Dismodernism, and the Body Politic in Irish Writing," considers twentieth century literary responses to cultural stereotypes and political metaphors characterizing Ireland and the Irish as disabled. Boston College's M.A. in English with a concentration in Irish literature and culture provided more than an education in Irish literature, language, and history: the program helped me to develop the skills in research, archival work, writing, public speaking, and teaching necessary for an academic career.
Marissa Loon (’09)
I am currently the Director of the Academic Resource Center at Nichols College in Dudley, M.A. Since beginning this role in August 2010, I have taught in the English Department here as well: Expository Writing, and I was invited to teach a mid-level special topics course on Contemporary Irish Fiction. As an M.A. student in Irish Literature & Culture, my M.A. certainly played a large role in me being asked to teach--especially the English elective course. My MA has been instrumental in all of my positions since graduating, both because a graduate degree was required for the positions and also because much of what I learned throughout the program has had real-world application in my daily work.
Lindsay Haney (’08)
I [recently] finished a Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to the coursework and the degree, the M.A. at Boston College gave me my first real sense of the professional practices and expectations in our discipline. The attention to professionalization was a particular help to me, and based upon conversations with my colleagues in this department, my impression is that other MA-granting institutions do not always equip their graduates so well in this regard.