Galley Head Lighthouse Ireland
Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Irish Culture & Society
The Center for Irish Programs, under the leadership of Director James H. Murphy, encompasses all Irish initiatives at Boston College including the University's Irish Studies program, the Irish Institute, the Burns Library Irish Collections, Boston College Ireland in Dublin, and the Gaelic Roots Program.
Boston College was founded, in part, to educate the sons of Irish emigrants who had settled in Boston. Today, the Center for Irish Programs continues this important mission. Through links within the academic, business, non-profit, and government communities of Ireland and America, the Center seeks to support and connect the many Boston College students, alumni, and friends with an interest in all things Irish.
Our Boston College Ireland facility in Dublin is host to numerous academic, civic, and political leaders of prominence from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, and Great Britain.
Irish Studies has become, over the past decade, a budding and fast-growing academic field in China with impressive achievements in institutional development and scholarly research.
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Book presentation and donation ceremony with local author Ellen B. Alden
Ellen B. Alden is a former elementary teacher who turned her love for history, education, and family into an award-winning historical novel. Based on a series of nineteen letters written by her great-great grandfather that she found one day in her attic, Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke tells the story of an Irish farmer who emigrated to West Springfield, Massachusetts to escape the ravages of the Great Famine and later faced the desolation of Civil War battlefields in Virginia as a volunteer in the Union Army.
Alden will discuss her book and play a recorded excerpt from the letters read by WROL radio host Seamus Mulligan with music and images of the Civil War. Alden will also speak about her research and writing journey and the unexpected places it has taken her.
The program will conclude with the formal donation of Florence Burke’s original letters and photographs to the John J. Burns Library for rare books, special collections, and archives at Boston College, and an acapella rendition of “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears” performed by Boston College alumna and friend Julie Zavrl.
A reception will follow. Copies of Alden’s book will be available for purchase and signing. All are welcome.
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Niall Vallely possesses a unique approach to playing the concertina and has established himself worldwide as one of Ireland’s most significant musicians and composers. Since the early 1990s Niall has worked at composing traditional-style tunes. His tunes have been recorded on more than 75 albums while some of them have become ‘standards’ throughout the world. Over the past year he has released albums of new compositions and had premiere performances of new music at Liberty Hall, Dublin and the Market Place Theatre, Armagh.
6:30 AM – 8:30 PM
In his Boston College debut, award-winning novelist and short story author Donal Ryan will read from a selection of his works. Donal's forthcoming novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, scheduled for release by Penguin Random House in July, tells the story of three men, each searching for something they have lost; a lover, a brother, a Syrian homeland.
The Irish Studies Doctoral Students of Boston College, in conjunction with the Center for Irish Programs, are pleased to launch Comhfhios Boston College, an annual conference emphasizing new theories, new media, and innovative approaches to Irish Studies. Comhfhios, meaning “knowledge together” or “open to all knowledge,” invites emerging scholars in Irish Studies to gather in Boston, share research projects, and generate new discourses within the discipline. This year will focus on the concept of “Living Irishness”: topics can include pop culture, cross-culture, new materialisms, the everyday, and representations of what it means to live or perform Irishness. Featuring a keynote address by Angela Bourke (Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, UCD) and a presentation by Richard Kearney (Philosophy, BC), the day-long event will also include a panel presentation and a “unconference” roundtable. Comhfhios Boston College will conclude with a reception and special performance.
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The winning of women's right to vote was among the great social and political changes of the second decade of the twentieth century in Ireland. Marie Coleman, Queens University Belfast, will present a talk that explores the origns and consequences of the enfranchisement of women.
"Open the Door for Three" is a road-tested, audience-approved, high-octane, fist-in-glove, laughing-out-loud trio of Irish musicians. The group mines books, collections, and readings for old and new tunes, adding to their discoveries with new arrangements and the signature sound of good friends playing great music together.
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
This symposium, hosted by Burns Scholar Professor Jason Knirck, will bring together a number of Irish historians working in the United States to discuss their ongoing work on Irish politics and culture.
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Burns Scholar Lecture, "A Loyal Opposition? The Development of Parliamentary Opposition in the Irish Free State"
Professor Jason Knirck traces the ways in which political opposition developed under the difficult circumstances of the decade after the winning of Irish Independence. A brief reception will follow.
Cillian Vallely, uilleann pipes and low whistle player from Armagh in the north of Ireland, and Kevin Crawford, an exceptional flute, whistle, and bodhran player, have joined forces to create a critically acclaimed album, "On Common Ground:. They will be joined by up and coming Irish acoustic guitarist Patrick Doocey.
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
A day-long symposium during which four panels will explore Hume's major contributions to advancing civil and human rights and the crucial role he has playing in shaping the Irish peace process. The event includes the American launch of "John Hume: In His Own Words", Four Courts Press.
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM