Irish Studies: About the Program
Irish Studies at Hofstra University is an interdisciplinary program with rich course offerings and events on Ireland's past and present. By studying the cultures, Diaspora, economy, history, politics, and social relations of Ireland, we develop an awareness of ways that the Irish have both shaped and been shaped by other societies, including the United States.
We offer an undergraduate minor in Irish Studies. Our minors have a bevy of courses to choose from, including courses on Irish business, dance, film, history, literature, politics, religion, theater, and society. A minor in Irish studies will prepare students for careers in the arts, conflict resolution, international affairs, international business, education, and translation as well as for advanced degrees in a wide range of subjects.
Hofstra University is the largest private university on Long Island. Created in the Spring of 2008 by Drs. Gregory Maney and Maureen Murphy, the Irish Studies Program is the first on Long Island and fills a major void. Over half a million people of Irish ancestry live on Long Island. Of these, approximately ten thousand were born in Ireland. Irish Americans seeking to know more about their heritage and ethnicity have few formal learning opportunities. At the same, pressing social issues facing recent Irish emigrants on Long Island are not being addressed. Our program distinguishes itself in the wide range of our course offerings as well as our high level of engagement with and service to the broader community.
In addition to our courses, our program is organizing the following activities:
- A summer studies program in Ireland
- Annual film and lecture series on topics relating to Ireland
- Conferences and exhibits
- Day-long workshops and summer classes designed to raise interest in Irish culture among youth on Long Island
- Partnerships with community-based organizations to address the needs and interests of the Irish community on Long Island through research, course offerings, and events
Hofstra University faculty affiliated with our program are internationally known for their work in Irish Studies. Hofstra faculty, emeriti faculty, and alumni have published extensively in the field, including at least 29 books. Several current faculty either teach courses, conduct research, or create artistic pieces on matters related to Ireland. For instance, Professor Emerita Maureen Murphy was the Associate Director of the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland and is on the Board of Directors of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Woodside, Queens. She is also the editor of numerous publications related to Ireland. Dr. Laurie Johnson studies ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland. She has been the Sheelagh Murnaghan Visiting Professor at Queens University in Belfast. Darrah Carr is the Artistic Director of Darrah Carr Dance and has been named one of the top 100 Irish Americans of the year by Irish America Magazine. Connie Roberts in the English Department recently received second prize in the prestigious Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Contest. Dr. Phyllis Zagano in the Religious Studies Department has received a Fulbright to conduct research at the University of Limerick.
Beyond expert faculty, Hofstra also hosts the annual Irish Festival and two longstanding radio shows on WRHU with Irish themes: Long Ireland and Irish Country. The University Library System already possesses extensive, relevant primary and secondary sources.
For additional information, please contact Professor Patricia Navarra.