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Irish Studies at Hofstra University

Irish Studies Affiliated Faculty and Staff


Patricia Cregan Navarra (Program Director) is a founder of the Irish Studies Program at Hofstra University. The program offers a rich variety of interdisciplinary courses, an Irish Studies minor, an essay contest, a new Irish Studies Society, a robust study abroad opportunity, and community programming. That latter includes a film series (“Reel Ireland”), a book club in partnership with the Irish American Centre, concerts, poetry readings, student internships, and - of course - proud participation in several St. Patrick’s Day parades.

As director of the Hofstra in Ireland study abroad program since 2010, she has accompanied hundreds of Hofstra students to Ireland in a program that is proudly accessible to all. Highlights of study abroad include student participation in the Galway Arts Festival and the Galway Film Fleadth. Trained by the late Gene Frankel (“Father of Off Broadway”) in acting and playwriting, she has performed and produced theater in New York and Los Angeles, and is co-author and an original cast member of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, which ran for 22 years Off-Broadway and in hundreds of cities throughout the world. Professor Navarra holds a BA in English from SUNY Buffalo and an MA in Literature and Creative Writing from CUNY Queens.

In addition to directing and teaching in the Irish Studies Program (Modern Irish American Literature and Culture; Ireland Inside Out; Anglo-Irish Drama), Professor Navarra is a member of the Writing Studies & Rhetoric Department. She also teaches in the English Department (Creative Writing), Honors College (Drama and the Irish Political Stage), and a First Year Cluster in Drama and Dance (This Great Stage). True to the tradition of her Irish heritage, Professor Navarra is a national labor leader in the American Association of University Professors. She will serve as a guest scholar at the 2018 Tennessee Williams Provincetown Festival to discuss the works of Williams and Samuel Beckett.


Professor Margaret Burke has served in the Axinn Library Reference Department since 1999. Her subject areas include Women's Studies and Romance Languages and Literatures and she has now taken on the responsibility of Irish Studies. As liaison to Irish Studies, Professor Burke has been bringing the Library collection in this area up to date. She has an M.A. in Humanities and has published on the contemporary Irish poet, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. Professor Burke has had the opportunity to study in Ireland and travels there often.


Professor Darrah Carr holds an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Named one of the Influential Women of 2010; by the Irish Voice and one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Irish Echo. She is the Artistic Director of Darrah Carr Dance and describes her choreographic style as Moderin: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. Recent performance highlights include: NBC's The Today Show and a performance with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Carr has presented her research at the Congress on Research in Dance, the World Dance Alliance, and Dance Research Forum Ireland. She recently contributed a chapter to Close to the Floor: Irish Dance from the Boreen to Broadway, published by Macater Press. Carr has also written numerous articles for Dance Magazine, Dance Studio Life, Dancer, and the Dance Insider. www.darrahcarrdance.com.


Professor Leandra Reilly has been teaching in the Radio, Television and Film department of the School of Communication since 2004. An award winning national broadcaster with over twenty years experience in television news and sports, she is also a critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose film has been screened at the IFFM of New York City. The documentary, "Running Down a Dream," premiered in Philadelphia and was televised nationally on pay-per-view. A producer of music videos and award winning mini-documentaries, she also produces instructional videos and infomercials. She studied screenwriting at NYU, and is a member of IFP and ASCAP. At Hofstra she teaches "Sound & Image Aesthetics" as well as "Television Performing." A frequent traveler to Europe-including Ireland and Northern Ireland, Reilly studied at the Paris/ American Academy of Fine Arts.


Connie Roberts, a County Offaly native, emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1983. Her poetry has been published in journals in the U.S. and Europe. In 2010 she received the Patrick Kavanagh Award for her manuscript Not the Delft School; was awarded first prize in the Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Competition; and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. In 2011 she received a Literature Bursary Award from the Irish Arts Council and was nominated for the Hennessy X.O. Literary Awards. She has been a finalist in several poetry contests, including the Strokestown International Poetry Competition, the iYeats Poetry Competition (twice), the Allingham Arts Festival Poetry Competition, the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award, the North West Words Poetry Prize (twice), the Fermoy International Poetry Competition, the Swift Satire Contest, and the Dana Awards. In 2013 she received the Poetry Collection Award at the Listowel Writers' Week Festival, and in 2014 she won the Boyle Arts Festival Poetry Competition. Spring 2015 Arlen House, Dublin published her debut volume, Little Witness, a collection of poetry inspired by her experiences growing up in an industrial school (orphanage) in the Irish midlands. The New York Times published a profile of her in 2015. She teaches creative writing and is part of the Irish Studies Program at Hofstra University. Visit her website at ConnieRobertsPoet.com.


Phyllis Zagano is an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar and lecturer on contemporary spirituality and women's issues in the church. Her award-winning books include Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church (First Place, 2001 Catholic Press Association and 2002 College Theology Society), Women & Catholicism: Gender, Communion, and Authority (Second Place, 2012 Catholic Press Association) and Women Deacons? Essays with Answers (First Place, 2017 Catholic Press Association).

Her writing is widely translated — her best-selling On Prayer: A Letter for My Godchild is in Indonesian, Spanish and Italian as well as English — and she edited the Liturgical Press’ "Spirituality in History" series.

She is a member of the Papal Commission for the study of the diaconate of women. She is the winner of two Fulbright awards and her professional papers are held by the Women in Leadership Archives, Loyola University, Chicago.