Villanova’s Irish Studies Program was founded in 1979 and elevated to a Center in 2016 thanks to the generosity of the Connelly Foundation. The Center for Irish Studies provides collaborative, interdisciplinary courses open to all University students to study Ireland and its diaspora.
The Center recognizes its role at Villanova University, founded by Irish Augustinians in Philadelphia in 1842, to explore the global dimensions of the Irish experience. Irish Studies provides students in all colleges the opportunity to participate in vigorous and engaged conversations about Irish identity, history and culture. Students can enroll in courses in the Irish language as well as in anthropology, literature, history, art, politics, theatre, and philosophy.
Visiting scholars, writers, and lecturers from Ireland, including our visiting Charles Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, keep alive our dialogue with Ireland. Outside the classroom, the Center organizes vibrant study abroad opportunities, particularly at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland, Dublin. Interested students may study in Ireland either in a semester abroad program or with the Summer in Galway program at NUI, Galway.
The Center sponsors two Villanova student groups—the Irish Cultural Society and the Irish Dance Team—and collaborates on events with local Philadelphia and Delaware Valley Irish-American groups, such as the Consul General of Ireland, the Irish Immigration Center, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Philadelphia Ceili Group, and the Irish American Business Chamber and Network.
The Center for Irish Studies would like to extend a warm welcome to both Andrea Ainsworth and Owen McCafferty. Both residents of Ireland, Andrea is a dialect coach who will be working with theatre students. Owen is our 2017 Heimbold Chair.