Our Events

Abbey Theatre Summer Studio June 2016, Dublin

Abbey Theatre poster

Villanova University's Irish Studies Program and Departments of English and Theatre welcome applications for our immersion course at the National Theatre of Ireland, studying the literature, history, and practice of Irish theatre during this centennial year commemorating Dublin's 1916 Easter Rising.

The Summer Studio, a Villanova University course, invites graduate and undergraduate students to Dublin in this centenni
al year to study the literature, history, and practice of Irish theatre. This unique three-credit summer-abroad course examines the major works and history of the Abbey Theatre and trains students in the production techniques of Irish Theatre. From the studio to the stage, students will develop their work for a final showing on the Abbey Theatre's Peacock Stage.

Visit the Villanova Irish Studies website for more info or email: 


(view the larger poster by clicking the link below)

Spring 2016

James Joyce

6:30 p.m.
James Joyce Birthday Celebration
An Evening of Music, Readings & Dance

Jack McShea’s
34 East Lancaster Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003


Jonathan Blake

Jonathan Blake

"Culture, Politics, and the Paradox of Anti-Politics in Loyalist Parading in Northern Ireland."

4:30 p.m.
Fedigan Rm. 400
St. Augustine  Center


Easter Rising

FEBRUARY 17th-july 1st
Exhibit "To Strike for  Freedom: The 1916 Easter Rising”
Falvey Memorial Library, 1st Flr.

In 1916, Irish nationalist men and women rose up against England to fight for Ireland’s independence. England’s centuries-long rule of Ireland has resulted in numerous Irish revolutions over the years. The Irish  rising of Easter week, 1916, however, was unique in that it inftiated final steps towards Irish independence. As Ireland prepares for the 100-year anniversary of the Easter Rising, Falvey’s special collections commemorates the event in this exhibit of items held in the Joseph McGarrity Collections.


Glenn Patterson

Novelist, Glenn Patterson Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair for Irish Studies
Driscoll Hall, Auditorium Rm 132

Glenn Patterson was born in Belfast and educated there and at the University of East Anglia where he studied for an MA in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. He is the author of eight novels and two works of non-fiction. His plays and stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and articles and essays have appeared in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Irish Times, and Dublin Review. Before coming to Queen's University Belfast as writer-in-residence (1994) he was Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia and writer-in-residence at University College Cork. He has also presented numerous television documentaries and an arts review series for RTE. A film, Good Vibrations, co-written with Colin Carberry, is due for cinema release in 2013. In 2008 he was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He is a member of Aosdana.


Good Vibrations

Film Screening:|“Good Vibrations”
7PM Connelly Cinema
Facilitated By: Glenn Patterson Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair for Irish Studies

To Strike for Freedom
Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

A celebration of Irish culture in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, featuring reaDings by the Villanova community. (Free & open to the public.)


Colin Barr

Dr. Colin Barr, Aberdeen University
The Ireland’s Empire: The Catholic Church in the English-Speaking World 1830-1914
Speaker's Corner in Falvey Library,
4:30 PM


APRIL 12-24
Villanova Theatre presents
By: Brian Friel
Directed by: Valerie Joyce

For more information visit: villanovatheatre.org

Irish treasure Brian Friel’s most celebrated play follows English soldier and cartographer George Yolland to the town of Baile Baeg, where he finds himself falling in love with the local language and a local lass.  But can their love flourish as Empire and colony collide? Translations navigates the peaks and valleys of love, communication, and the quest for freedom — taking audiences on a journey across cultural and political boundaries. Hailed as a “modern masterpiece,” Friel's captivating play begs the question: is the language of the heart universal?

Symposium image

Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium: Irish Women and Theatre
Location: TBA


plough and the stars

Staged Reading of the Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey
6-8 PM, Vasey Theatre

Fall 2015  

A Reception For James and Kathryn Murphy
Thrsday, Novwember  12
4:30 P.M.
Speakers' Corner
Falvey Memorial Library

Featuring Poetry Readings By:
Award-Winning Poet and Former Heimbold Chair, Moya Cannon

Please join us to celebrate James ad Kathryn Murphy's palnned donation of 300 signed, first edition Iirsh Poetry books to the Library.

Co-sponsored by the Irish Studies program and Falvey Memorial Library

Spring 2014

Poet Eamon Grennan and the Curlew Theatre Company presents Grennan’s play "The Muse & Mister Yeats"

Poet Eamon Grennan and the Curlew Theatre Company presented Grennan’s play "The Muse & Mister Yeats"

Friday, April 24
Vasey Hall Black Box Theatre
6:00 p.m.
Celebrating the 150 years the birth of W.B. Yeats’s  in 1865

The Muse & Mister Yeats is a "play for voices"--performed by Tegolin Knowland and Seán Coyne, written and produced by Eamon Grennan. It presents, one by one, the various women with whom W.B. Yeats was romantically involved, each one chosen in her turn as his "Muse"--inspirer and receiver, that is, of some of his best-known lyric poems. By voicing a number of these poems, and by presenting the women themselves offering their own comments on their various "situations," the play sketches a portrait of Yeats-in-love. The critical book, W.B.Yeats and the Muses by the American Yeats scholar, Joseph Hassett, as well as various biographies were used as sources in the composition of this hour-long dramatic work.

Irish Language Media

Dr. Regina Uí Chollatatáin

Tuesday, April 14
4:30 p.m.
Radnor St. David's
Connelly Center
University College, Dublin,
Irish Language Media

Dr Regina Uí Chollatáin is a Donegal native living in the midlands of Ireland. She is a Senior Lecturer in the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics in University College Dublin, Ireland. Her main areas of research are Irish language Revival Studies and Media. Her books include a monograph on the first Irish language newspaper in An Claidheamh Soluis agus Fáinne an Lae 1899-1932 (2004), an assessment of the Gaelic column in An cholúnaíocht liteartha: Critic iriseoireachta (2008), a co-edited reappraisal of the life Pádraic Pearse, P.H. Pearse: Life and After-life (2009), an assessment of the comic tradition in Irish in An Greann sa Ghaeilge. Her most recent book evaluates the twentieth century literary journal Comhar in a co-edited edition in Cnuasach Comhar 1982-2012.  She is currently working on a monograph on the history of Irish language media in the Revival movement and print culture.

Dr. Maureen Murphy Quaker, “Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine,”

Dr. Maureen Murphy
Evangelist , “Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine,”

Monday, March 30th
SAC 300
4:00 p.m.

Dr. Murphy, one of the founders of Irish Studies in the United States, spoke about her long-term biographical interest in the intrepid figure of Asenath Nicholson, one of the greatest diarists about conditions during An Gorta Mór in the mid-nineteenth century.  Her thirty-year efforts have coalesced in a biography recently released which she read from and discussed.

The Irish Language Yesterday and Today, Lecture by Eoin Mc Evoy,

The Irish Language Yesterday and Today, Lecture by Eoin Mc Evoy,

Thursday, March 19th
Speaker's Corner in Falvey Library, 5pm.

 Irish Gaelic has been spoken in Ireland since the arrival of the Celts to the island from mainland Europe and has been greatly affected by the subsequent migration of different peoples to and from the island. This lecture will serve the listener as a biography of the language, giving an overview of the "birth" of the language, explaining its relation to the other languages of Europe and tracing it from its earliest phase in Ireland to its present situation through the major events of Irish history. The talk will be held in English but the listeners will leave the talk with a few words and phases in Gaelic.

Novelist, Claire Kilroy Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair for Irish Studies

Novelist, Claire Kilroy
Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair for Irish Studies

Tuesday, March 17

6:00 p.m. reception
President's Lounge, Connelly Center
7:00 p.m. reading
Connelly Center Cinema

Claire Kilroy's debut novel All Summer was described in The Times as 'compelling ... a thriller, a confession and a love story framed by a meditation on the arts', and was awarded the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her second novel, Tenderwire was shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Novel of the Year and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. It was followed, in 2009, by the highly acclaimed novel, All Names Have Been Changed and The Devil I Know in 2012. Educated at Trinity College, she lives in Dublin.

"Edmund Burke and Patriotism"

"Edmund Burke and Patriotism"

Saturday, February 28th, 2014
Sponsored by the Edmund Burke Society and Villanova University's Irish Studies Program.  

For more information on this one-day symposium visit the following website.

The keynote speakers included:

Irish novelist, John Boyne

Irish novelist, John Boyne

Reading 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday Feb 24th
St. Rita's Community Room

John Boyne is the author of nine novels . His novels are published in 47 languages. Boyne's new novel is narrated by Father Odran Yates, a man of faith who has served as the chaplain of a boy's school in Ireland for nearly thirty years.  When scandal begins to engulf the Church in the twenty-first century, Odran is taken away from his beloved school to serve a parish whose priest--Odran's best friend from seminary--has been removed. Boyne was born in Dublin, where he still lives. His first short story was published by the Sunday Tribune and in 1993 was shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award.

James Joyce Birthday Celebration

James Joyce Birthday Celebration

Monday, February 2nd
7:00 p.m.

An Evening of Music, Readings & Dance
Jack McShea’s
34 East Lancaster Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003

Fall 2014 Events

Villanova Univeristy Presents Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival

Villanova Univeristy Presents Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival

Saturday, November 1

The Grand Irish Show featured 8 collegiate Dance Teams, winners of the daytime competitions, March of the Champions, McDade School of Irish Dance, Divine Providence Rainbow Dancers, Pipers, Coyle School of Irish Dance, and live music by the Villanova Haveners.

Peter Fallon, Poetry Reading

Peter Fallon, Poetry Reading

Tuesday, Novemeber 4
St. Rita's Chapel Community Room
4:00 pm

Poet Peter Fallon has recently published his sixteenth book, Strong, My Love (2014).  Fallon served as inaugural Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2000 and has remained a close friend of the program, reading last here with his friend, the late Seamus Heaney, in 2010.  He is also the publisher of Gallery Books, the most significant publisher of Irish poetry.  In his nearly five-decade career, Fallon has won the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the Irish American Cultural Institute in 1993, was honored by the Irish Times on their Books of the Year list in 1998, and was also recognized by the Poetry Book Society for a translation of Virgil’s Georgics (later published by Oxford University Press in its World Classics Series) in 2004.

Fiach MacConghail  Director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin “Irish Theatre Today”

Fiach MacConghail

Director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin
“Irish Theatre Today”

Driscoll Auditorium 132
11/10/14 • 7:30 PM

Fiach Mac Conghail has been Director/CEO of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's national theatre, since May 2005. He has produced over 100 productions for the Abbey Theatre, at home and abroad, including plays by Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Marina Carr, Paul Mercier, Mark O’Rowe, Sebastian Barry, Owen McCafferty, Carmel Winters and Sam Shepard including 28 world premieres. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.  He is a founding member of the National Campaign for the Arts. Fiach Mac Conghail is an Independent Senator in the Irish Senate, having been nominated by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in 2011. He was honored by the French Government with a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013.
For more information: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/newsevents/2014/1028.html


Performance by Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríd

Performance by Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríd

Friday, September 12, 2014

Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde is a native Irish speaker from Donegal and a talented sean-nós singer and piper. Last Friday, he visited the Irish Studies Department to share his music with the Irish language students of Villanova and to give them some insight into life in Ireland. Doimnic began with a performance on the uileann (elbow) pipes and then sang for the group. Together, Doimnic and the students translated the lyrics of "An Cailín Álainn" (The Beautiful Girl) and the humorously ill-fated song "An Cailín Rua" (The Red-haired Girl) and the students learned to sing them in the traditional style.

Spring 2014 Events

Eamonn Wall, 2014 Heimbold Chair, Documentary Screening and Interview by Daniel Tobin

Eamonn Wall, 2014 Heimbold Chair, Documentary Screening and Interview by Daniel Tobin

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Falvey Speakers Corner

The Irish Studies Program hosted the first screening of the documentary: Your Rivers Have Trained You, based on the life and work of the 2014 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, Eamonn Wall. The film will be released later this year. There was a discussion on Irish writing in America with Daniel Tobin,Ph.D. following the screening. Dr. Tobin is a professor of writing, literature, and publishing at Emerson College.

Nova Feis: St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Nova Feis: St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Monday, March 17- March 21, 2014

This St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Studies Program hosted a week full of events and activities, encouraging students to "go beyond the shamrock". The week consisted of dance workshops, film screeings, discussions, and a gaelic football match.

Eamonn Wall 2014 Heibmold Chair of Irish Studies

Eamonn Wall 2014 Heibmold Chair of Irish Studies

Thursday, March 13, 2014 in the President's Lounge, Connelly

The 2014 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, Eamonn Wall, was honored in the Presidents longue March 13th. The Villanova Literary festival and the Irish Studies Department were excited to have a large turnout for the reading and reception. Eamonn Wall read selections of his poetry. He is the author of six collections of poetry and two volumes of non fiction.


James Joyce Birthday Celebration

James Joyce Birthday Celebration

Thursday, February 4th at Maloney’s of Ardmore  

The Villanova Irish Studies hosted our annual mid-winter get-together of readings, music, and dancing at Maloney’s Public House in Ardmore. The Villanova Irish Dance team performed in addition to professors, students, and members of the Irish Cultural Society. The life and work of James Joyce was celebrated in a grand style.

Fall Lecture Series 2013

Maria McGarrity: Framed Forever in the Last Century

Maria McGarrity: Framed Forever in the Last Century

Monday, November 11, 2013 at Falvey Speaker's Corner

The 9th Annual Senghor-Damas-Cesaire Lecture in Africana Studies brought Maria McGarity, Associate Professor of English at Long Island University to Villanova's campus. Professor McGarity spoke on “Framed Forever in the Last Century: James Joyce and the Dublin Museum Culture in Derek Walcott’s Omeros. The lecture embodied the theme of the semester long events, linking Irish Studies and Africana Studies.

Mick Moloney and Lenwood Sloan: Two Roads Diverged Program

Mick Moloney and Lenwood Sloan: Two Roads Diverged Program

Monday, October 21, 2013 at Garey Hall Community Room

Mick Moloney and Lenwood Sloan Mick Moloney, Irish Musician and Folklorist, NYU, and Lenwood Sloan, Pennsylvanian Film Commissioner, presented two lectures that originated at the Irish Arts Center in NYC. The first program was Two Roads Diverged: African and Irish Mornings and Afternoons. The second portion of this program was Two Roads Diverged: Jimmy Crack Corn. This presentation was on October 29, 2013. These unique presentations examined the relationship between Irish American and African American. Moloney and Sloan looked at the cultural fusions, exchanges, and stereotypes that emerged in the Caribbean and Southern communities in the 1650s through to the birth of Broadway and vaudeville.

Colum McCann Reading on Frederick Douglass in Ireland from Transatlantic

Colum McCann Reading on Frederick Douglass in Ireland from Transatlantic

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at Connelly Center Cinema

Colum McCann, author of Transatlantic (2013) and Le the Great World Spin (2010, National Book Award Winner) read from his latest book Transatlantic. The reading featured the section in his book on Frederick Douglass' time in Ireland. The Connelly Center Cinema had a large turnout to welcome Colum McCann back to Villanova' Campus. 




Dambé: "The Mali Project”: Film Introduced by Ciarán Ó Braonáin

Dambé: "The Mali Project”: Film Introduced by Ciarán Ó Braonáin

Thursday, September 26, 2013 at Falvey Library Room 204

Ciarán Ó Braonáin introduced the film "Dambé: The Mali Project"with Paddy Keenan and Liam O Maonlaí, directed by Dearbhla Glynn. Ciarán Ó Braonáin is the 2013-14 Fulbright Irish Language Instructor. The film embodies the theme of the Fall 2013 Semester joining Irish and Africana studies as Irish Musicians travel on a musical journey through the heart of Africa to Mali. 






J. Michael Lennon: Norman Mailer on Irish- and African-America

J. Michael Lennon: Norman Mailer on Irish- and African-America

Tuesday, September 17 at Falvey Speaker's Corner

J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s official biographer, commenced the first in a series of lectures as a part of the Irish and Africana cultural studies program. J. Micahel Lennon is the father of Joseph Lennon, Director of the Irish Studies Department. J.M. Lennon began his reading by focusing on Mailer in 1960, as he interviewed John F. Kennedy. He then read from a section in 1974 where Muhammad Ali was victorious in the "Rumble in the Jungle". Students and professors gathered to hear passages from the book that will be released next month.



John Walsh Irish Language Lecture

John Walsh Irish Language Lecture

Thursday, April 4 at SAC 300

Professor John Walsh from the National University at Galway (NUIG) delivered a compelling lecture on the current state of the Irish language in and outside the Gaeltacht.  Covering the present day Gaeltacht as well as discussing new speakers of the Irish language, Professor Walsh has analyzed attitudes and ideologies on present day Irish language use.  Many Irish speakers from the Philadelphia area attended and contributed to an interesting discussion.




Mary O'Malley 2013 Heimbold Chair Reading

Mary O'Malley 2013 Heimbold Chair Reading

Thursday, March 21 in the President's Lounge at Connelly Center

Villanova's 2013 Heibold Cahir Mary O'Malley gave a moving reading of her critically acclaimed poetry on Thursday evening.  Reading from her latest work 'Valparaiso', Ms. O'Malley evoked emotions of her homeland during the rise and fall of its "Celtic tiger" economic period.  Hearty Irish music by Tom O'Malley and Paraic Keane and food made for a lovely atmosphere to hear one of Ireland's most inspiring voices.




James Joyce Party

James Joyce Party

Tuesday, February 5 at Maloney's Pub of Ardmore

The life, times, and works of famous Irish novelist/poet James Joyce were celebrated in grand fashion at Maloney's in Ardmore.  Professors and students alike gave stirring renditions of Joyce poems and fiction, and live Irish music played all night long.  The Villanova Irish Dancers were kind enough to perform multiple times throughout the evening.  The memory of James Joyce was certainly not forgotten on this night.

Kensington Riots Project Presentation

Kensington Riots Project Presentation

Monday, January 28 at Falvey Speaker's Corner

The Kensington Riots Project was a collaboration between Arab American youth and artists Jebney Lewis and Maria Moller creating site-based art exploring our country's challenging history of immigration through the lens of the anti-Irish Catholic Kensington Riots of 1844.  The event drew a large crowd and afterward sparked intriguing conversation about our country's foreign policy today.

Contact Information

Irish Studies Program
Villanova University, SAC Room 105
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Advisor: Interim Director, Dr. Joseph Lennon

Email: joseph.lennon@villanova.edu
 (610) 519-3813

Administrative Assistant II

Wendy Wunderlich
SAC Room 105

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News & Events

Visitors from Ireland

Announcing the Villanova University Irish Studies Center.

Beginning this fall, we will inaugurate our new Irish Studies Center by hosting an academic conference, "Who's/Whose Irish? Philadelphia Stories of Inclusion and Exclusion" on October 15th.  We will also welcome the Abbey Theatre to Philadelphia with a Villanova Night at their performance of The Plough and the Stars by Sean O'Casey at the Annenberg Center on October 14th. The performance is part of a tour to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916. 

The Irish Studies Center is being made possible by a generous gift from the Connelly Foundation.  To honor the gift the Center's directorship will be named for Emily C. Riley, Executive Vice President for the Connelly Foundation and a former member of the Villanova University Board of Trustees.  For more on the educational philanthropy of the Connelly Foundation and their gift click here.

We will also host the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick on September 20th for their quarterly meeting.  Professor Joseph Lee, Director of Glucksman Ireland House at NYU, will deliver a lecture on "Easter 1916" at 7:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center, which is open to the community.

Other news:  Vicky Brady from Cork joins the Villanova Irish Studies Center to teach Irish Language courses this year, Introductory Irish I & II and Intermediate Irish.  Failte romhat Vicky!

And, in January we will welcome Belfast Playwright Stacey Gregg who is shown here at the awards ceremony for the Irish Times Theatre Awards.  Her play Scorch won best new play for 2016 (photo credit: Aidan Crawley).