Villanova University’s Irish history began in 1842 when it was founded by Irish Augustinians as a school for Irish immigrants. Since then, Villanova’s connections—to the Irish community in the United States, and to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland—have grown deeper and stronger. Today, Villanova is the heart of Irish activity in our region for educators, authors, artists, athletes, business leaders and politicians.
Our faculty come from a range of disciplines, and the Center facilitates courses in Irish literature, history, language studies, art, politics, theatre, and philosophy, offering a Minor in Irish Studies to students from all colleges. 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.
Statement on Immigration from the Irish Studies Steering Committee
Irish-American history is a story of immigration, just as Ireland has been called the land of emigration. As the Center for Irish Studies at Villanova University we combine our interest in human rights from an Augustinian perspective with our experience of understanding the “Irish” as a culture inextricably connected to problems of hunger, violence, and loss of homeland. From this viewpoint, as scholars of Ireland and its diasporas, we condemn attempts to create geographical and religious tests for immigrants and refugees. We hope America can remain the refuge that so many Irish have sought over the centuries.