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.
Villanova Center for Irish Studies Anti-Racism Statement
The Center for Irish Studies stands with marginalized people, particularly those in the Villanova community who identify as Black, indigenous, and persons of color (BIPOC). As protests have spread across the United States against the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others lost to institutionalized forms of white supremacy, we stand in solidarity and support the Black Lives Matter movement. For too long, Irish-American organizations stood silent while whiteness wrought damage to communities of color.
We want our BIPOC students, staff, and faculty to know that we hear you, see you, and stand with you. We pledge to renew our work to combat racism on campus and beyond and to support ongoing struggles for equality, dignity, and justice. Further, we work against systemic and individualized oppression of Black people in our present and in our shared past, throughout our colonized histories and diasporas. We hope, through education and advocacy, that our Center can exist as a place of allyship on campus. We will not let these issues fade away, and we hope to learn, grow, and develop as an ally in this struggle.
Too often have white supremacists claimed Irishness as a veil for cruelty and oppression. As scholars and teachers of Irish Studies, we commit actively to expose such moves and encourage scholarship and learning that fosters equality, social justice, and respect for everyone. We are committed to exploring these issues and challenging white privilege and racism through our teaching, research and programming. Please feel free to reach out to find out more or to share ideas.