Events Archive

Spring 2018

Emerald City

Cultural film series hosting Irish film "EMERALD City"
Introduced by the writer and director, Colin Broderick
A roguish drama on the importance of friendship



Monday, FEBRUARY 5th
Annual James Joyce Birthday Celebration
Mcshea’s pub, Ardmore, 6pm
Join us for an evening of music and dance!



Thursday, february 8TH

“Writing the Tiger: Literary Perspectives on Irish Prosperity a Decade after the Crash”
Lecture by Sarah Townsend   
SAC 300 at 5:30pm

The collapse of Ireland's economic bubble in 2008 brought to an end the fifteen-year era of prosperity known as the Celtic Tiger. Dr. Sarah Townsend explores Irish fiction and drama in the decade following the financial crash, showing how the upswing and its aftermath have remapped narratives about risk, aspiration, and human potential.


Thursday, February 22nd Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh Fulbright scholar at Notre Dame 5:30pm Location: SAC 300 Irish language and West Kerry folklore


Wednesday, April 11TH

“From the Celtic Tiger to the Celtic Phoenix: the Economy in Today’s Ireland”

Lecture by Villanova Economics Professor, DR. MICHAEL CURRAN

4PM - LOCATION: Bartley 1011PWC            
Visit our website for the latest information

A historical narrative of economic events with discussion of economic policy issues.



Colette Bryce, 2018 Heimbold Chair  

Award-winning Derry Poet

Colette Bryce holds the Charles A. Heimbold Jr., Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University for the spring 2018 semester.  Born and raised in Derry in Northern Ireland, poet Colette Bryce did not explicitly identify as an Irish writer in 1988 when she moved to England as a student.  She then remained in London while beginning her career as a poet.  As she says in a 2013 interview with former Heimbold Chair, Conor O’Callaghan, “At that time, being Irish in London didn’t seem important, and I didn’t think of myself in relation to the Irish tradition at all. Poetry belonged to the now and the future.”  Bryce then adds, “of course, that would change in the years to come,” just as Bryce had already adapted to change in her career path. In a 2002 interview with John Brown in 2002, she notes, “Being a poet was never an option.  Being a teacher, or anything with a secure salary, was the ultimate goal.”  She has succeeded in both teaching and writing brilliant poetry.

In 1995, she received the Eric Gregory Award for emerging poets and in spent a year teaching in Madrid.  In 2000 her first volume of poems, The Heel of Bernadette(2000) won the Aldeburg prize and the first Strong Award for emerging poets.  From 2002-2005, she had a fellowship at Dundee University, and the title poem of her second volume of poems, The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004) won a first prize in the UK National Poetry Competition.  She served as Poetry Editor for the prestigious Poetry London and her third and fourth volumes, Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008) and The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014) have met critical praise, and in 2010 she won the Cholmondeley Award for poetry.  Her most recent publication, Selected Poems (2017), demonstrates the achievement and mastery of Bryce and recently received a special commendation from the Poetry Book Society.

She has served as the North East Literary Fellow at the universities of Newcastle and Durham, as well as holding fellowships at the University of Manchester and the University of Notre Dame.  Throughout all, poetry has been her guide, as she told O’Callaghan, “I see poetry as a faithful kind of art, and I think faith in love, the idea of love as a solution, can be the thing that guides us.”  Bryce spent her early years in Derry “liv[ing] and learn[ing] the strange mix of the religious, the historical, the political, and the day to day” (Brown).  In a recent interview with Susan Haigh, she described her childhood as a “collective experience,” and relatively normal, though existing in “a very abnormal kind of society to grow up in.”  Bryce does not consider her poetry to be especially political, but notes the “strange mix” that animates her poetry:  “[p]oems chart their own water . . . I wouldn’t say that I attempt to engage with Irish politics through my work, it’s not what I’m after [yet] it’s impossible to separate the political from the historical, the social and the moral.”  Events like the “Troubles” do feature in poems such as “Break” and “Hit Shite and it Flies High,” but as Bryce explains, the Troubles “are part of my landscape. I don’t have a conscious wish to avoid them or to comment on them through my work, but if they turn up in a poem I’ll let them in....I find it difficult to sit down and intentionally approach a ‘subject’ in poetry.”  Bryce’s voice observes the world around her and the world inside her. The poem “Break” begins with what seems to be a view of the wartime—“Soldier boy, dark and tall, sat for a rest / on Crumlish’s wall”—but as the poem advances, the speaker moves away from a documentary perspective and asks to punch a bulletproof vest, and look through both the eye of both the soldier and the scope of the gun.  When the poem ends, the scene has dissolved into the everyday.  Thus while the political can appear in her poetry, it feels just as Bryce describes it—as having just turned up to the poem.

Bryce consistently weaves political history in Northern Ireland, her identity as a gay female writer, and her childhood. From her first collection, The Heel of Bernadette, in 2000, Bryce’s speaker underscores a mother’s religious zeal in “Itch,” juxtaposing a sweetly whispering Jesus who “lives / deep in the ditch of my mother’s ear,” with the voice of the speaker wanting her ear, “I believe sometimes she cannot hear / for the whispering like wishes / of Jesus softly breathing there.”  A sense of quiet observance reigns throughout her poetry, and makes her love poems sensuous observations of body and landscape.  In “Gallery” (from The Full Indian Rope Trick), Bryce’s speaker is praises a lover who “showed me the red earth / breaking under lightning” and in “Tense,” they lie “streamed in each other, breath in breath.”  Her appreciation of her native land is mingled with sober takes.  In “When I Land in Northern Ireland” (Self-Portrait in the Dark) the speaker longs for cigarette smoke and a drink in a bar where “everyone smokes and talks about the land, / the talk about the land, our spoiled inheritance.”  Such reflections always feels personal and invested, as Bryce says in an interview with Alex Pryce, “I think a poem is no good if it doesn’t have an emotional truth [ . . . ] I’d like to fly the flag for content because as human beings we are interested in each other’s lives, and the world. That’s why we read.”  Indeed, it seems writing emotional truths is her mainstay.

In reviewing Selected Poems for the New Statesman, Paul Batchelor writes that Bryce, “[n]ever showy, always watchful…return[s] to the parts of personal and political life that hurt.”  Of “A Spider,” Batchelor writes that “the poem’s allegorical charge lies not so much in its content as in the way it compels the reader to vocalise the mixture of hesitancy and inevitability by which it proceeds.”  Another former Heimbold Chair John McAuliffe, for The Irish Times, adds that Bryce’s Selected Poems “elaborates a richly detailed and contemporary picture of the worlds she has observed, and into which, or out of which, she has disappeared [ . . . ]  The emotional punch of the poems is when we see their speakers register again and again that tension between invisibility and exposure.”  Bryce’s keen attention to voice, observation, and description of the human experience is clearly visible in Selected Poems.

Recently, Bryce taught at Trinity College in spring 2017 at the Oscar Wilde Centre, as Irish Writer Fellow. She is currently working on new poems, and hopes to make some new work during her time with the Center for Irish Studies at Villanova University.

Fall 2017

Peter O'Neill

Dr. Peter D. O'Neill presents his paper "Famine Irish and the American Racial State". This paper explores Irish America’s encounter with both African America and Asian America, taking into account the US state’s key role in the Americanization of the Irish and the Irish role in the development of US state institutions during the nineteenth century. In doing so, the paper reveals the often-combustible intersection between white nationalism and Irish migration. Crucial to our understanding of this intersection is the distinction between citizenship and nationality.

Click here to view Dr. O'Neill's presentation


Mick Moloney, professional musician, folklorist, musicologist and professor of music and Irish studies at NYU, performed with his group of friends, musicians, and dancers on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., in the Connelly Cinema. This event was co-sponsored by the Augustine and Culture Seminar program as part of the ACS Inaugural Concert Series.

Click here to view the performance


Reader’s of Joyce’s fiction (especially Ulysses) who read his letters will note a stark difference. In the fiction, correspondence serves a dazzling variety of functions; in Joyce’s own letters, however, the generosity that characterizes the works seems absent, replaced by a businesslike self-interest. What do we make of this jarring contrast?  Dr. Kevin Dettmar (Pomona College) explores the many sides of Joyce’s letters and suggests how to read them alongside his fiction.  October 17th, 5:30pm, Idea Accelerator, Falvey Library

To view Dr. Dettmar's talk click here

corp anam

The first episode of an award winning Irish-language crime drama, the show is in Irish (Gaelic) and will have English subtitles. It deals with the murky corners of life on the fringes of the law, and interrogates the frenzied role the media play in presenting human tragedies as consumable bite-size news. Bartley Hall, Room 2001, 6pm-8pm

Larry Kirwan

IRELAND – A HISTORY IN SONG is a new and exciting one-man show by Larry Kirwan that combines his 25 years experience leading Black 47 with his parallel careers as playwright, author, journalist and radio host. Through a mixture of story-telling, acting, and singing Kirwan brings Irish history alive with emphasis on The Great Hunger of 1847, Emigration to America, The Celtic Revival, 1916 Uprising, and the recent “Troubles.” You’ll be introduced to and get to the heart of James Connolly, Michael Collins, Countess Markievicz, James Joyce, WB Yeats, Bobby Sands & Bernadette Devlin McAliskey among others.

The show will include classic Kirwan songs such as Black 47, James Connolly, The Big Fellah, extracts from his plays and books, Mr. Parnell, Blood, Hard Times, A History of Irish Music, and Green Suede Shoes in a seamless story that will entertain & educate.

Larry Kirwan is one of the most popular performers/personalities in Irish-America.

Apart from his groundbreaking work with Black 47 – the band that spearheaded the Celtic Rock movement - he also hosts Celtic Crush on SiriusXM, writes a bi-weekly column for the Irish Echo, and is president of Irish-American Writers & Artists. In a 25-year career Black 47 played 2,500 gigs, released 16 CDs, and appeared on all major TV shows including Letterman, Leno, O’Brien & Fallon.

A critically acclaimed playwright with 15 plays and musicals, Kirwan will also weave in songs from his acclaimed musical, Hard Times – now being developed for a Broadway production. Always a riveting performer, Kirwan holds audiences spellbound with his intensity, insightfulness and wit. He will conclude the evening with a selection from the rollicking side of the Black 47 catalogue including hits like Funky Ceili, 40 Shades of Blue, Livin’ in America.

Kirwan's songs have been featured in many movies and recent editions of Sons of Anarchy and Gossip Girl; they are also used in hundreds of college and high school history classes. His latest book, A History of Irish Music, not only illuminates the music but links it to the social and political changes of the last 75 years in Ireland.

Now booking - a powerful new solo show with all the fire and vision of Black 47 by Larry Kirwan, named one of the Top Fifty Most Interesting New Yorkers by The Daily News.

See Kirwan's performance on the Villanova YouTube channel

Spring 2017 

gambler photo

The theatre department had their final showing of the 2016-17 season with, "The Gambler" written by award winning playwright and Charles A. Heimbold Chair in Villanova University Irish Studies Program, Owen McCafferty. The workshop production was directed by David Bradley and it transported you into Dostoevsky's world where characters scheme, seduce and sacrifice to get what they desire most.

mary omalley poetry

Mary O’Malley returned to Villanova to read from her eighth collection of poetry, "Playing the Octopus," part of which she wrote in residence at Villanova as the Charles Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies in 2013. The poems in the volume merge her dreamscapes with the landscapes of North America’s east coast and Ireland’s west coast. Her language plays with idioms of music and musicians as in the title poem of the volume. Mary's reading took place on April 6th at 5 p.m., in St. Rita's Hall, Community Room.

Click here for video of Mary's reading.

owen mccafferty

Born in Belfast, McCafferty tells "human stories" over "political themes."  In 2016, his play Quietly - named "Best New Play" at the 2012 Irish Times Theatre Awards - ran off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theatre.  The New York Times called the 2016 production a "rage-filled, wounded, mournful play about terrorism, civil war and the damage that remains after the hatred cools."

McCafferty's first production, Winners, Losers and Non-Runners, was performed in 1992, and his plays have won continued success ever since.  In 2003 Scenes from the Big Picture won the Whiting Award, the Evening Standard's Wintour Award for New Playwriting, and the Meyer-Whitworth Award-- marking the first time any playwright had won all three in one year.

book of kells

This illustrated talk occurring on March 15th, focused on The Book of Kells, the 9th century masterpiece of Ireland's Golden Age. Beautiful in its delicacy and intricacy, the Book of Kells found a champion in Ireland's modernist master James Joyce, who called the Book "the most Irish thing we have." The lecture explored what elements of the Book of Kells' aesthetic Joyce may have had in mind in that rather cryptic comment. This will also lead into connections with such other modern masters as Seamus Heaney.

Click here for video of the lecture

Irish Monks

Photo by VU alum Lance Longwell, ©2013. Used with permission.

Medieval monks worked long hours in silence copying and illustrating manuscripts. But what happened when their minds began to wander? Composer Samuel Barber has set to music real marginalia from Irish monastic texts between the 8th and 13th centuries. Hear Barber’s songs in a live performance and learn more about the lyrics and the lives of the monks who wrote them.

Please click here to hear the lecture given by Elizabeth-Jane McGuire, PhD. Elizabeth Springuel, MeD, sings soprano and Barbara Browne is on piano




Stacey Gregg's stirring, poignant LAGAN to premiere February 7-19th. Villanova Theatre proudly presents the U.S. premiere of Stacey Gregg's imaginative and innovative play Lagan, directed by Villanova alumna Kathryn MacMillan ('01). Set in post-Troubles Belfast, Lagan transcends time and place in its exploration of history, legacy, and the impact of war. In a poetic and rhythmic collage of voices, ten lives act as tributaries feeding into a single river -- the Lagan, which flows through Northern Ireland and its capital city. Lagan will flow through Villanova Theatre February 7-19, 2017.

Stacey Gregg, a star on the rise in Irish theatre, has crafted a thrilling kaleidoscope of stories in this critically-acclaimed new work. Lagan is built on a foundation of interlocking monologues from ten characters in four families. Though these characters are connected by blood, circumstance, or country, they have been cut off from one another by intergenerational conflicts, politics, religion, and the inability to be vulnerable. Together they paint an engrossing portrait of neighbors who have witnessed the tumult of war and the sudden, disorienting calm of peace.

Director Kathryn MacMillan says, "The play shows two sides to Belfast -- the fast-paced international city and the memory of a hardscrabble, sometimes violent center of the sectarian Troubles -- and some of its characters are left behind in the 'new Belfast.' It's a timely play for an American audience, as our political season has revealed a class of Americans who feel abandoned by globalism, culture, and technology."According to the production's dramaturg, Rachel O'Hanlon Rodriguez, "Lagan is a beautiful testament to both the pain we carry and our hopes for the future, as well as a call to action for us to begin embracing each other as fellow human beings who share the same capacity for light and darkness. In our current world, which is constantly shifting and filled with violence and acts of terror, Lagan is a reminder that such traumas live long after the fighting has stopped."

This production comes on the heels of last year's announcement that Villanova University has received a $1 million commitment from the Connelly Foundation to support a new Center for Irish Studies.  This gift will support Villanova's ongoing partnership with The Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre. The Villanova-Abbey exchange brings Ireland's preeminent theatre practitioners to the University's campus to offer graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as workshops, conferences, lectures and other events. The joint venture enables a scholarly exchange giving Villanova students the opportunity to travel to Dublin to intern and study at The Abbey Theatre. This spring, Villanova welcomes guest artists from the Abbey for a variety of events (full details below).

Lagan runs at Villanova Theatre from February 7-19th, 2017. Following the performance on Thursday, February 16th Villanova Theatre will host Speaker's Night featuring the insights of Owen McCafferty (see full biographical information below), as well as those of the production's director and dramaturg.

Villanova Theatre is located on the Villanova University campus in Vasey Hall (at Lancaster & Ithan Aves.). Performances will be held Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students, M.A. in Theatre alumni, and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-S, 12 -5 p.m.) in person, by phone: (610) 519-7474, or online at



james joyce part II

The Villanova Irish Dance Team, Villanova faculty and students, and community members rang in Joyce's 135th birtday at Jack McShea's pub.  Another memorble evening.

james joyce ad


On February 2, the Center for Irish Studies welcomed the Irish American Business Chamber and Network to a special reception in honor of James Joyce’s 135th birthday at Villanova University.  The Rosenbach Museum and Library displayed two pages of James Joyce’s novel, Ulyssses, widely considered the greatest twentieth-century novel in English.  Welcomed by Dean Adele Lindenmeyr, the IABCN members heard pages from the Ulysses manuscript read aloud by Dr. Megan Quigley and Dr. Joseph Lennon. Special thanks to Sean Flatley (IABCN) and Derick Dreher (Rosenbach) for their opening remarks.

mcguinn scholars

On Tuesday, January 24, we welcomed Martin McGuinn and our four visiting McGuinn scholars from Ireland:   Karl Benson, Seamus O'Ceanainn, Jack Ryan, and Meagan Grant.

We also welcomed Scapansky scholar, Niall Keane (pictured on the left, with the McGuinn scholars to the right in the photo).

The reception was also the closing of Villnova University's 175th Celebrations, and was hosted by Fr. Peter Donohue and co-sponsored by Marcus O'Sullivan, head track coach at Villanova.  Also honored were our track athletes from Ireland, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner and Harry Purcell, as well as 4-year Irish student, Avice Maughan.

1842 dinner

The Villanova University 1842 Dinner and Discussion at 6 p.m. in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center. Sample menu items from the 1800s, listen to historians share stories from the past and enjoy the company of other Villanovans as we learn about the Augustinians, the United States and Philadelphia, in particular, around the time that Villanova was founded

Fall 2016

the field poster

"The Field" is director Jim Sheridan's answer to "The Quiet Man."  It's an unrelentingly dark portrait of a rural Ireland obsessed with land.

Presented by James Murphy, Emeritus Professor, Center for Irish Studies

This is part of this year’s Animal & Nature Cultural Film & Lecture Series.

Monday, November 7th
Connelly Cinema 7pm-9pm

opening remarks

Saturday, October 15th
SAC 300, Plenary Address - Driscoll Auditorium

“Who’s/Whose Irish?: Philadelphia Stories from Penn to the Present” was an interdisciplinary conference to explore new directions in scholarship on the Irish in the greater Philadelphia area.  It examined the state of the field and highlight new directions that scholarship is now moving.

Presentations by leading scholars explored themes such as Irish immigration to the city and beyond by reconstructing the lives of servant girls, sea captains, lawyers, and railroad laborers; by examining the relief efforts of charitable organizations; and by reflecting on the scholarly contributions of the late Dennis Clark. Additional papers  addressed the commemorations and memory of Irish participation in U.S. Civil War, Abbey Theatre performances in Philadelphia, and Irish celebrity in the twentieth century. 

The conference served as the official launch, and represents the first step in meeting the aims and objectives of, the new Center for Irish Studies. A transformational gift from the Connelly Foundation has given Villanova University the opportunity to develop a world-class Center that will bridge disciplines, nations and history.  Building upon the existing Irish Studies Program’s interdisciplinary focus, the Center will bring together local Irish groups, Villanova faculty, and visiting scholars in classrooms, lecture series, publications and public events to share knowledge and stimulate new ideas.  The Center will position Villanova as an academic leader in the field and will expand the university’s capacity for service and outreach to the global Irish community.

While the new Center will strive to make these broader impacts, Irish Studies at Villanova will also remain committed to Philadelphia’s Irish community. This inaugural conference reflects Villanova University’s goal of serving as the premier academic resource for the exchange of ideas and information about the Irish diaspora in Philadelphia, and thereby making a signal contribution to the Delaware Valley’s cultural landscape.

Essay by Dr. James Murphy on the legacy of Dennis Clark in the Irish Edition.

plough and the stars

"The Plough and the Stars"
The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Friday, October 14th - show time at 8pm

The play, run in conjunction with the Inaugural Conference of the Center for Irish Studies, is a production by the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland.  The play is Sean O’Casey’s  The Plough and the Stars, which commemorates (and critiques) the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, the centenary of which is this year. 

friendly sons

Sponosored by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 20th, 7:30-8:30pm
Villanova Room, Connelly Center

Professor J. Joseph Lee, Director of the Glucksman Ireland House at New York University, is an internationally acclaimed historian on Irish History including the Easter Rising.  His published works include: Ireland 1912-1985 Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1989); The Modernization of Irish Society, 1848-1928 (Dublin, 1973); and, [coeditor] Making the Irish American (New York, 2006).  We are honored to be able to present Professor Lee, a well-respected historian, and former Senator in the Republic of Ireland.  He has been an important intellectual figure for many years in both Europe and the United States.

Professor Lee's talk can be found on Villanova's youTube channel and 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:

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.
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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.

A video sampling of notable Irish figures who have visited Villanova's campus, including three former Heimbold chairs.

The first video is of Peter Fallon, the 2000 Heimbold chair.  The late Seamus Heaney is also part of the lecture.

The second video is of Michael Longley, the third video is of our 2001 Heimbold chair, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, followed up by the 2013 Heimbold chair, Mary O'Malley.

Please press here to be directed to the videos found on Villanova's YouTube channel.   

Contact Information

Center for Irish Studies
Villanova University, SAC Room 105E
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Dr. Joseph Lennon
Phone: (610) 519-4647

Assistant Director,
Dr. Jennifer A. Joyce
Phone: (610) 519-8953

Administrative Assistant, 
Kiersten Ludy

Phone: (610) 519-7517

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* Newsletter Spring 2019 January.pdf
January Newsletter 2019
* Irish Studies Calendar SP 2019.pdf
Spring 2019 Calendar