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Villanova’s Center for Irish Studies hosts compelling cultural events this spring

Mike McCormack is the 2019 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies.
Mike McCormack is the 2019 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s Center for Irish Studies has a full slate of events scheduled on campus for the spring 2019 semester. Events include a poetry reading by 2019 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies Mike McCormack, an Irish Dance showcase and a discussion on Brexit, among other featured programs.

Irish Dance Showcase
Thursday, March 14, 6:30 p.m.,
Connelly Center Cinema

The Villanova Irish Dance Team will perform their annual genre-busting Annual Showcase in the Connelly Center Cinema.

Reception and Reading by Mike McCormack 
Thursday, March 21; reception at 6 p.m., reading at 7 p.m.
Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish studies with a reading from McCormack. His latest work, Solar Bones—described by The New York Times as “a wonderfully original, distinctly contemporary book”— has gone on to win both the International Dublin Literary Award and the Goldsmiths Prize, as well as longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Cultural Studies Film Series: “My Left Foot” (1989) 
Monday, March 25, 7 p.m.
Connelly Center Cinema

No one expects much from Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a boy with cerebral palsy born into a working-class Irish family. Though Christy is a spastic quadriplegic and essentially paralyzed, a miraculous event occurs when, at the age of 5, he demonstrates control of his left foot by using chalk to scrawl a word on the floor. With the help of his steely mother (Brenda Fricker)—and no shortage of grit and determination—Christy overcomes his infirmity to become a painter, poet and author. Rena Potok, PhD, adjunct professor, English, will introduce the ground-breaking Irish film, for which Day-Lewis earned an Oscar.

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Archive Opening Reception of Exhibition
Tuesday, March 26, 6 p.m.
Speakers’ Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

Celebrate Villanova's digitizing of the historical documents archive of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a philanthropic and charitable organization founded in 1771. Dozens of Villanova students have received scholarships and travel aid to study abroad in Ireland through the generous help of the Friendly Sons and its members.

Britain, Ireland and Brexit: The View from Edinburgh
Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m.
St. Augustine Center, room 400

Marco Biagi, former Scottish government minister and member of Scottish Parliament for the Scottish National Party, will lead this lively discussion on a timely topic.

A Conversation with 2019 Heimbold Chair Mike McCormack
Thursday, April 11, 2:30 p.m.
Speakers’ Corner, Falvey Memorial Library 

James Murphy, PhD, founder of Villanova University’s Irish Studies program, and Jennifer Joyce, PhD, assistant director, Center for Irish Studies, will lead a discussion with award-winning Irish novelist Mike McCormack, the 2019 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.