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Founded by Irish Diocesan priests in the early part of the 20th century, in Chatham, New Brunswick, St. Thomas University has had a long standing spiritual, intellectual and emotional connection with a vital, unique and living Irish cultural tradition. Settled by pre- Famine Irish, the province of New Brunswick boasts one of the oldest indigenous Irish populations in North America. Furthermore, only the province of Quebec accepted more Irish Famine refugees during the Great Hunger of the 1840’s, when over 60 000 immigrants passed through the ports of Saint John, Saint Andrews and the Miramichi. Today, St. Thomas University both acknowledges and honours the sacrifice and contribution of these early Irish migrants through many of its university programmes; not least among these are: Catholic Studies, Human Rights, Religious Studies, Social Work, Education, English, Criminology, History, Philosophy and Political Science. Most of these programmes highlight the social justice concerns of the Catholic Church and the legacy of Irish priests, nuns and laypeople who historically made up the faculty, administration, student body, and alumni of St. Thomas. The Irish Studies Programme seeks to complement the concerns of these programmes while, at the same time, it acknowledges the voices, past and present, of the Irish who first sought to bring this education to their own displaced people as well as to the citizens of the wider world.

The Irish Studies Programme is an interdisciplinary liberal arts programme. It is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore the heritage, culture, history, religion, politics, literature, fine art, and film of both the people of Ireland, and the communities of its Diaspora.

2003. Art of the Golden Age: the Book of Kells (FNAR)
In this course students will study the artistic and cultural legacy of the Irish illuminated manuscript the Book of Kells. A Fine Art component of the course includes studio instruction in Celtic design, drawing, and illumination. 3 credit hours.

2006. Introduction to Irish Studies
A general introduction to Irish society and culture. This course will provide an overview of the unique characteristics of the island and its people. Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with aspects of Ireland's land, cultural development, economy, politics, and literature. 6 credit hours.

2113. Visualizing Irish Culture Through the Arts
This course will examine the broad influence of the arts on Ireland through the history of Irish poetry, painting, drama, music, architecture, religion, fiction, and film. Prerequisite: IRSH 2006 or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours.

2123. Introduction to the Irish Language (Intersession 2005)
Students will learn and be given practice in simple oral communication in Irish. Songs will be a key aspect of the course. The history and current state of the Irish language will be discussed in its political, social and cultural context. Irish poetry from 1600-1900 will be examined and discussed in bilingual versions, as well as the works of 20th century poets. Irish place names will also be examined. 3 credit hours.

2153. Early Irish History (HIST)
A survey of Irish history from the early Christian era to the Great Famine. The changing character of political, religious, and social life will be examined. 3 credit hours.

2163. Modern Irish History (HIST)
This course is an examination of Irish society from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Special attention will be paid to political, military, religious and class conflict. 3 credit hours.

2463. Irish Literature (ENGL)
This course is a survey of the major figures in twentieth century Irish literature including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney. The Irish nationalism is a central focus. The course also includes a film component and features director/auteurs such as Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. The impact of the Irish diaspora on the literature and film of America is also considered, with special reference to Eugene O’Neill. 3 credit hours.

3426. Modern Irish Literature (ENGL)
This course is a survey of modern Irish literature which will introduce students to the works of the central figures of the Irish literary renaissance, including Yeats, Joyce, and Synge, followed by major writers such as Beckett, O'Brien, and Kavanagh. 6 credit hours.

3483. Irish Film (ENGL)
This course will study native Irish culture and the culture of the Irish diaspora. Students will view films of high realist auteurs as well as adaptations of novels, short stories, and plays to the big screen. 3 credit hours.