When the new class of students enters the MA Program in Irish and Irish-American Studies at NYU this September, they will have a rare opportunity to take advantage of the synergy between the academic and public programs of Glucksman Ireland House NYU.
That’s because the Irish Studies faculty have planned an extraordinary sequence of courses and public events around the upcoming centennial of the Easter Rising of 1916. “The centenary has focused attention in Ireland and in the Irish Studies field on a range of issues – the relation of literature, art and music to politics and history, for example -- that our faculty and graduate students are actively researching” said Professor Joe Lee, Director of Glucksman Ireland House NYU and Professor of History. “We are employing our dual focus on Ireland and Irish-America to re-situate the Rising in its proper trans-Atlantic, indeed its global context.”
Commemoration of the 1916 Rising has been a leading topic in Irish public life, and takes place within the larger context of the Decade of Commemoration that spans the passage of the Home Rule Bill in 1912, the outbreak of the First World War, the Rising, the War of Independence, and the Civil War. The interdisciplinary MA Program in Irish and Irish-American Studies at NYU investigates the many ways that memory is shaped and used in public and in private life, and the rich archival collections at NYU and in NYC have allowed students to become actively involved in research and debate.
“My colleagues and I are all looking forward to teaching courses in parallel with the national conversation underway in Ireland and in the diaspora. And we are finding that there are exceptional opportunities for our graduate students to engage in original research” said Professor John Waters, Director of the MA in Irish and Irish-American Studies.
Some of that research will be featured in a major symposium on the role of Irish America in exporting more than money back to the mother country. From the arrival of the Fenian exiles in the early 1870s until Easter week itself, Irish America played a pivotal role in the lives and in the ideas of key figures, including James Connolly, Padraig Pearse and Thomas Clarke. Other events include evenings devoted to the notable works of music, prose, and poetry, that define the intellectual landscapes of Irish voices in the United States before and during the events of Easter week.
In Fall 2015, Professor Marion Casey will teach a course on “1916 and Beyond: Post-colonial Ireland in the American Context.” In Spring 2016, Glucksman Professor Joe Lee will teach “1916 and the Arts and Politics of History,” and Professor John Waters will teach “Modernism and Revolutionary Literature: Irish anti-colonialism in comparative perspective.”