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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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