The Irish Studies minor is an interdisciplinary academic program focused on Ireland and its place in the world. The purpose of the minor is to give students access to another culture in order to enable them to better understand the role of culture in human society.
The study of Ireland is particularly apposite for a number of reasons:
- Ireland has a rich history, culture and literature that in itself is worthy of study.
- The Irish experience epitomizes a variety of processes which are of relevance to an understanding of today’s world. Among them are:
- an experience of colonialism and development
- the phenomenon of emigration and diaspora
- a changing interaction with adjacent countries
- finding a place in Europe and a globalized world
- searching for cultural identity
- coping with intercommunal, political conflict and violence, and reconfiguring the role of women in society
- How Ireland has dealt with issues such as the environment and the configuration of gender roles can provide a point of comparison for and reflection on American experience.
- The study of Ireland provides insights on how American influence impinges on other cultures.
- Irish immigration into the United States has proved to be a formative influence on the development of American society. The study of Ireland can contribute to the shifting search for personal and social identity within America itself.