Irish Studies at UMass Boston

The Irish Studies Program at UMass Boston is an interdisciplinary program of study designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to study Irish and Irish-American culture, primarily through literature and history. Course offerings cover major aspects of Irish culture from ancient times to the present.

A two-course sequence, Early Irish Literature and Irish Literature, provides students with an overview of Irish literature and the society that produced it from the 6th century to the middle of the 20th century. Study of Irish history from the 17th century to the present links old Ireland and new. Study of the development of Ireland in the 20th century focuses on the social and political upheaval surrounding the uprising of 1916, partition, civil war, the gradual emergence of an independent Irish Republic and the ongoing political turbulence centered in Northern Ireland.

Courses on James Joyce and William Butler Yeats focus on the contributions to world literature of Ireland's two most noted writers. Courses on the Irish short story and the modern Irish novel explore the mastery of particular literary forms by Irish writers. Study of recent Irish writing examines the continuing literary achievement in Ireland, both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. Study of the Irish presence in America explores the contribution of this major immigrant group to the literature, the politics, and the culture of the United States. Special topics courses offered occasionally -- on Irish drama, on Irish poetry, on Irish women writers -- provide additional opportunity for students to investigate evolving artistic, social, and cultural concerns of the Irish people.

Contact Irish Studies Director Thomas O'Grady at for more information.

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