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The Irish Literature minor offers students the opportunity to concentrate on the literature of Ireland while gaining an understanding of its historical, cultural, and literary contexts. The program offers a variety of courses that give students an understanding of some of the trends and leading figures of Irish literature. Courses on Ireland’s Literary Revival, Contemporary Literature and Politics and on major figures like William Butler Yeats explore key moments in Irish literary history, as well as the ways in which Irish literature impacted national identity and wider literary trends.
Typically, Irish minors are encouraged to take their Irish coursework in their second and third years, with supplemental course work in their third and fourth years. Core coursework in Senior seminars pertaining to Ireland, and consideration of study abroad, are both strongly encouraged. Irish minors often consider writing a senior thesis on the literature, history, or politics of Ireland, but this is not required for completion of the minor.
Study abroad and summer language programs are options for the fulfillment of this minor. In recent years, Le Moyne students have studied abroad in summer Irish-language programs in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking areas in Ireland) and in cultural short programs. The College also engages in an exchange program with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. Students interested in pursuing study abroad should speak to the Program Director and/or the Director of Global Education.
See the Le Moyne College catalog for information about the Irish Literature minor offered by the Department of English.
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In September 2015, Le Moyne's music program hosted The Moxie Strings, consisting of the electrifying combination of fiddler, Diana Ladio, and cellist, Alison Lynn. Ahead of their return engagement at the Syracuse Irish Festival, the band lead a workshop in the Marren Studio of the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts. Workshop participants were drawn from the Le Moyne College Chamber Orchestra and included students from Le Moyne as well as area high schools. Students learned an original tune written by the Moxies, and were invited to perform alongside the band during one of their Irish Festival sets that weekend. Le Moyne's Irish program also supported sending the Moxie Strings out to some neighboring elementary and high schools.
The Moxie Strings' return to Le Moyne marked the fourth year that the Irish Festival was unofficially kicked off at Le Moyne with an Irish session. Previously invited Irish groups have included Goitse and the Syracuse Irish session. Le Moyne has been a major sponsor of the Irish Festival for several years, supporting performances on the Le Moyne Traditional Music stage and hosting events in the Festival's "Cultural Village". For more information, visit the Syracuse Irish Festival’s website.
The Gaelic Society’s purpose is the promotion of the customs and culture of the Irish people. The Gaelic Society attempts, through various activities, to heighten students’ understanding of Ireland — past and present. In cooperation with local Irish groups, the society members often volunteer at the annual Syracuse Irish Festival and participate in other community events. Membership is open to all Le Moyne students.
Le Moyne College’s Film Program and Irish Studies Program, in collaboration with the Syracuse International Film Festival, hosted a talk by acclaimed Irish writer/director/producer Jim Sheridan. Sheridan, whose award winning work (Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for writing and directing; international awards too numerous to list) includes My Left Foot (for which Daniel Day Lewis won the first of his Academy Awards as best actor), The Field (for which Richard Harris was nominated for both a Golden Globe and Academy Award), In the Name of the Father (which received seven Academy Award nominations), The Boxer (which was nominated for two Golden Globes, including one for best director), and many others. Sheridan’s adaptation of Sebatian Barry’s The Secret Scripture—starring Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Theo James, and Eric Bana—is in post-production and set for a 2016 release. He has just finished writing a play about the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The Irish Literature Minor was what initially drew me to Le Moyne College. The wide range of material covered by the courses provides an exciting opportunity to engage with Irish culture across the spectrum of its history. Additionally, coordination with the minor’s affiliated club, Gaelic Society, furnishes a rich supplement to the courses, including lectures and guest appearances by modern Irish writers. Not only did the minor fit in perfectly with both my English and my History majors, it prepared me to continue my studies of Irish history and writing in graduate school. Moreover, participation in the minor was the perfect way to indulge my Irish pride while earning credits in the process!
"I don’t know of a greater privilege than being allowed to tell a story, or listen to a story. They are the only thing we have that can trump life itself." - Colum McCann
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