The Irish Seminar nurtures a cosmopolitan community of young scholars: It provides an intellectual infrastructure for scholarly collaboration, balancing the theoretically rich with the empirically rigorous. The Seminar adopts a flexible pluralization of approaches, less constrained by the firmness of institutional boundaries and disciplinary consolidation. It is self-reflective about professional and intellectual formation, while seeking to foster a supportive environment that develops the intellectual poise of emerging scholars.
Seminar sessions elicit sustained feedback between faculty and participants. Ideas are taken seriously, the exchanges occur in a dialogical manner, and there is a real focus on fostering a community of learning. Alongside formal sessions, there are readings, theater visits, archive and library visits, and field trips. Participants have been drawn from the United States, Ireland, Scotland, Hungary, Israel, Albania, France, Italy, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Canada, and England. Student participants have included representatives from Berkeley, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, NYU, Dartmouth, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Boston College, and Aberdeen. The Seminar also attracts a cohort of Irish graduate students and the mingling of Irish, European, American, and global graduate students provides a matrix for stimulating debate.
The Irish Seminar has been presented annually since 1999 at ND’s Dublin Global Gateway in O’Connell House. It is a flagship program for Irish Studies at Notre Dame, founded by Seamus Deane, Chris Fox, and Kevin Whelan. Past themes include The Vernacular Imagination, The Irish Revival, Apocalypse and Utopia, Genealogies of Culture, and Ireland and Globalization.
Faculty have included two Nobel Prize winners (Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott), some of the world’s pre-eminent scholars (Edward Said, Fred Jameson, Giovanni Arrighi, Jacqueline Rose, Homi Bhabha, Benedict and Perry Anderson) and celebrated writers (Edna O’Brien, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, John McGahern, Medbh McGuckian, Ciaran Carson, Nuala Ó Faoláin, Alice McDermott). Leading figures in Irish Studies participating in the Irish Seminar have included Elizabeth Cullingford, Emer Nolan, Clair Wills, Marjorie Howes, Siobhán Kilfeather, Máirín Nic Eoin, David Lloyd, and Joe Cleary.
Executive Director: Professor Patrick Griffin
Program Manager: Catherine Wilsdon
The Irish Seminar is interdisciplinary and open to all faculty and graduate students. Students applying from the University of Notre Dame will be admitted as participants while students and faculty applying from other universities will be admitted as associates.