Study Abroad

During Spring Break 2017, Dean Peter Kanelos and Professor Edward Upton led a group of 19 students on a twelve-day tour of Ireland as part of CC’s “Irish Literature and History” course. In preparation of the trip, the group read and discussed classics of Irish drama, fiction and poetry, including works by W.B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney. A significant focus of the course was looking at the ways in which Irish literature both reflected and shaped the turbulent modern history of the Emerald Isle.

Beginning in Dublin, the group visited historic sites associated with Irish literary
and political figures, including Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and Kilmainham Gaol. At the Abbey Theatre, following a backstage tour, they attended a performance of a masterpiece of contemporary Irish drama, Ballyturk, by the playwright Enda Walsh.

Traveling to the west coast, they spent time visiting various locations associated with the poet, W. B. Yeats. In an atmospheric afternoon drizzle, Professor Upton read Yeat’s verse aloud at the poet’s gravesite. The group then made its way down to the historic port town of Galway and the remote and wild Aran Islands, where the Irish language is still commonly used.

In the south, the group spent a day traveling around the beautiful, rugged Ring of Kerry and visiting the lively town of Killarney. This was followed by a stop at Blarney Castle, where Dean Kanelos courageously risked life and limb to kiss the Blarney Stone. The final two days were spent in Dublin, highlighted by an evening of traditional Irish folk music and dance.