Transatlantic Connections: Ireland’s History and Culture

January 2018 | Dublin and County Donegal, Ireland


Journey to the unspoiled northwest of Ireland to coastal County Donegal. Explore this rugged, Irish-speaking region of spectacular beauty and authentic heritage from your home base of Bundoran, a seaside resort town. Take in the lush countryside of Sligo and the diverse communities of Northern Ireland. Visit iconic sites that trace the arc of Irish history, from the Stone Age to the peace process. Start and end your journey in Dublin, Ireland’s modern (and historic) capital city.


Irish History and Culture
Expand your knowledge of Irish history, from Celtic to contemporary times, and appreciate the impact of Irish culture within and beyond its shores. Study the Troubles and its peaceful resolution, considering its relevance for other global conflicts. Take advantage of an unrivalled knowledge base for Irish studies, the Transatlantic Connections Conference, drawing 100+ international experts in areas from literature and history to surf culture and multimedia technology.

Cultural and Global Citizenship
Engage with (and learn from!) people of diverse cultural backgrounds: urban and rural, Protestant and Catholic, Irish and non-Irish. Interact in ordinary settings such as local pubs and cultural venues and share the lived experience. Engage also with international colleagues in the formal setting of an academic conference, sharing ideas and forging global networks. Develop the independence to travel internationally and connect cross culturally.


Academic and Cultural Immersion
Explore Irish history and culture through structured classroom sessions, with lectures by program faculty and local experts. Frame your new knowledge with visits to sites directly linked to course topics: tour Sligo and the landscapes that inspired Yeats; visit Derry and the Bloody Sunday memorials that illuminate the Troubles. Devote your evenings to sampling Irish culture—music, language, theater and art—in authentic settings.

International Conference Participation
Attend Transatlantic Connections, an annual academic conference that attracts professors and politicians, artisans and musicians, folklorists and peace activists. Explore the links between Ireland and America, and the breadth of Irish history and culture, as a registered conference delegate, with full access to all lectures, panels, workshops and cultural events. You might even present your own scholarly work, as did one-third of Drew student participants last year.

Reading, Reflecting and Writing
Orient yourself to Irish culture and history through assigned pre-departure readings, perhaps the works of Joyce or essays on the Great Famine. Extend this knowledge on site in Ireland, and reflect on what you’ve learned and experienced through a blog or diary. Use this culture-specific understanding to think critically and comparatively about history and culture in a wider context, applying it to your own field of study in a final written paper.


William B. Rogers, PhD, Retired Associate Dean of the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Dean Rogers is a historian and lectures in the Irish Studies program. He has led many travel-study tours in Ireland and is a founder of the Transatlantic Connections Conference.

Caoimhín De Barra, PhD, Assistant Professor for Irish History and Culture

A native of Blarney in Cork, Ireland, Professor De Barra has scholarly interests in transnational history, the Gaelic language and the formation of identity in Ireland, Britain and Europe.

Niamh Hamill, PhD, Director of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland

A native of Donegal, Ireland, Dr. Hamill earned her PhD at Drew and is an adjunct professor lecturing on Irish history and culture. She has designed study abroad experiences in Ireland since 1996.