Courses, Conferences, and Lectures


The following courses relating to Irish Studies will be offered on a regular basis. Other courses are in development.

  • Acting Out Ireland (Visual and Performing Arts)
  • The American Catholic Heritage (Religious Studies and History)
  • Celtic Film: Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (Communications)
  • Contemporary Ireland (International Studies)
  • Contemporary Irish Culture and Society (Interdisciplinary)
  • Drawing Ireland (Visual and Performing Arts)
  • The History of Contemporary Ireland (History)
  • The Irish in Western New York (History)
  • Irish Thought: Past and Present(Philosophy)
  • Irish Traditional Music (Visual and Performing Arts)
  • Irish Women Writers (English)
  • Modern Irish Media (Media and Communications)
  • Modern Irish History (History)
  • Modern Irish Literature and Ethnicity (English)

Conferences and Lectures


“William Butler Yeats at 150” Conference

The fourth annual Irish Studies Conference: A commemoration of one of Ireland’s most notable literary and historic figures during the “Year of Yeats,” marking the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1865.


“The Irish and the Erie Canal” Conference

The third annual Irish Studies Conference, held on October 17, 2014 celebrated the role that Irish immigrants played in the building and sustaining of the Erie Canal, and how this work helped to foster the Irish communities in Upstate New York.


“The Irish Vampire: Bram Stoker and the Continuing Influence of Dracula

“The Irish Vampire: Bram Stoker and the Continuing Influence of Dracula” (held on October 28, 2013) explored the life and influence of Irish novelist Bram Stoker and his immortal 1897 work Dracula.

"Frederick Douglass in Ireland" Conference

"Frederick Douglass in Ireland," the 2nd annual Irish Studies Conference, brought about 450 people to campus on February 22, 2013. The conference provided a full day of interesting sessions focused on Douglass' time in Ireland, his legacy, and his role as a human rights advocate in the 1800s.

David Anderson, Community Scholar in Residence at Nazareth College and Douglass impersonator, interacted with the audience, sharing stories as Douglass.

In addition, students from School No. 12's Frederick Douglass Club came to recite excerpts from Douglass' speeches.

Conference Booklet [pdf]

"Building Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: A Personal Perspective" Lecture

On Monday, February 25, the Irish Studies Program hosted a guest lecture by Reverend Bill Shaw, OBE, Director of the 174 Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland. If you were not able to attend this lecture, you can watch Dr. Tim Madigan's interview with Reverend Shaw on Cardinal TV.


"Ireland Today: History & Heritage in an Ever-Changing World" Conference

On March 16, 2012 an inaugural one-day conference was held entitled "Ireland Today: History & Heritage in an Ever-Changing World." Open to the general public, the conference featured two guest speakers, the Honorable James T. Walsh, former member of Congress from New York District 25, and the Rt. Honorable Alex Maskey, former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Northern Ireland. It included a full day of sessions centered around Irish ancestry, heritage, history, and Rochester's sister-city relationship with Waterford, Ireland.

Speakers focused on the role which Irish Studies plays in several different disciplines at the College including English, history, nursing, communications, sociology, religious studies, and philosophy. Special emphasis was given to the changes which Ireland as a nation has undergone in the past decade, especially with regard to the peace process between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

Study Abroad Ireland

Study Abroad Opportunities

The Irish Studies Program is exploring several opportunities for educational partnerships for St. John Fisher College at various institutions of higher learning in Ireland. The purpose of this is to lay the groundwork for St. John Fisher College students to take advantage of the College’s already established relationship with the Waterford Institute of Technology and the National University of Ireland in Galway. Details on study abroad opportunities can be found on the Foreign Study page.

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