International Summer School in Irish Studies

International Summer School in Irish Studies

International Summer School in Irish Studies

The 35thInternational Summer School in Irish Studies 

‘Isle of Ancient Fame: Landscape, Memory and Irish Identities'

Dates: 30th June - 25 July 2014


Welcome from the Directors

As Directors we welcome you to the 35th International Summer School in Irish Studies at University College Cork.  The School attracts over one hundred students with an interest in Irish Studies providing them with an ideal location in which to explore the varied aspects of Irish history, literature and culture.  It offers expert tuition, optional courses in Irish language and a varied social programme.

In 2014, the International Summer School in Irish Studies at University College Cork marks it's thirty-fifth year.  The School introduces students from across the world to the history, literature and culture of the Irish.  The School will run for four weeks in the month of July.  In the first two weeks students will explore how major turning points in Ireland's history shaped it's people's identity.  The second two weeks of the School wil examine how modern writers  expressed that unique cultural identity.  In lectures, seminars and field trips, students will explore the major themes of the 2014 Summer School.

The title of this year's School, 'Isle of Ancient Fame' is taken from a poem written in Italy over a thousand years ago by the Irish scholar Donatus.  His idealised vision of Ireland was shared by many medieval writers and had a major impact on early expressions of Irish Identity.  In the twentieth century, the Irish came to see the literature and art of their remote past as the embodiment of a distinctive Irish identity.  The 'rediscovery' of that inheritance led to a cultural renaissance that heralded profound political and social changes that continue to shape Irish culture and political life to this day.  The lectures and seminars of the first two weeks of the Summer School will explore aspects of Irish identity formation and expression in these historical contexts.

The literature section of the course will examine the works of W. B. Yeats and Edna O'Brien, two of the important figures in modern Irish literature.  Yeats, the founding figure of the Irish Literary Revivial in the late nineteenth-century, viewed the emergence of modern Ireland as the child of the Irish literary imagination, a place 'the poets have imagined terrible and gay' (The Municipal Gallery Revisited, 1937).  A contrasting voice from later in the twentieth-century, Edna O'Brien, gives a very different view of the role of the writer in modern Ireland.  The lectures and seminars will address the contrasts and similarities in Yeat's romantic poetry and O'Brien's fiction and autobiographical writing.


The Summer School in Irish Studies in UCC aims to provide a unique learning experience by combining a rigorous introduction to major academic themes in the development of Irish identity with an opportunity to encounter Ireland's rich cultural landscape.

The School welcomes students who take the course for credit and those who choose not to enrol for credit.  Students who wish to register for credit are expected to have a GPA of 2.85 or above.  Students who attend the School for four weeks may take the course for up to 10 ECTS credits, 5 in Literature and 5 in History.  Students intending to take credit need to indicate this clearly on the enrolment form.  Students should also forward a transcript of courses already completed at their own university or college clearly stating their GPA.  They should forward the address of their home institution for processing of completed credits.  For further information contact the Administrator, Ms. Marian Cotter, Summer School Co-Ordinator, International Education Office, UCC.

The Summer School draws on the expertise of Faculty members, established in their field, to deliver lectures.  Lectures are followed by discussion-based teaching in seminars of small groups where Teaching Assistants develop the themes of the lectures.  These Assistants also give students guidance and encouragement with their work.

Study Tours are an integral part of the Summer School programme and give students the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Irish countryside and to experience the places examined in lectures and seminars.  This year, there will be study tours to the following destinations: first study tour: Barryscourt Castle, Fota House and Cobh in County Cork; second study tour: Emo Court, County Laois, Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, the programme will also include a theatre visit.

The cost of attending the School for non-EU citizents is €2200 which covers single room accommodation from Sunday 30 June to Saturday 27 July; tuition; certain social events; study tours and meals on study tours; but excludes daily meals.  The cost for three weeks is €1800; and for two €1200.  Students wishing to arrange their own accommodation should contact Marian Cotter for information on revised costs.

For further information on the Summer School please contact:

Marian Cotter, International Education Office, UCC. Tel: + 353-21-4904723; Fax: + 353-21-4904735; Email:

Mary Breen, Director, Department of English, UCC. Tel: + 353 21 4903291

Dr. Damian Bracken, Director, Department of History, UCC. Tel: + 353 21 4902950

View Disclaimer
Close X