Irish and Irish American Studies

at the College of Charleston Sept/Oct 2015

Our First Minor!

The Irish and Irish American Studies minor officially launched this Fall. We're offering three courses this semester--one in Anthropology, one in History, and one in Literature--and more than 80 students are enrolled. Eighteen freshman are studying in Dublin this semester in CofC's iCharleston program. Not all of these students will sign up for the 6-course IIAS minor, but we're hoping that a good number will. Will Davis is the first undergraduate to register for the minor. He studied in Belfast with our partner institution, Queens University, and he plans to graduate in May.

Take a look at our slate of Spring 2016 courses.

Big image

Will Davis traveling in Connemara during his semester in Belfast

"During my time in Northern Ireland, I gleaned so much. Through my studies and watching how people live their day-to-day lives, I gained a deeper understanding of identity, the nature of conflict, the good that can come out of evil and how a people can overcome their past. Queen's University Belfast is a stellar institution; my lecturers were all experts in their fields and yet highly approachable. Belfast City itself has such a contemporary atmosphere but with the soul of a small village in the countryside. The island of Ireland is one of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen with it's rugged coastal cliffs, its gentle, heather-crowned hills and magically green foliage everywhere you look. I part of me is still back there, and even now I would hop on the next direct flight there if I could."

--Will Davis

Contra Dance

Friday, Oct. 2nd, 7:30pm

Silcox Gymnasium, corner of George and Meeting Streets

IIAS is sponsoring a contra dance on the College of Charleston campus. Celtic music and dance share ties to the American vernacular traditions, as symbolized by the fact that the Hungry Monks, some of Charleston's most talented and accomplished Celtic musicians, will be playing the music for the dances called by Charlotte Crittenden. CofC students and staff can attend free. General public is welcome for $8. For more details, see our Events webpage.

Tigh na Coille

The winner of the All-Ireland fleadh held in Sligo this summer, this group of student musicians will be visiting Charleston this October as the guests of Na Fidléirí. They'll be seen all around town for a week, but block out your evening of 29 October for a major concert performance, when the Irish will share the stage with Na Fid. Let's show these Irish kids some Charleston hospitality. I'll publish more info as the details of the visit are finalized.
Tigh Na Coille u15 Sligo

Scottish Games and Highland Gathering

It might not be Irish, but it's easily the biggest Celtic event every year in Charleston. Check out their website to see the great variety of activities, music, and food available at Boone Hall Plantation on Saturday, 19 September. Look for the Irish Village, stop by and visit the Irish and Irish American Studies. We're very pleased to be invited back for a second year. Listen to two of the best Celtic bands around, Castle Crossing (of Charleston) and Seven Nations (from Florida).

Irish Films in Charleston this Fall (click on the posters)

Irish and Irish American Studies is compiling a comprehensive Charleston's Irish Calendar. Check it out, and if you want to stay informed, you can click on the GoogleCalendar icon at the bottom of the page to add the Irish Calendar to your personal Google Calendars. If you have an event you'd like us to promote, contact Joe Kelly (

Spring 2016 Events

We'll have a busy schedule of public events this Spring.

  • lecture/film series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising
  • 2nd Annual Celtic Music Night at the Music Hall
  • Irish comedian Brendan Grace on 5 March 2016

Summer 2015 Study Abroad

Joe Kelly and Stephen White brought six CofC students to Ireland this July and August to study Irish mythology and the Celtic Revival. Students from majors as diverse as Dance, Public Health, and English spent two weeks in Dublin and another week traveling the west coast. The photos above illustrate our travels out of Dublin.

The Sports Page

College of Charleston Rugby

Mathew Garrison reports on the promising up-coming Fall season (we hope to rope Mathew into teaching a course on Sport in Ireland in the near future).

Charleston Hurling

The Holy City sports its own hurling club, an official member of the Gaelic Athletic Association (County North America). Visit their website for more details.

College of Charleston Men's Rugby Football Club
Hurling - The Fastest Game on Grass (short version)

The Pub & Music Scene (in no particular order)

The Palmetto Brewing Company

The Celtic band, Castle Crossing, is playing TONIGHT, 11 September.

Dunleavy's Pub

The pub on Sullivan's Island hosts regular Irish events, including the Ancient Order of Hibernian's Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day this Sunday, 20 September, at 4pm.


The Johns Island whiskey and cocktail bar is hosting Good Foot Celtic Band on 19 September, 8:30.

Blue Rose Cafe

The West Ashley restaurant often hosts trad sessions. Keep your eyes out for announcements.

Madra Rua Irish Pub

Two locations--one in North Charleston's Park Circle and one in Summerville--are the best place in town to watch soccer. I'm sorry I'm posting this too late to announce Ireland's match against Georgia (the country, not the state) last week. Ireland won, 1-0.

Tommy Condon's

You can almost always find Irish music at Tommy Condon's just off the Market in downtown Charleston. Steve Carol and the Bograts are playing tonight. Check out their full calendar of music. They've got a half-way to St. Patrick's Day celebration on Thursday, 17 September.

Molly Darcy's Traditional Irish Pub and Restaurant

Check out their calendar. Finbar McCarthy Irish Music Show starts at 5pm on Sunday, 13 September.


OK, the King Street bar is best known for its jazz, but it's owned by an genuine Irishman.

Executive Committee

Cara Delay, History

Joe Kelly, English

Mark Long, Political Science

Moore Quinn, Anthropology

Trish Ward, English

Stephen White, Charleston Historical Society

Background picture

Flowers greet CofC students to Doolin Pier, July 2013.