Title

Micro to Macro; Ireland and Global Studies

Location

Room 210

Strand #1

Teaching - Higher Education

Strand #2

Research - Higher Education

Relevance

Program is particularly focused on collaborative teaching

Brief Program Description

Five years ago faculty developed a Study Abroad proposal that brings together various aspects of the Humanities. More recently, this has been turned into a proposal for a Global Studies certificate of which Ireland would be one of the means through which students could meet their requirements.

Summary

The Ireland Study Abroad program developed at Georgia Regents University is based on an immersion into Irish culture via studies of Irish music, history, media, related arts, and language. While it is open to all disciplines, the core of the program focuses on the above areas because they are the key components of culture. Its interdisciplinary design makes this program ideal for helping students engage with and develop an appreciation for cultural diversity.[i]

Further, while this project began as a bi-annual study abroad program, it has evolved into a multi-faceted project that has research and service components as well. Professors in the program have presented the results of their research at the American Conference on Irish Studies but also at the Atlanta Irish Fest. They have turned their research into two different creative programs that involve Irish traditional music and mythology, and they have created an Irish session band that has played in many different venues as both an ambassador for the program and as its fundraising arm. They continue to work on related research projects themselves (one on Anglo-Celtic civil Wars and one on the role of traditional Irish music in the construction of Irish identity), and they are involving students – not just honors students, as other programs have done -- in research that deals with the rhetoric used to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising and how traditional Irish music is commemorated in visual culture.[ii] They have also created a chapter of the Dublin-based Comhaltas Ceolitori Eireann, a non-profit whose aim is to preserve and nurture traditional Irish culture through language, music, and dance. As a result, students are involved in learning about and experiencing Irish culture both before and after their trips, which is considered one of the best practices for Study Abroad programs.[iii]

The cornerstone of the program, however, is the educational side in the form of a continuing study abroad program that focuses on Irish culture through studies of music, visual culture, media, and history. This program is designed specifically to teach students how to think critically about cultures other than their own, deal with cultural differences in an accepting way, and keep them engaged over the long term with a culture other than their own.[iv]

The music component offers the opportunity for all participating students – not just the music majors – to immerse themselves into Irish culture by performing in actual Irish pub sessions. The students are trained and led by the instructors who have actual experience in playing in these sorts of sessions and who are working on research that considers how sessions serve as a platform for the transmission of Irish culture. Students also attend musical events that focus on traditional Irish music. For example, on one trip, the group attended the 50th anniversary concert of the Chieftains. One another, they wrote, produced, and performed their own musical, in Irish, based on combining a Yeats poem, “Host of the Air,” and the American cartoon, “Popeye, the Sailor Man.”

The study of history in Ireland includes two different approaches. One utilizes a traditional approach by studying a theme in Ireland. For example, a recent course has covered Warfare and Conflict in Ireland, a very easy theme on which to find relevant sites. The other is to have students concentrate on Irish-American history, including locating Irish practices and cultural tendencies that can be found in America as well.

Language and culture are studied through attendance at an Irish language and culture school in Donegal where the students are required to produce material in the Irish language as well as engage in daily study. Further, students examine the role of language in cultural formation by examining Irish media (newspapers, television and radio mostly) in both Irish and English. They explore Irish visual culture through journaling, a method others have used to enhance insights gained from study abroad experiences, and documenting the trip with photography and writing magazine-type stories about aspects of Irish culture that are then combined to produce a magazine upon their return from the trip.[v]

This program has been especially useful for first generation college students, many of whom have never been beyond Georgia. They benefit from experiencing both the differences and similarities of Ireland when compared to the United States.

Georgia Regents University is currently developing a certificate program on Global Perspectives to enhance international knowledge and perspectives. This program will consist of courses, Study Abroad, foreign language study, and event participation. It is our intention to make the Ireland program a component of this certification program.

EVIDENCE:

1. Blake-Campbell, Barbara, "More Than Just a Sampling of Study Abroad: Transformative Possibilities at Best." Community College Enterprise 20, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 60-71.

2. Cai, WeiWei, and Gopal Sankaran. "Promoting Critical Thinking through an Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program." Journal Of International Students 5, no. 1 (March 1, 2015): 38-49.

3. Craig, Cheryl J., Yali Zou, and Rita Poimbeauf. "Journal writing as a way to know culture: Insights from a travel study abroad program." Teachers And Teaching: Theory And Practice 21, no. 4 (May 2015): 472-489.

4. Engle, Steven, and Howard Keeley. "Honors Inquiry in Ireland: Developing a Research-Based Study Abroad Experience for Honors Students." Honors In Practice 11, (January 2015): 133-146.

5. Lockett, Landry, Lori Moore, and Gary Wingenbach. "A Global Worldview among Extension Professionals: A Case Study of Best Practices for Study Abroad Programs." Journal Of Extension 52, no. 4.

[i] Cai, WeiWei, and Gopal Sankaran. "Promoting Critical Thinking through an Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program." Journal Of International Students 5, no. 1 (March 1, 2015): 38-49.

[ii] Engle, Steven and Howard Keeley. "Honors Inquiry in Ireland: Developing a Research-Based Study Abroad Experience for Honors Students." Honors In Practice 11, (January 2015): 133-146.

[iii] Lockett, Landry, Lori Moore, and Gary Wingenbach. "A Global Worldview among Extension Professionals: A Case Study of Best Practices for Study Abroad Programs." Journal Of Extension 52, no. 4 (August 1, 2014).

[iv] Blake-Campbell, Barbara, "More Than Just a Sampling of Study Abroad: Transformative Possibilities at Best." Community College Enterprise 20, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 60-71.

[v] Craig, Cheryl J., Yali Zou, and Rita Poimbeauf. "Journal writing as a way to know culture: Insights from a travel study abroad program." Teachers And Teaching: Theory And Practice 21, no. 4 (May 2015): 472-489.

Format

Panel Discussion - 60 minutes

Biographical Sketch

Debra Reddin van Tuyll is Professor of Communications at Georgia Regents University. The author of a number of books, she is currently researching the role of Irish music in the creation of Irish culture and Irish identity. She also is leading the student research project dealing with commemoration of Irish traditional music through visual culture.

Carl Purdy is adjunct professor of Music at Georgia Regents University. The recent recipient of the 2014 Governor’s Award for the Arts, he is a life long practitioner of traditional Irish music. He is a co-principle investigator in the Irish music and identity project, and he has also composed much original music for use by the program’s various creative scholarly projects.

Hubert van Tuyll is Professor of History at Georgia Regents University. The author of a number of books, he is currently research civil war in the Anglo-Celtic world, with a significant emphasis on events in Ireland.

Keyword Descriptors

Study abroad, Cultural engagement, Cultural awareness, Diversity, Culture and identity, Music and culture, History and culture, Ireland

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

9-18-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

9-18-2015 2:00 PM

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Sep 18th, 1:00 PM Sep 18th, 2:00 PM

Micro to Macro; Ireland and Global Studies

Room 210

Five years ago faculty developed a Study Abroad proposal that brings together various aspects of the Humanities. More recently, this has been turned into a proposal for a Global Studies certificate of which Ireland would be one of the means through which students could meet their requirements.