Skip to content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
JAN 177: Ireland, the "Terrible Beauty"
Belfast, United Kingdom; Cork, Ireland; Derry, Ireland; Donegal, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Galway, Ireland; Killarney, Ireland; Templeglantine, Ireland; Westport, Ireland (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Jan Term
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: SMC-CA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Course Title:Ireland, the "Terrible Beauty"Course ID:JAN 177Instructors:Rosemary Graham and Tom McElligottContact Email:rgraham@stmarys-ca.eduLocation:

Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland, UK

Course Description:

This travel course starts with a week on campus introducing the outlines of Irish history and its literary, cultural, and religious traditions. Then, for three weeks the country of Ireland will be our classroom, its texts our texts, its people our teachers.

We start in the West, amidst green fields, boggy soil, and rocky crags, where rural people preserve the Irish language, music, and culture of the past. Kerry’s lakes, and small towns and villages will bring us into the heart of Irish country life. Local families will welcome us with a traditional Irish ceili on Saturday night. In Cork we’ll learn about Ireland’s struggle for Independence by visiting Michael Collins’ birthplace and tour the ancient sites of the Beara Peninsula guided by a leading young poet.

In the countryside we will witness—in a way no textbook can convey—the determined effort of the Irish people to keep alive their ancestral roots. We’ll follow Saint Patrick’s footsteps up the craggy path of Croagh Patrick. In County Sligo, we’ll visit the six-thousand-year-old passage tombs of Carrowmore and the land that inspired its revered poet, William Butler Yeats. 

In the North of Ireland, in the City of  Derry, we will meet people seeking to heal the complicated Protestant-Catholic divide through art and dialogue. Along the Antrim Coast we’ll visit the sixty-one-million-year-old Giant’s Causeway, and Dunluce Castle, a 13th-century fortress..

In Dublin, a 21st-century city dating to the Viking invasions of the 9th century, we’ll learn about the Easter 1916 Rising, retracing the footsteps of its leaders all the way to Kilmainham Gaol where they met their terrible fate. Day trips will take us to the Boyne Valley and Newgrange passage tomb, the oldest architectural structure in the world, and to Glendalough, a 6th century monastery in the Wicklow mountains where we’ll learn about how Irish monks “saved civilization.” We will also meet Father Peter McVerry, one of Ireland’s leading advocates for the poor. 

Ireland, the living classroom has much to teach us.


Division:Upper DivisionPrerequisites:

English 4 and 5 (or equivalents)

Informational Meetings:

Attendance at one of the following meetings is mandatory for enrollment (contact instructor if you have conflicts):

Thursday 9/8, 7:30-8:30pm, Dante 218

Monday 9/12, 4:00-5:00pm, Dante 218

Wednesday 9/14, 1:00-2:00pm, Dante 218

Friday 9/16, 3:00-4:00pm, Dante 218

Reading List:

For the Love of Ireland, Susan Cahill, ed.

The Story of Ireland, Neal Hegarty

Cailleach, Leanne O'Sullivan

DK Eyewitness Guides: Ireland

Course Reader:

“The Cattle Raid of Cuailnge”; from Vita Sanctae Brigitae;

Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”;

Tom Barry, Guerilla Days in Ireland;

Constance Markievicz and Patrick Pearse, Fianna Handbook;

William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Inisfree,” “No Second Troy,” “Among School Children,”“The Wild Swans at Coole,” “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory,” “Easter, 1916,” “Sixteen Dead Men,” “On a Political Prisoner,” “The Second Coming,” “A Prayer for My Daughter,”“In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz,”

James Joyce, “The Dead,” excerpt from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man;

William Trevor, “The Piano Tuners Wives,” “Of the Cloth”;

John B. Keane, “Bohareens,” “Matchmaker,” “The Kingdom of Kerry,” “Wakes”;

Seamus Heaney, “A Shiver,” “A Scuttle for Dorothy Wordsworth,” “A Stove Lid for W.H. Auden,” “To Mick Joyce in Heaven,” “The Aerodome”;

Sinead McCool, No Ordinary Women;

Thomas Cahill, from How the Irish Saved Civilization;

Fiona O’Rourke, “Wrong Whisky”; 

Kevin Barry, "Ernestine and Kit," "The Fjord of Killarey," excerpt from Beatlebone

Basis for Final Grade:

Students must past a test of basic Irish history (after viewing documentary series) prior to traveling. 3 (900-1200 word) papers and a final reflective essay (50%)  2 blog entries (suggested length 500-700 words) (25%) Class participation and conduct during trip (25%)

Course Fee Per Student:$4,200Description of What the Course Fee Covers:

Air and ground transportation; all entrance fees to museums and archeological sites; all hotel accommodations including full Irish breakfast (eggs, meat, cheese, pastry, porridge, fruit), and group lunches or dinners for most days. 

Dates Traveling:

January 11 - Feb 3 

Spaces reserved for freshmen:No

This program is currently not accepting applications.