Otago Irish Studies

Welcome to Irish Studies

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Céad míle fáilte to Irish Studies at the University of Otago. We are delighted to be able to offer a suite of papers that can be taken individually or in a combination that meets the requirements for a minor.

Irish Studies at Otago is an interdisciplinary study of the literature, history, film and theatre of the island of Ireland over the past two hundred years. While it focuses on issues such as identity, ethnicity, and 'nation building', and the history of their contestation, it also pays attention to Ireland's relationships with New Zealand, Europe and Australia.

From being subject to the British Empire and thus a major source-country for the European settlement of New Zealand, Ireland has become a wealthy, technologically advanced, highly educated and culturally sophisticated European nation.

Although the University of Otago is the only university in Australasia that offers an undergraduate minor, there is a strong postgraduate community here. We also have a post-doctoral colleague.

Please contact us if you would like to take one of the papers, enrol in the Minor, or do post-graduate work in Literature, History, Theatre, and Film.

You are most welcome.





Recent publication

A new book by the Eamon Cleary Chair in Irish Studies, Professor Peter Kuch, is is now available in hardback and ebook formats.  See the recent Irish Times extract from Professor Kuch's book, and the Irish Times review from Terence Killeen.Kuch Irish Divorce cover

Irish Divorce / Joyce’s Ulysses

Published by Palgrave Macmillan • ISBN 978-1-349-95187-1 www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781349951871

This engrossing, ground-breaking book challenges the long-held conviction that prior to the second divorce referendum of 1995 Irish people could not obtain a divorce that gave them the right to remarry. Joyce knew otherwise. Obtaining a decree absolute in Edwardian Ireland, rather than separation from bed and board, was possible. Bloom’s “Divorce, not now” and Molly’s “suppose I divorced him”—whether whim, wish, fantasy, or conviction—reflects an Irish practice of petitioning the English court, a ruse that, even though it was known to lawyers, judges, and politicians at the time, has long been forgotten. By drawing attention to divorce as one response to adultery, Joyce created a domestic and legal space in which to interrogate the sometimes rival and sometimes collusive Imperial and Ecclesiastical hegemonies that sought to control the Irish mind. This compelling, original book provides a refreshingly new frame for enjoying Ulysses even as it prompts the general reader to think about relationships and about the politics of concealment that operate in forging national identity.



Eamon Cleary Undergraduate and Honours Scholarships - 2016

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Eamon Cleary Scholarships!

James McCulloch was awarded the undergraduate scholarship and Iain Sutherland was awarded the Honours scholarship.

Eamon Cleary Scholarship winners 2016

Left to right: Professor Peter Kuch (Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies), James McCulloch (undergraduate scholarship winner), Iain Sutherland (Honours scholarship winner), Jude McCracken (Donor and Funding Manager, Alumni and Friends).


Reunion - 2014

The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies enjoyed a reunion of staff, associates, and postgraduate students past and present:

Irish Studies Reunion

Left to right back row: Prof Liam McIlvanney (Scottish Studies); Dr Will Martin, (Post Doctoral Fellow); Kerri Haggart (PhD candidate); Jared Lesser (PhD candidate); Dr Pete Dulgar

Left to right middle row: Vincent O'Sullivan (CISS Associates); Ruth Macklin, (MA candidate); Dr Lisa McGonigle; Ailbhe McDaid (PhD candidate); Alison Finegan (IEM, Otago); Prof Peter Kuch (Irish Studies)

Left to right front row: Sharon Matthews (PhD candidate); Dr Rory Sweetman (CISS Associates) August 2014






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