Irish Literature, Theatre and Culture

Offered through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies, the Department of Performing Arts and the Department of English at UMass Boston.

Itinerary - Courses and Credit - Schedule & Fee - Faculty - Request More Information

James Joyce’s Martello Tower. William Butler Yeats’s Innisfree and Ballylee. Lady Gregory’s Coole Park. J. M. Synge’s Aran Islands. Sean O’Casey’s Abbey Theatre.

This summer the Performing Arts and English Departments of UMass Boston will offer students a unique opportunity to study Irish literature and drama intensively on campus followed by travel to Ireland to visit and explore the settings that inspired the works we study.

Although a small island, Ireland has produced a remarkable number of extraordinary poets, fiction writers, and dramatists. This course will start by connecting some of the representative dots on the literary timeline between the death of parliamentary nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell in 1891 and the production of Sean O’Casey’s drama The Plough and the Stars in 1926. We will engage with major writers and enduring works from this period: the poetry of William Butler Yeats, selected writings by Lady Gregory, James Joyce’s Dubliners, John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World and the plays of O’Casey. We will then continue our study of Irish writing by exploring more recent works that build upon the tradition established by these earlier icons.

After a month of academic study on the campus of UMass Boston, students will travel to Dublin, Ireland for a ten-day immersion experience in Irish literature, theatre, and culture, attending plays at the famous Abbey Theatre, visiting Joyce’s tower, exploring Kilmainham Gaol, and more. The course will culminate in a visit to the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway, the westernmost point in Europe and the inspiration for several of the works we will have read.

Program Itinerary

Date Event
May 29 – June 26 Students attend classes (Tu/Th evenings) on UMass Boston campus, including a required pre-travel orientation session.
June 28 Students travel to Dublin, Ireland
June 29 – July 9 Students reside in Trinity College, Dublin Summer Residence and attend theatrical productions, museums, and cultural sites. Travel by bus and train.
July 9 Students return to Boston campus (in time to attend UMass Boston summer session II).

Courses and Credit

Undergraduate participants register for either THRART 410 or ENGL 415. Both are 3 credits and fulfill requirements for the Theatre Arts major and the English major respectively. Students who wish to extend and deepen their academic experience may also register and earn 3 additional credits by taking THRART 479 or ENGL 455.

Graduate students in English will also register for ENGL 415 and do graduate-level work. The Graduate Program Director will sign a equivalency form allowing the course to count as graduate credit.

Schedule & Fee

This program is not being offered at this time. Please contact with any questions.


Professor Robert Lublin is Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at UMass Boston. He teaches and publishes widely on the history of theatre and is currently editing James Shirley’s play St. Patrick for Ireland for Oxford University Press.

Professor Thomas O’Grady has been Director of Irish Studies at UMass Boston since 1984. He is also currently Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program. He has taught and published extensively on Irish literature and also authored the book of poems What Really Matters.

Request More Information

For detailed academic information about this program, please contact:

Professor Robert Lublin
Performing Arts Department

Professor Thomas O’Grady
English Department


Please be advised that international programs are subject to change, slight or major, at any time due to circumstances beyond our control; this includes any and all fees, dates, itinerary and program activities. We will do our best to inform all applicants of any changes in as timely a manner as possible.