“Where do I come from?” “What forces have shaped and defined me?” “What might be defining my identity that I am unaware of?” Identity is explored and grappled with through the lenses of literature, theatre and life, life lived in a new place, Ireland.
Why Ireland? The Emerald isle has a romantic allure—a place where one can imagine that anything is possible. It is simultaneously a place with a turbulent and troubled past, a sad history of dispossession and disenfranchisement. The literature course brings to light the Irish post-colonial struggle over issues of identity, in terms of land, politics, and language. The theatre course translates the identity struggle into our present, making it relevant, as we grapple with our identities.
The critical and generative tools that students will acquire come through literature and theatre, disciplines which explore how human beings think, act and why, as a result of their natural, social and spiritual environments. Postcolonial Irish literature will be taken on campus during the Spring 2016 semester, prior to the Abroad. Special topics theatre which will be taken during the month in Ireland in Summer 2017, becomes the vehicle for sharing what has been revealed in the search to understand the forces shaping and defining us. Country Studies, taken in Ireland brings us into contact with a nation of storytellers; we learn from saints, scholars and writers; draw inspiration from Ireland’s breathtaking natural environment and welcoming social environment.
We are interested in our interdependence as human beings—in finding community and a common/shared space. Through ‘devised theatre’ we take steps in the journey to reconcile, to move beyond difference and realize our fundamental connectedness and need for one another.