The January Island Studies Lecture was Tuesday, January 17, at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus, featuring graduate student Erin Rowan speaking about her research on “islandness” in Ireland. She was joined by Eoin O Beaglaoich, a visiting lecturer in Irish culture and language at UPEI, and musician in residence at Holland College.
L-R: Dr. Lisha O’Sullivan and Dr. Emer Ring, professors at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick; Dr. Ring’s daughter Iseult; and UPEI graduate student Erin Rowan at Cill Rialaig Famine Village, County Kerry, Ireland.
Last spring, Erin Rowan travelled to County Kerry in southwest Ireland for a six-week research trip. While there, she conducted interviews in Cahersiveen and Valentia Island, as well as visited libraries and archives around the county and country. Her research explores a dark time in Irish history, the Great Potato Famine (1845-1852), and how this period was felt and experienced by the people of Valentia Island and Cahersiveen. The subtle differences in Famine experience between these two places show the effects of islandness and peripherality on this important period in Ireland’s history.
Eoin O Beaglaoich is from the Dingle Peninsula in West Kerry. This area was also deeply affected by the hardships of the Famine and Eoin will share a story or two from the folklore of the region.
Erin Rowan is a Master of Arts in Island Studies student at UPEI. Her interests include history, islandness, and travel. Her research is sponsored by the Ireland Canada University Foundation’s James M. Flaherty Scholarship, an organization committed to fostering connections between Ireland and Canada. Eoin is an Irish scholar and musician. His time on the Island is also sponsored by the Irish Canada University Foundation.