Maymester 2009 — Ireland

In 2009, the PC departments of history and English sponsored a Maymester trip to Ireland. Dr. Roy Campbell and English professor Dr. Dean Thompson led a group of 35 students on a 13 day trip, with Drs. Brett Bebber and Stefan Wiecki assisting. As part of the trip, Dr. Campbell taught a course on nationalism in Ireland, and Dr. Thompson taught on Modern Irish Literature.

While in Ireland, the group visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College (where they saw the Book of Kells), Kilmainham Jail, and the Guinness beer factory. They also went on a 1916 Dublin walking tour and a literary Dublin pub crawl, in which local actors led the group around and performed skits from such works as Waiting for Godot. The group also traveled to Northern Ireland, where they visited numerous sites related to the period of Protestant-Catholic tension known as “The Troubles,” including the Bogside neighborhood of Derry–the site of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre.

The group also had the chance to meet John Hume, one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process and the only person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the Martin Luther King Award, and the Gandhi Peace Prize. Hume gave the group a talk on “The Troubles” and explained his role in framing the Good Friday accords that brought the period to an end.