Fordham’s Institute of Irish Studies connected to the University’s Celtic heritage in a unique way during the fall semester, offering a filled-to-capacity “Introduction to the Tin Whistle” class. The one-credit course was taught by visiting Scholastic Ryan Duns, S.J., from the Detroit Province, who prior to joining the Jesuits had been a professional musician and teacher in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he played for Irish dancing competitions (feiseanna).
Duns made the most of modern technology, posting lessons and information on www.whistlethis.com and his own blogspot, “A Jesuit’s Journey.” A YouTube broadcast of Duns playing the classic “Star of the County Down” and other lessons are currently available online.
The Institute of Irish Studies will offer a one-credit course in Irish dance in fall 2007, and hopes to host more cultural classes and events, as a way to tap into Irish-American students’ interest in their roots, said Eoin O’Connell, the program’s administrative director.
The Institute and the New York Eighteenth Century Seminar will co-sponsor a March 1 lecture on Jonathan Swift at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus by Ian Campbell Ross of Trinity College, Dublin. Irish studies is currently offered as a minor to Fordham undergraduates, who must take one literature, one history and four other courses to fulfill the requirement.