Temple University Logo

Derry, Northern Ireland

Academic Program

Dr. Ralph Young of Temple University’s Department of History, will direct the program and teach the course. His teaching, which will focus on the history of Ireland and Irish-American social history, with topics including medieval Ireland; the Tudors; the Stuarts and King Billy; conflict and rebellion; the Famine; the Irish Diaspora; the Irish in America; Victorian Ireland; the War for Independence; the Treaty; Civil War; The Great War & World War II; The Troubles; and Building Bridges.

Dr. Young’s teaching will be supplemented with lectures by:

  • Mr. Sean Mullan, H.Dip.Ed. Mr. Mullan will lead treks concentrating in Donegal and Antrim focusing on ecology, geology, flora, and fauna, as well as talks on the Famine, landlordism, and the Gaelic language. Mr. Mullan will also lead tours of historical sites in the city of Derry and give a special talk entitled “I made my first Protestant friend at the age of 18 - in England!” in which he will share about his life growing up in a divided city: the schools he attended; his student jobs; the shirt factories of Derry, unemployment capital of Europe; Gerrymandering of the election system; and moving to university in Dublin and finding out how people 'in the south' regarded him.
  • Dr. Gudrun Boch, Ph.D. Marburg University. Dr. Boch will present lectures on Irish literature.
  • Ambassador James Sharkey. Ambassador Sharkey has been Ambassador for Ireland in many different countries. He opened Ireland's first embassy in Moscow and was Irish Ambassador in Denmark, Italy, Australia, France and spent time in Washington. Ambassador Sharkey will talk about his life growing up in Derry and concentrate on his role representing Ireland abroad. He will also talk about the Irish diaspora in America, of which he is an expert.
  • Martin McGinley, famous Irish fiddler and traditional musician and former editor of the Derry Journal. He will play different tunes and talk about the role of Irish music in Irish life and its role in The Troubles. He will also talk about his life as a journalist and editor and the different communities in Derry.
  • Garbhan Downey, writer and Director of the Hive at the Ráth Mór Centre, will give talks on history and politics in Derry.

As part of the course, you will keep a daily journal in which you will be asked to reflect on your thoughts, impressions, insights, and musings. You will also complete a research paper, which will be an analysis of one of the themes explored during the course: literature, music, history, politics, or ecology, or any combination thereof. 

If you have any questions about the academic program, or would like to request a syllabus for the course, please contact our Program Manager.


Academic program notes

  • Students will be expected to complete preparatory work before departure for the program that provides background for the experience, including readings on Irish history and literature as well as research on a person relevant to Irish history. Further details will be provided to accepted students.
  • All students will be required to bring a laptop for coursework.
  • Temple students who successfully complete (with a C- or better) credit-bearing coursework worth at least three semester hours in this program will satisfy the World Society (GG) requirement.