By Alice Bampton
Irish Studies at Villanova and the upcoming “Nova Fèis” is now featured in a display as you enter the library. A fèis is a Gaelic festival, especially an Irish dance competition.
This display, designed and mounted by Joanne Quinn, library design specialist, provides both a feast for the eyes (dance costume, photographs, traditional Celtic interlace designs, musical instruments), QR codes so that viewers can sample Irish music, and full information about the University’s Irish Studies program, one of the University’s first interdisciplinary offerings.
The display is mounted in connection with the Nova Fèis event on Thursday, Mar. 22, at 4:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner. The event will feature music by the Philadelphia Ceili Group, dancing by the Villanova Irish Step Dancers and poetry readings and songs by Villanova University faculty.
The most eye-catching object in the window is a bright orange and blue Irish dance costume belonging to Meghan Connolly, a University student, who wore it in Irish dance competitions. See the placard, “The Lowdown on Irish Dancing Competitions by Meghan Connolly.” Several of her trophies are also on exhibit.
Irish musical instruments – a fiddle, a bodhrán (a type of drum) and a wooden flute – are only a part of the musical aspects of the exhibit. If you have a smart phone, the presentation’s QR codes will connect you to songs that represent the range of Irish music.
Stephen Spatz, assistant outreach librarian, researched and scanned the music from the Digital Library’s collection of the Philadelphia Ceili Group. A placard in the lower left window provides information about this group and its connection with the Digital Library.
There is full information about the Irish Studies program including an overview; a course list; facts about the Charles A. Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies; the partnership with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland; and the Semester in Ireland and Summer in Ireland programs, which include snapshots taken by their participants.
Joseph Lennon, PhD, serves as director of Irish Studies.