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Weekend Recs: Irish Media

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Happy St. Patty’s Day, Wildcats! In the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every March 17 and has become a catch-all day to celebrate all things Irish or vaguely Irish-adjacent, including redheads, Shamrock Shakes, and leprechauns. It is also, despite its strong Catholic origins, an excuse to party with a pint of Guinness, wearing some shade of green, of course. While these tried-and-true (and albeit stereotypical) ways of celebrating the holiday are great, there’s more than one way to celebrate.

In celebration of St. Patty’s Day, this weekend’s recs will share some Irish recs that will (hopefully) allow you to broaden your celebration of all-things Irish.

If you have 5 minutes and 6 seconds…and want to listen to one of the most popular Irish songs in modern America, listen to “Zombie” by The Cranberries. Although you might be tempted to get lost in Dolores O’Riordan’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, the lyrics of this song are packed with a powerful narrative.

If you have 8 minutes and 38 seconds…and don’t know anything about the divisive history of Ireland, watch this video about “The Troubles.” If you were raised in the U.S. education system, you’ve likely heard something about the Irish potato famine, but more modern Irish history, including the decades-long conflict dubbed The Troubles, is sometimes overlooked or forgotten.

Bonus: if you don’t know anything about Irish history, watch this video for more background.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to pick up a new language, try an Irish (Standard) lesson on Mango, available through Falvey. All you have to do is use the link to create an account with your Villanova email.

If you have 20 minutes…and want to explore Irish mythology, read this article that shares some of the most popular stories in Irish mythology.

Bonus: if you want to read more about Irish myths and legends, read this Celtic mythology book, available at Falvey.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and want to watch the first Oscar-nominated Irish-language film, see The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin) in theaters at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (with subtitles). This coming-of-age film follows Cáit, a 9-year-old Irish girl who is sent to rural Ireland to live with distant relatives. Just be sure to bring your Villanova Student ID for a discounted ticket.

Photo by Anna Church on Unsplash

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and are a fan of period-piece romances, watch Brooklyn, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Starring the truly amazing Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn is the love story of an newly immigrated Irish girl falling in love with a Brooklyn native.

If you have 1 hour and 54 minutes…and want to watch a festive Oscar-nominated film, watch The Banshees of Inisherin. Starring Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, this film is a heart-achy tragicomedy about the suddenly rocky relationship of lifelong best friends Pádraic and Colm.

If you have 6 hours…and enjoy classic literature, read The Picture of Dorian Gray (or any other work) by Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, available at Falvey.

If you have 8 hours and 4 minutes…and need a new sitcom to bingewatch, watch Derry Girls. Following a group of 4 teenage girls (and 1 perpetually confused English boy) living in Northern Ireland in the 90s, this Netflix original weaves the political turbulence (to put it incredibly lightly) occurring on both sides of the Irish border with lighthearted humor and nostalgia.

Interested in learning more Irish history? Swing by Speakers’ Corner this Monday at 4 p.m. for Dr. Robin Adam’s presentation, Shadow of a Taxman: Who Funded the Irish Revolution (1919-21)? More details here

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Cat in the Stax: What about Duolingo?

By Ethan Shea

"Spanish Study Book"

As you may have seen in a blog published earlier this week, the Booker Prize was recently awarded to Shehan Karunatilaka. This prestigious award is given annually to an outstanding work of fiction written in the English language. The Nobel Prize in Literature, however, can be given to an author who works writes in any language. This year, Annie Ernaux, who writes in French, won the highly coveted Nobel Prize in Literature.

The announcements of both these award recipients who work in different languages led me to look into Falvey Library’s resources that can help you learn new languages.

On Falvey’s website, you can find a Subject Guide for the Spanish language. This guide also includes resources on other Romance languages. A particularly helpful resource you can find here is Mango Languages, an online language-learning website that all Villanova students, faculty and staff have access to. You can access the Mango language database here!

"500 Day Duolingo Streak"

Ethan’s Duolingo streak

But what about Duolingo? In addition to Mango, you can also make use of the free version of Duolingo, something I have been doing for a while to keep my French skills in tact. If you do not already know, Duolingo is a language-learning app known for its uniquely threatening yet comedic social media presence. You can even compete with friends and other online learners on leaderboards in the app.

Not to brag, but last week I reached a 500 day streak on Duolingo. Am I fluent in French? Absolutely not, but I am certainly more capable than I would have been if I never started this streak.

In addition to these resources, you can check out this recently published blog to learn about Ugegbe: Jọnalụ Ụwandịigbo, a new academic journal that publishes work in Igbo.

Lastly, here are some books you can find at Falvey, either in the stacks or online, that can help you learn various non-English languages:

Conversation Guide: Spanish – Eduardo Rosset

Irish Nouns: A Reference Guide – Andrew Carnie

Beginner’s Mandarin Chinese Dictionary: The Ideal Dictionary for Beginning Students – Li Dong

An Independent Study Guide to Reading Latin – Peter V. Jones

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

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Last Modified: October 26, 2022

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