New American Irish Studies Institute

Expanding on its 100 year commitment to its Latin motto of Opportunitas, Pace University announced today the establishment of an Institute for American Irish Studies. Christopher Cahill, the long-time editor in chief of The Recorder, the journal of the American Irish Historical Society, will serve as the Institute’s Executive Director.

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Rosemary Mercedes, Manager of Public Information, Pace University
212-346-1637, Cell: 914-424-3845, rmercedes@pace.edu

PACE UNIVERSITY TO LAUNCH NEW INSTITUTE
FOR AMERICAN IRISH STUDIES

University Hopes to Develop Immigration and Migration Studies

Advisors include Edward Conlon, Karen Duffy, Brian O’Dwyer

New York, NY, May 23, 2005 – Expanding on its 100 year commitment to its Latin motto of Opportunitas, Pace University announced today the establishment of an Institute for American Irish Studies. Christopher Cahill, the long-time editor in chief of The Recorder, the journal of the American Irish Historical Society, will serve as the Institute’s Executive Director.

By highlighting the rich history, complex integration and diverse cultural exchanges of the Irish in America, the University intends the Institute to be a first step in creating a broader move towards migration and immigration studies.

The Institute’s advisory board includes such American Irish luminaries as authors Edward Conlon and Thomas Kelly, actress Karen Duffy, lawyer and community leader Brian O’Dwyer, and others drawn from the worlds of finance, government, labor, academia, and the arts.

“I am enthusiastic about this,” said David A. Caputo, Pace University President. “Pace students and faculty members embody the riches and welcome the challenges of migration and immigration patterns in the US and the world, and deepening our interest in these areas will be stimulating for all of us.”

“Pace’s integral involvement in New York City and Westchester County life makes it the ideal place for establishing the Institute for American Irish Studies” said Cahill. “Pace’s exciting scholarly resources will advance the work of the Institute as well as collaborative work in other fields.”

The Institute will be headquartered on Pace’s Midtown Campus in the art deco Fred F. French Building on 5th Avenue, and will work closely with the Provost, faculty members and students on Pace campuses in downtown New York and Westchester County.

Pace currently offers courses in various areas addressing immigration and migratory issues, including American Diversity: Immigration, Ethnicity and Race, Global Culture and Local Identities, and Ethnic and Racial Minorities. The new American Irish Studies Institute will serve as one prototype for expanded multidisciplinary learning.

“Celtic Tiger” and Avant-Garde. The Pace Institute for American Irish Studies has a three pronged goal, Cahill said:

• To enrich and enliven the cultural and community exchanges between American Irish and Americans of other cultural or ethnic backgrounds, within the United States and Ireland;

• To document the ongoing experience, achievements and activities of American Irish from all walks of life within this country;

• To broaden and deepen awareness about the important role American Irish have played and continue to play in the history of the United States, in government, business, labor, law enforcement, sports, entertainment, and the arts and humanities.

Unlike Irish studies institutes elsewhere in higher education, the Institute will not focus primarily on Ireland, but on the Irish in America.

Proposed conferences and symposia will explore American Irish influence on the economic boom over the last fifteen years that has made Ireland the “Celtic Tiger”; bring together national labor leaders to discuss the role of American Irish in the rise of the US Labor movement; probe the conflicted relationship of the American Irish to the history of slavery; and examine Irish figures central to the American avant-garde in literature, music and visual arts who are less commonly associated with Irish America.

St. Patrick’s Day Narrator. An author, historian and editor, Christopher Cahill has co-hosted the annual New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for WNBC-TV for the past five years, providing live on-air historical and literary comment. He was founding executive director and advisory board member of the Irish American Studies Institute of the City University of New York. He currently serves as Editor in Chief of “The Recorder”, a publication of the American Irish Historical Society headquartered in New York, where he is also historiographer and a member of the executive council.

He has edited several books, most recently “There You Are: Writings on Irish and American Literature and History” by Thomas Flanagan (2004), and “Gather Round Me: The Best of Irish Popular Poetry” (2004). He also contributed to “The Dictionary of Irish National Biography,” forthcoming in 2006. Cahill has published fiction, poetry, and literary criticism in a wide range of national and international magazines, served as visiting professor for Irish Studies at New York University; and instructor at Stanford University’s Department of English and Literature. He earned an MA from Stanford University and a BA, summa cum laude, from the University of Virginia, where he studied English Literature and History as an Echols Scholar.

A private university in the New York Metropolitan area, Pace has a growing national reputation for offering students opportunity, teaching and learning based on research, civic involvement and measurable outcomes. Pace has seven campuses, including downtown and midtown New York City, Pleasantville, Briarcliff, White Plains (a graduate center and law school), and a Hudson Valley Center at Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, N.Y. Approximately 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School. www.pace.edu