About Us


The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary project devoted to teaching and research in Irish culture in all its internal and external relations. Established in 1993 under the intellectual leadership of Professor Seamus Deane, the Keough-Naughton Institute’s faculty now includes leaders in Literature, History, Film, Television and Theater and it is regularly supplemented by visiting professors, some of whom come to Notre Dame as Naughton Fellows in a reciprocal arrangement with Irish universities.

Our aim is to extend the range of the Institute to include or enrich other areas — musicology, sociology, and Medieval studies among them — and to create at Notre Dame not only a center of excellence in Irish Studies but a paradigm program of university education for the contemporary era.

Undergraduate courses offered by the Keough-Naughton Institute provide Notre Dame students with a unique opportunity to explore Ireland’s extraordinary tradition in literature (in both the English and Irish languages) and distinctive historical development, including its influence on the United States. The core of the program is a Minor in Irish Studies which helps students develop their understanding of Irish society, culture and politics through both course work and first-hand experience of Ireland.

The Keough-Naughton Institute's Dublin Program, based at O'Connell House, a late eighteenth century building on Merrion Square, enables Irish Studies Minors and interested undergraduates to continue their studies in Ireland. Students take classes with Notre Dame faculty in the Centre and also enroll in courses in Arts and Letters, Commerce, Science and Engineering at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and the National College of Art and Design.

The Keough-Naughton Institute also offers Irish Internships which place Notre Dame students in positions in Dublin relating to Irish politics, commerce, culture and society; the internships last for a period of seven weeks each summer.

Graduate students attached to the Keough-Naughton Institute generally complete Ph.D.s in History, English or the Ph.D. in Literature, which allows a focus on Irish Language and Literature. Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library can sustain advanced research in all areas of Irish society and culture. Its holdings include outstanding Berkeley, Swift, Goldsmith and Burke Collections, the Loeber Collection of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Irish Fiction, the Captain Francis O’Neill Irish Music Collection and an extensive range of primary and secondary material relating to the 1798 Rising, the Great Famine, 1845-52 and Irish-America. The library also has extensive holdings in the literature (in Irish and English), economy, religion, and politics of contemporary Ireland. See:Irish Studies Resources in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Notre Dame

Each summer, the Keough-Naughton Institute hosts The IRISH Seminar, a prestigious month-long seminar in which graduate students from Notre Dame and other universities engage with key figures in Irish cultural, intellectual and political debates; the directors of The IRISH Seminar are Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, Patrick Griffin, Declan Kiberd, and Christopher Fox.