Location of Study: Dún na nGall, Ireland
Program of Study: Oideas Gael
Sponsors: Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
A brief personal bio:
Julian B. Dean is in the PhD English program at the University of Notre Dame where he minors in Irish Studies. Julian studies mysticism and the occult in Irish literature. He is especially interested in how the occult was used to envision decolonization in late 19th and early 20th century literatures. Julian recently attained his MA from James Madison University where he specialized in postcolonial utopianism.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My dissertation will focus on utopianism and the occult in Irish literature. At the moment, I can only access those texts that were written in English, effectively delimiting what I can study. These limits, shared by many fellow scholars in the field have contribute to what is broadly understood as Irish literature, that is to say English language literature written in Ireland. By studying in a Gaeltacht and continuing my Irish language acquisition, I am positioning myself to be able to study Irish language texts right along with English language texts and to treat them with an equal level of respect. I hope to demonstrate the important contributions to cultural nationalism made by Irish language authors that have gone underrecognized in international scholarship focused solely on the Anglo elements of Irish literature.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
By spending time in a Gaeltacht, I hope to gain fluency and develop an ear for spoken Irish. As a student of poetry, it is as vital to be able to hear the language as to read the language, and the only way to develop an understanding of the sound is through continued exposure to it. I also hope to develop a more idiomatic understanding of the language through conversation as poetry tends to be idiomatic and eschew grammar. As a scholar of Irish literature, I have been confined to working with English languages texts or texts in translation, I hope that my time in the Gaeltacht will allow me to begin working with Irish language texts in a competent and respectful manner.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to carry on an informal conversation with native Irish speakers.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to identity and translate idioms used in Dún na nGall.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read and critique Irish language texts.