Year of Ireland

Year of Ireland and Irish Heritage

Each academic year since 2003, Reinhardt has designated a region of the world for students to learn more about through in-depth study and hands-on interaction. This focus is intended to promote understanding of varied cultures, businesses, histories, geographies and faiths and to help internationalize the Reinhardt experience.

The 2011-2012 year is the Year of Ireland and Irish Heritage. Students will delve into the rich history of Ireland and how it impacts our business, literature, culture, art, music, and heritage.  Events will be scheduled throughout the academic year and include lectures, music, a film-and-discussion series, a travel tour, and many others.

Spring 2012 Events

Apr Judith McLoughlin, Irish cooking demonstration

Gordy Center Cafeteria

April 11 - 11 a.m.: Paul Gleeson, Consul General of Ireland “Implementing The Good Friday Peace Agreement”

top floor, Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center

April 12 - 6 p.m.: Kathleen Donohoe, Irish Singer

Hoke O’Kelley Auditorium

March 28 - 11 a.m. What is Hiberno-Fascism?

Find Out from Dr. Patrick Zander's Lecture "The Blueshirts (Irish Fascists) Between the Wars" on March 28 at 11 a.m.

The term "Hiberno-Fascism" isn't defined in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.  Or in Wikipedia.  Even a Google search doesn't yield a quick answer. So... come learn about the term and much more from Dr. Patrick Zander of Georgia Gwinnett College on March 28, 2012, at 11 a.m. in the Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center, top floor.  The event is open to the public free of charge and is part of Reinhardt University's Year of Ireland and Irish Heritage.

Dr. Patrick Zander's Educational and Professional Background

Zander received his Bachelor of Arts from William Jewell College in 1988, his Master of Arts in European history from Georgia State University in 2002, his Master of Science in the History of Science and Technology from Georgia Tech in 2007, and his Ph.D. in modern British and European history from Georgia Tech in 2009. He was awarded the Bernard Bellon prize at Georgia Tech for his master's paper "The Place of Autarky in Fascist Theory and Practice" in 2007. Recently his article "(Right) Wings Over Everest: High-Adventure, High-Technology, and High-Nationalism on the Roof of the World" won the Duncan C. Tanner Prize for postgraduate scholarship from Oxford Press' Twentieth Century British History journal. His dissertation focused on the extreme right wing in interwar Britain, that group's "exclusionist" program and its relationship to high-technology and high-modernism. He is currently expanding it into a book manuscript. He has also published book chapters on technology and human origins, Ancient Egyptian technology, and in several reference works on modern European political history. He is particularly interested in the relationship between science, technology and modern imperialism and political authority.

He has taught at Reinhardt University, Kennesaw State University, and for one semester at the Georgia Tech program in Metz, France. He often teaches world history and western civilization surveys, including a blend of lecture, document analysis and critical thinking exercises. He has also taught upper level courses on modern imperialism, comparative fascism, and modern British history. Before going into history full-time in 2003, he enjoyed a 15-year career in business, mostly in the information technology field.

Dr. Patrick Zander: Academic Interests

  • modern British history
  • modern European history
  • modern imperialism
  • extreme political movements (particularly fascism)
  • history of science and technology

Dr. Patrick Zander: Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Ass. (AHA)
  • Georgia Ass. of Historians (GAH)
  • North American Conference in British Studies (NACBS)

March 15 & 16 - Irish Tattoos

Circulation Desk, Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center

March 15 - 3 p.m.: The Theology of U2

3 p.m. - Bannister Glasshouse, Hasty Student Life Center

This event is part of Reinhardt's Year of Ireland and Irish Heritage and the University's Sacred Space series sponsored by the Norman W. Paschall Office of Campus Ministry.

U2 is an Irish rock band from Dublin, Ireland.   From teenagers to rock legends their music has been filled with spiritual imagery, personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.  During our discussion we will explore the connection between their faith and music.  Michael Vaughn, an avid U2 fan, will be our guide as we journey through the music of U2.

Since their formation U2 has released 12 studio albums and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".  To find out more about U2, follow this link,

March 14 – noon - 2 p.m.: Katherine Thomas, Irish Fiddle concert/workshop

Falany Performing Arts Center

Katherine Irwin Thomas is an Irish and Scottish fiddler from Atlanta, Ga., and she specializes in teaching Irish fiddling to classical musicians through educational concerts, workshops and summer camps.  She enjoys playing and performing Irish & Scottish music.   She is the director of The Atlanta Irish Music School in Atlanta and is orchestra director at Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs, Ga.  She opened her private fiddle studio in 2006, and several of her students have since placed at The Midwest Fleadh Cheoil and The Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil in fiddle, concertina, piano and duets, qualifying for the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Tullamore, Ireland.

Thomas has a Bachelor of Music Education degree cum laude from Tennessee Technological University, a Master of Education degree from Kennesaw State University and a Teastas i dTeagasc Ceolta Tire (traditional music teaching certificate) from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the Republic of Ireland's state music and dance organization in Dublin, Ireland. She has taught Irish fiddle at several summer camps in the U.S. and Canada.  A U.S. Scottish Junior Fiddle Champion, she is originally from east Tennessee where her grandfather, Frank Irwin, inspired her playing. As a teen, she studied with Bert Murray of Aberdeen and most recently has studied with Brian Conway of New York and Siobhan Peoples of Ennis.

As an advocate for quality world string styles in the orchestra classroom, she just completed a workbook series for Irish fiddle for school orchestra and recently wrote an article for Strings Magazine, "How to Make Irish Music Sound Irish" (2010). Katherine has was a speaker at The American String Teacher's Association National Conference 2009 and The Georgia Music Educator's Conference 2010 and on fall 2009, she was named A Star of The South by Irish America Magazine.

Katherine has been featured in Irish Music MagazineThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as the fiddler at Emory University's Celtic Christmas.  Performing at a myriad of concert halls, festivals and other venues across the Southeast, her recent performances include with piper John Maschinot at Spivey Hall and with The Chieftains and her U15 Ceili Band at The Fox Theatre.  She is featured on albums The Road to SwannanoaLetting go... and Fuar.

Feb. 9 – 2 p.m.: Eric Klingelhofer, Mercer University - Early Modern Irish Archaeology

top floor, Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center

Fall 2011 Events

Nov. 8 - 8 p.m. - Bannister Glasshouse, Hasty Student Life Center

The Ballybeg Band

Céad Míle Fáilte! You’ll tap your feet as The Ballybeg Band plays sizzling jigs and reels. You’ll laugh and cry as you sing along with favorite Irish songs about the pain of emigration and fond memories of the auld sod.

Ballybeg is the name of six Irish villages: from Irish baile beag, ‘small village.’ Our Ballybeg is really a state of mind. Even miles away from the Emerald Isle, at each Ballybeg Band gig you will find yourself magically spirited away to your favorite local Irish gathering place with all its regulars. So be ready to clap and sing along!

The Ballybeg Band features:
» singing by band members,
» plaintive uilleann pipes and whistles by Séamus Dunning,
» scintillating percussion including bodhran and djembe by Owen Devine,
» innovative guitar by Ken Shearer, and
» smoking, soulful or improvisatory fiddling and haunting songs by Lauren McDonough.

The band is based in and around metro Atlanta and has been featured at civic and
ethnic festivals, including St. Patrick’s Day at Olde Town Morrow, the Taste of Scotland
in Franklin, N.C., the Stone Mountain Highland Games, and Ringgold’s Appalachian
Celtic Festival and Highland Games.

October 27 - 2 p.m. - Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center Lecture area (top floor)on the 3rd floor of the library

"Irish Mathematicians - beyond the classroom" - a lecture by Dr. Richard Summers, Reinhardt Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Summers will introduce us to some of Ireland's most notable mathematicians.  He'll tell us of their successes, failures, and how their accomplishments are impacting our world today.

  • What mathematician had a  brilliant idea while walking along the Royal Canal talking to his mother-in-law. He was afraid he would forget it so he carved it in the Broughton Bridge?
  • What senior wrangler developed a new theorem and included it on the Smith's Prize Exam?
  • What female mathematician won an award at the age of 16 for developing a revolutionary new cryptology algorithm?

Find out the answers to these questions and much, much more at the "Irish Mathematicians - Beyond the Classroom" on October 27.

Oct. 20 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m. - Wesley Lecture - Falany Performing Arts Center


Lecture will be given by Dr. Elizabeth Corrie.  Dr. Elizabeth Corrie has devoted her life to social justice issues. Because of her deep faith, she is an activist at home and around the world. She is particularly interested in how non-violent strategies can bring about significant change.
“I am particularly excited about studying activism this year — with the revolutions happening around the world, particularly the Arab Spring of 2010 that continues today,” said Reinhardt Chaplain the Rev. Leigh Martin. “Activism has created the world we experience today and will continue to shape the world of tomorrow. What will it take for us to stand up for what we believe? What will propel us from apathy to activism?”

Oct. 18 - 6 p.m. - Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center Lecture area (top floor)

Betsy Doty - storyteller

Based in Ellijay, Ga., Doty will share spooky and scary traditional Irish tales just in time for Halloween.

Sept. 25 - 3 p.m. The Blessed Blend -- a blend of Celtic and Native American music - Falany Performing Arts Center

The Falany Performing Arts Center is hosting a related program.  Blessed Blend:"Sound Born of a Native & Celtic Union" will perform on Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. This distinctive group composes and performs original and ancient songs by blending Native American and Celtic music, which  is historically rooted in the band members’ Appalachian Mountain hometowns in North Carolina. As the newly immigrated Scots and Irish and the First Nations people of Turtle Island (The Americas) interacted generations ago, they realized a shared love for the drum, flute, dance, language, songs and stories passed down from ancient times. They also had Chiefs, Clans and a deep affection and connection to the land. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for seniors (55 and older) and children age 12 and younger.  For tickets, call the Falany Performing Arts Center box office at (770) 720-9167, or go on-line at

Sept. 22 - 6 p.m. - Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center Lecture area (top floor)

Kevin Conboy, speaker

Conboy is a dual citizen of the U.S. and the Republic of Ireland. He is president of the Atlanta chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce and will be addressing economic development in Ireland and its ties to the southeastern U.S.

Sept 22 - 2 p.m. - Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center Lecture area (top floor)

Conflict and Peace Building in Northern Ireland

Dr. Elizabeth Corrie's presentation will focus on the East Belfast Mission. She works at Emory University and traveled to Northern Ireland over the summer of 2011 as part of Emory's journeys of reconciliation program.  She will give a basic introduction to the history of the conflict, and then show how reconciliation is being addressed through this case study. "I believe that Dr. Corrie will bring a thoughtful and fresh perspective of the current situation in Northern Ireland.  I invited her as a speaker for Sacred Space since the conflict in Northern Ireland is often aligned with religious affiliation (Protestant and Catholic).  I hope that we will educate ourselves about this current issue that we often do not hear about or fully understand," said Reinhardt University Chaplain the Rev. Leigh Martin.  The public is encouraged to attend.

Previous global emphasis areas have included:

2015-2016 Year of Mexico
2014-2015 Year of India
2013-2014 Year of Germany
2012-2013 Year of China: Dragon Rising
2011-12 Year of Ireland and Irish Heritage
2010-11 Year of Oceania 
2009-10 Year of North American Indigenous Peoples
2008-09 Year of the Mediterranean
2007-08 Year of Eastern Europe and Russia
2006-07 Year of Middle East
2005-06 Year of Africa
2004-05 Year of Asia
2003-04 Year of The Americas (inaugural year)