Irish Diaspora to take Centre Stage during Trinity Week

Posted on: 02 April 2013

Irish migration past and present will be explored through a series of academic, film, poetry, musical and theatrical events during Trinity Week 2013 (Monday 8th – Friday 12th April).

Organised by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the theme for Trinity Week 2013 is The Irish Diaspora: Social, Cultural and Economic Perspectives. The activities, all of which are open to the public and free, will take place across Trinity College campus.

Launching the week, Trinity College Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said:  “Trinity Week is a special week in Trinity College Dublin when time is put aside from normal academic work to celebrate the academic achievements of students and staff. It is also a time when we want to especially encourage the citizens of Dublin to come into Trinity and participate in events showcasing college life.  This year the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is hosting Trinity Week and has put together an exciting programme which should attract a great level of interest.”
Professor James Wickham, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at TCD said: “This year’s programme focuses on an issue of great importance to Ireland today − migration. The varied programme comprises a series of academic events including a film programme, symposia, lectures and performances exploring aspects of diaspora and migration. These events will analyse Irish migration past and present and will also place this experience in a global context.”
The week commences on Trinity Monday, with the colourful fellows and scholars announcement ceremony in Front Square.  Throughout the week, schoolchildren will be invited to participate in a campus-wide treasure trail. Explorers will receive a map which will take them on a journey through 15 of Trinity’s most treasured buildings to earn the right to call themselves a “citizen of Trinity”.

On Tuesday April 9th and Wednesday, April 10th a mini film festival will explore representations of the Irish diaspora on the silver screen.  The films will be screened in the Cinemobile, Ireland’s only mobile cinema. Programme highlights include Kings (2007), Philadelphia Here I come (1970) and Ned Kelly (2003). Also included in the programme is Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970), which features Gene Wilder and is set in Trinity College and includes scenes from the Trinity Ball.

On Wednesday April 10th, the Trinity Week Academic Symposium: Irish Migration Today and Yesterday brings together four leading social scientists who will place the Irish migration experience in an international context and explore how Irish migration today differs to that of previous generations.

Professor James Wickham, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will explore the experience of young Polish people who came to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger boom; Professor Mary Corcoran, NUI Maynooth, will focus on what lessons can be learned from the 1980s’ “generation emigrations”; Professor John Fitzgerald, from the ESRI, will present on open labour markets and open economies and Professor Binod Khadria, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, will analyse global migration trends.
Also on Wednesday, the History of the Irish Diaspora and its Future will be explored by a panel of researchers and commentators at the Emigration Colloquium. Students and staff will impress with their vast knowledge that evening in a battle of wits and skill in University Challenge: Trinity Edition, hosted by RTE’s Brian Dobson.
On the occasion of the public launch of Trinity College’s Centre for Literary Translation, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney will celebrate poetry in translation in an evening of readings of his poetry in English, Irish, Polish, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Hungarian.  Seamus Heaney will be joined by five of his translators and one of his editors for what promises to be a very special evening in Trinity College Chapel on Thursday April 11th.

On Thursday morning six Trinity entrepreneurs will share their expertise and experiences to inspire existing and prospective business start-ups in a seminar entitled Business Innovation: Learning from the Diaspora.

Music events include “Sean-Nós: A Contemporary Exploration” , a joint lecture-recital by Dr Evangelia Rigaki, Director of the Centre for Music Composition TCD, and Michelle O’Rourke, Mezzo Soprano, on Monday April 8th.

A full programme of events can be found on