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March 18, 2013

Exiles in a Global City: The Irish in 17th Century Rome

Clare Carroll, former Director of Irish Studies (1997-2011) at Queens College

In celebration of Irish Heritage, Clare Carroll, Professor of the Comparative Literature Department and former Director of Irish Studies (1997-2011) at Queens College offered the lecture, Exiles in a Global City: The Irish in 17th Century Rome, on Monday, March 18.

Professor Carroll’s lecture told the story of one of the first major migrations of the Irish abroad. She looked at how Irish exiles influenced Rome and the impact these exiles had on Irish culture on an international scale.

Professor Carroll talked about the various influential people who migrated to Rome in the 17th century after the Nine Years War, an Irish attempt to overthrow English rule. The leader of this rebellion was Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone. O’Neill and his entourage of 150 people left Ireland in 1607 in what was called the Flight of the Earls. They attempted to get help from Spain to take the fight back to Ireland but were denied. O’Neill and his entourage went on to Rome where they were welcomed by the church.

Professor Carroll explained how even in exile this group of Irish people was able to develop a sense of national identity, creating new texts, monuments and institutions. Carroll also focused on another important figure within this group, Luke Wadding who founded Saint Isidore’s College, home of the Irish Franciscans. Wadding was also responsible for having St. Patrick's Day put on the calendar of saints.

About Clare Carroll
Professor Carroll conducts research in Renaissance Studies, with particular interests in early modern colonialism, epic poetry, and historiography. Her most recent book is Ireland and Postcolonial Theory (Cork University Press and Notre Dame University Press, 2003). She is also the author of Circe’s Cup: Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Writing about Ireland (Cork University Press, 2002) and The Orlando Furioso, A Stoic Comedy (Medieval and Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1997). With Vincent Carey, she edited Richard Beacon's humanist dialogue on the colonization of Ireland, Solon His Follie (1996). She is also the editor of the Early Modern Period in the Longman Anthology of British Literature (2003) and of the Longman Cultural Edition of Othello and Tragedy of Mariam (2003).

In addition to teaching courses in Comparative, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance literatures, she has taught both the advanced seminar and the introductory Irish language course in Irish Studies. When Carroll won the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching back in 1993, one of her students commented: "She encourages us to disagree, debate, and discuss. Most important, she gets us to think."

By Natalia Rak ‘13

Attached Photo: Clare Carroll with Provost Timothy Houlihan.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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