Famine Summer School WWD

Irish Famine
Summer School
A unique education initiative that sees the world’s leading historic Famine scholars gather to explore and share new aspects of famine research.

The Irish Famine Summer School is an annual international conference run in association with our academic partners Quinnipiac University, Connecticut home of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute. Every year it alternates between Quinnipiac and Strokestown, when it brings the town of Strokestown to life. The Irish Famine Summer School has been praised by scholars for many things, the quality of the papers, the authenticity of the setting, the informality that allows for such lively conversation between attendees, and the range of peripheral events that add a real richness to the programme.

We welcome delegates from all over the world, along with undergraduates and leading interdisciplinary experts in the Irish Famine, who come together to share their knowledge and expertise, and to present and discuss their latest research.

We choose a different theme each year. The 2021 conference on 29th May (online) is titled ‘Landlords and Tenants, the good, the bad and the ugly’ and includes the story of one of the most notorious landlords during the Great Hunger, Major Denis Mahon, a previous owner of Strokestown Park House, who evicted many of his tenants from the estate and assisted 1,490 of them to emigrate in May 1847. Click here for more information.

Some of the highlights of the Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park have included the “Roscommon Connects: Community Building Through Shared Storytelling” showcase by new immigrants to Ireland living in Ballaghadereen; the launch of the Great Famine Voices Roadshow website featuring Irish-Canadians and Irish-Americans sharing their family memories and stories of coming from Ireland to North America; and especially singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke in conversation with Professor Christine Kinealy when he performed songs from his award-winning album “Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine” in the library in Strokestown Park House. It was a poignant occasion to hear Declan sing about the Great Hunger in the home of the National Famine Museum.