Dublin has so many layers and levels: it is one of the most intimate cities in Europe, a true walker’s city where it’s still possible to know every shopkeeper and publican on your daily route; and yet it is also a truly multi-national urban center, with all the cultural complexity and diversity that we associate with a cosmopolitan European capital. Recent waves of immigration have transformed the city in dynamic and exciting ways. And yet it remains the Dublin of the early 20th century, the Dublin of Yeats and Joyce and the great Abbey Theater, where the Irish Cultural Renaissance flowered and the greatest poets of the century reigned. It also remains the Dublin of Jonathan Swift and the great 18th century, with its wide avenues, stately city parks such as Stephen’s Green, and grand Georgian architecture. We can still find the Dublin of the Middle Ages in the two great cathedrals of Christ’s Church and St. Patrick’s and in Dublin Castle itself. There is also historical Dublin, site of the Easter Rising in 1916, and the Dublin of music, classical as well as traditional music. Dublin is a city of charm and grace, of noise and nuance, of high art and low balladry, of theater and poetry and song and battle. I have led over a dozen trips to Dublin with both students and alumni, and I am no less excited about this upcoming W&L Traveller adventure. Through site visits, guided tours, and lectures, we’ll explore the Dublin of past and present—and yes, there will be a few pub visits thrown in as well!
—Marc Conner, Ballengee Professor of English
Marc is a Professor of English at Washington and Lee. He took degrees in English and Philosophy at the University of Washington, followed by the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University. He has taught in the departments of English and Religion at Princeton, and in the Great Books Program at the University of Notre Dame. He has published books on Toni Morrison and Charles Johnson and essays on Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, Sherwood Anderson, Ralph Ellison, and on Irish Modernism. Marc directs a spring term study abroad program to Ireland, which he led in 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2007. Marc is a veteran of several Alumni College programs, including most of the Law and Literature symposia. In 2011, Marc led the W&L Traveller tour of Ireland. His teaching interests include American and Irish literature, Shakespeare, literature and philosophy, African-American Studies, and the Bible as English Literature. In 2004 Marc received the Ring-Tum Phi Award for teaching excellence.