Concentration in Celtic Studies

Yes, that was my concentration under the English major (and yes, I attempted to learn Gaelic). At Penn, you're required to have a concentration, and this appealed to me much more than a historical approach to British or American writing over the years. I hope to one day go to Ireland and apply my knowledge, be it as a student or as a vacation. I know of places I would like to visit, and retained a tiny bit of Gaelic- we'll see what happens.

Why Celtic Studies? Well, yes, a lot had to do with the fact that I got to read lots of Irish literature and I really like Yeats. The other main aspect probably has a lot to do with my fascination with myths of a region and how they affect a culture in defining its religious beliefs, heros, and strengths: all major components of Ireland itself. A good majority of contemporary pagan religions still celebrate some derivation of Celtic holidays, such as Beltaine and Samhain, and many of these religions try to keep the same traditions that were practiced hundreds of years ago.

Am I Irish myself? I probably look it a lot more than I am. I have dark auburn hair, very fair skin (with freckles), and green eyes. However, I'm mostly German and Welsh/English: the dark hair, light eyes (especially blue, which mine used to be until I was 12 or 13), and fair skin are mostly Welsh traits. However, I do have a small amount of Irish heritage, and like Scarlett O'Hara, I have those kind of green eyes that seem to come alive most when I'm passionate about something.

But enough about me and my reasons for this particular field of study. Here's a few resources I've found that can give you a better idea of what "Celtic studies" really is.

You're most likely very familiar with Celtic knotwork- here's a page on Celtic symbology and motifs.

For a good laugh, take a look at Ulysses for Dummies. Please note that this is a parody, and in no way will it actually help you to understand Joyce's famous written enigma.

Jerry Desmond has added his Concise History of Ireland to the net. Great for history buffs, or those just interested in a specific time period in Ireland. For more general (but very well put together) information on Ireland, go to Eolas na hE´ireann.

The Encyclopedia Mythica now has a Celtic mythology section. Unfortunately, this site can sometimes be limited to a certain number of users, but is always worth checking later.

Irish film buff? Try here.

Or how about Celtic music? There's Ceolas celtic music archive, Irish Records International, Inc., and the Irish Music Warehouse. For a more modern slant on things, take a look at the self-proclaimed Best Irish Pop Page, or an Irish radio station, Hit Radio 2EM.

Are you looking for Irish books? Try the House of Ireland section of

Find out what the Yeats Society of New York is up to.

Here's a wonderful Irish Poetry Page, sponsored by the University of Cologne, Germany.

Speaking of Yeats and poetry, here's a picture I found of the Lake Isle of Innisfree, and here's my favorite poem.

Find out more about the Celtic nations through the Celtic League.

Can't find what you're looking for in what I've listed? Try Access Ireland, complete with a virtual Ireland pub.

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