It was a pleasure to welcome Virginia Tech back to Donegal this Spring, for their study trip on ‘Landscape and Identity’, a program combining geography, sustainability, folklore, climate justice and human rights. Ireland is indeed the perfect location for this program, offering amazing landscapes and seascapes that come packed with narratives ripe for exploring and unpacking.
Our lectures covered the usual spectrum, from ancient Ireland and its ‘Underland’ to current times, focusing on the global themes of folklore and mythology, colonization, poverty and emigration, revolution and revival, and peace and conflict resolution. Our field trips included the fascinating karstic Fermanagh/Cavan Geopark, including the Cavan Burren and the Marble Arch Caves, a coastal exploration guided with marine archaeologist Auriel from ‘Seatrails’, we caught deserted villages and a rainbow at the Sliabh Liag Cliffs, a great talk from Rossa O’Doherty about Bloody Sunday Derry City, and we even packed in a day to browse around Dublin.
Our class time and reflection time was so productive and profound, as we used our daily experiences to discuss everything from US and global politics, food culture and science, sustainable practices in tourism and farming, ethnicity and identity – it was a really great educational experiences. Our thanks to Professor Bob Bush for doing the groundwork, and to the wonderful leaders Marielle and Jose.
Here are some pics!