Traolach Ó Ríordáin
History – An Stair
“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” ― Edmund Burke
It was as a result of the primary research conducted by Professor David Emmons of the History Department that the University of Montana made its first critical intervention in the field of Irish Studies. Emmons’ seminal work, The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town, 1875 – 1925, is regarded as one of the finest studies of its kind. It also focused attention on the vast corpus of primary material relating to the Irish experience in America and on the need for further research and publication in this area. It has in many ways shaped the intellectual direction of the Irish Studies program which now focuses much of its resources on investigating the imperatives of Irish American culture and identity and the ways in which they impacted the political, cultural and social life of Ireland.
The importance of Professor Emmons’ work was further acknowledged in 2015 by establishment of a visiting professorship in Irish history through the generosity of Sam and Julie Baldridge. The Dr. David Emmons Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies will bring a visiting professor in the field of Irish and Irish American Studies to campus every spring. Each professor will teach an introductory course in Irish history and a second upper-division course in his or her area of expertise. All offerings are three-credit courses.