This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Univ of St Thomas April Irish Studies Lectures

From: "Lori Gallagher" Subject: University of St. Thomas April Irish Studies Lectures Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 15:07:12 -0500 Dear Friends: Please join us for two outstanding lectures in our free Cultural Outreach Series on April Thursday, April 26, and Sunday, April 29. Come learn about the Irish language in today’s world and meet retired NASA Commander Eileen Collins, who is the first woman ever selected to be a space shuttle pilot and the first woman to command a space shuttle. Commander Collins also was on the first “return to flight” mission after the tragic loss of Columbia on February 1, 2003. ---- Thursday, April 26, 2007 Joe Mac Donnacha, Academic Coordinator Academy for Irish-medium University Studies National University of Ireland , Galway The Irish Language: The Successes and Challenges of Language Planning in Ireland and the Future of Irish in a “Globalized World” When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon , UST Co-sponsor: Irish American Cultural Institute With the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Irish language was accorded the status of the “national language.” By 1926, Irish speakers in the Irish Free State numbered 543,511 (18 per cent), out of a total population of 2,971,992. By 1936, a year before the enactment of the Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, the number of Irish-speakers had increased to 666,601 (24 per cent), out of a total population of 2,140,324. This dichotomy between the constitutional status of Irish and its de facto position as the lesser-used language in the State is the focus of debate in Ireland and elsewhere. The Irish Government is investing in Irish language programs around the world, such as UST’s, in an effort to preserve it. The lecture will discuss the viewpoints in favor of and against preserving Irish as the official language of Ireland . Joe will identify successes and failures of Irish language planning and the challenges that face the Irish language if it is to remain a spoken language in the “globalized world” of Ireland today. He will include a short summary of the history of language, discussing attitudes among the populace in general towards the language, how effectively school children acquire Irish through the education system, the areas and domains in which Irish is used in society and the future of the last remaining “Gaeltachtaí” (Irish-speaking areas). The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of the importance of Irish as the language in which many of the cultural traditions of Ireland developed and are still to be found, with a particular focus on the sean-nós (old style/traditional) singing tradition. Joe Mac Donnacha is the Academic Coordinator with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge (Academy for Irish-medium University Studies) at the National University of Ireland, Galway , where he also lectures in language planning. ---- Sunday, April 29, 2007 NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins Return to Flight Mission – Lessons Learned from STS-114 When: 2:30 p.m. Where: Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon , UST Irish-American United States Air Force Colonel, Retired, Eileen Collins will present a lecture about STS-114 Discovery (July 26-August 9, 2005), which was the first “return to flight” mission after the tragic loss of Columbia on February 1, 2003. Commander Collins is the first woman ever selected to be a space shuttle pilot and the first woman to command a space shuttle (STS-93 Columbia July 23-27, 1999). Under her command of STS-114 Discovery, the Shuttle docked with the International Space Station and the crew tested and evaluated new procedures for flight safety as well as shuttle inspection and repair techniques. After a two-week, 5.8 million-mile journey in space, the orbiter and its crew of seven astronauts landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California . Colonel Collins will narrate an 18-minute video and present several still photographs of the earth from space in addition to describing the mission and her experiences as an astronaut. At the official announcement of Commander Collins as the First Woman Space Shuttle Commander in the White House on March 5, 1998, she smiled broadly and said, “When I was a child, I dreamed about space - I admired pilots, astronauts, and I’ve admired explorers of all kinds. It was only a dream that I would someday be one of them. It is my hope that all children, boys and girls, will see this mission and be inspired to reach for their dreams, because dreams do come true!” We look forward to seeing you this week for our final presentations of the semester! Lori Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D. Director, Center for Irish Studies University of St. Thomas 3800 Montrose Blvd. Houston , TX 77006 713-525-3592 (direct) 713-525-3866 (fax)
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