Study Abroad: Ireland

James McNaughton
James McNaughton

Assistant Professor James McNaughton has been an influential member of the faculty at The University of Alabama since 2007. He devotes much of his time at the university to teaching modernist and Irish literature. Professor James McNaughton has played a key role in expanding the horizons of his students by creating the UA in Ireland study abroad program. McNaughton states that he started this study abroad program “to provide UA students immersion in Irish academic life and culture.” Keeping true to the experience, McNaughton expresses his desire for students to “have the experience of traveling there certainly but also studying with Irish professors, visiting sites where literary works take place and where history appears in the stones before you.”

The program is partnered with the National University of Galway in Ireland. McNaughton says that when he designed this program, he wanted his students to take courses by Irish professors and also reap the benefits of the intimate feel of small UA faculty-led programs. The partnership with Galway allows students to take advantage of classes offered by Galway in subjects ranging from archaeology, literature, film, and creative writing. Through this program, students encounter Ireland’s food, culture, and academia. Students in the program take a course with McNaughton as well as a two-day trip to Dublin, Ireland to conclude the experience. McNaughton incorporates James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is set in Dublin and is in his opinion “perhaps the most famous novel of the 20th century in the English language.” This book, he says, “responds to and transforms world culture.” Through McNaughton’s program, students have had fulfilling experiences such as seeing live performances, which last year included The Rite of Spring and the international debut of Riverrun, a play adapted from Joyce.

Traveling to Ireland not only helps students to connect Joyce’s novels to Irish culture but also helps them connect with new people they would never have met. McNaughton says it best: “one never knows what can come of such connections abroad, what collaboration, what opportunities.”

If you would like information on how to apply for the program you can contact Dr. James McNaughton at

Additional Resources: Students also will find information and can start the application process at—students—program search—UA in Ireland.