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Dr. Virginia LaGrand, associate professor of English, will be one of 15 visiting faculty members attending this summer's "Anglo-Irish Identities, 1600-1800" seminar at the University of Notre Dame's Keough Institute for Irish Studies. The five-week session, one of 20 sponsored nationwide by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), will explore the ethnic group's cultural, political, and ideological characteristics.

"This seminar offers an in-depth study of material long ignored by my discipline but recently brought to the foreground of English studies," LaGrand said. "The literature written by English Christians during the development of the British Empire gives modern readers the opportunity to see what these writers thought about the colonial enterprise. Such a view provides a valuable mirror for Americans as our nation plays its role of international peacekeeper."

La Grand's background is seasoned with an international flavor. She received a diploma in language from Cambridge University in England and completed her doctorate in English from Switzerland's Basel University. She taught English and French for two years in Nigeria, and also spent time in Nova Scotia. One of the courses she teaches at the College focuses on British literature.

During her stay in South Bend, Indiana, she will have access to the university's Irish Studies library. The cohort will study texts of authors whose writings have greatly influenced the teaching and understanding of Ireland's history and literature from that era.

"The political and social context of the literary canon is directly relevant to my work at Trinity," she said. "We have revised our curriculum over the past several years to allow our students to take advantage of developments in English studies, and this seminar will give me a chance to meet the experts whose books I read to prepare for my classes. I am excited to work with them."

The NEH is a U.S. government agency dedicated to supporting humanities through research, education, preservation, and public programs. Each year it sponsors seminars and institutes throughout the country for higher education professors to collaborate with one another as they study specific topics and disciplines.

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