Springfield College’s Dr. Delahanty presents lecture on Irish history at Wilkes

Luke Modrovsky, Asst. Sports Editor

On Nov. 3, Wilkes University welcomed guest lecturer Dr. Ian Delahanty to the Henry Student Center’s Miller Room. Delahanty has focused on researching Irish history for numerous years.

In front of a packed room, Delahanty treated Wilkes University students and faculty, along with members of the Wilkes-Barre community, to a lesson on “How Irish Immigrants Became Irish Americans”.

The lecture was sponsored by the University’s History Department.

A member of the Springfield College faculty, Delahanty is the assistant professor of history in the social sciences department.

Ian Delahanty’s visit to Wilkes-Barre said the city reminds him a lot of his current home.

“Wilkes-Barre reminds me a lot of Springfield. Cities that have a really cool history of immigration,” said Delahanty.

Delahanty said he became fond of Irish Immigration history after some thinking. “I increasingly came to realize that I couldn’t understand their motivations on why they did some things,” he said.

Delahanty’s research focuses on the intersections between immigration, slavery, and the American Civil War. He received his doctorate from Boston College in 2013 in the field of American history.

Dr. Jonathan Kuiken, an assistant professor at Wilkes University, organized the lecture. Kuiken said he saw lecture for the first time. When asked about how the topic was chosen, Kuiken said they try and relate them to current events.

“Each year the contemporary history project chooses a theme. Last years was energy. This year, we decided to go with immigration,” Kuiken said.

Kuiken said he chose Delahanty because of his prior research. “Ian is a very well-established immigration historian,” said Kuiken.

“Ian and I go back many years. We both went to Boston College together.”

Kyle McHale, a junior as Wilkes University said he enjoyed the lecture.

“It showed how the Irish Americans were able to adapt to the American life,” McHale said.

McHale said his heritage relates closely to Irish history, making reference to his last name as an example.

After the lecture concluded, Delahanty, Kuiken and McHale told a story of some “Mc” families. They said some families has unintentionally dropped the prefix from the name.

For more information on future lectures, consult Dr. Jonathan Kuiken at [email protected].