The latest edition of Celtic Life International magazine includes a feature section on post-secondary Celtic education programs. Great to see our Heather Sparling included among those consulted (vol. 30, no. 5, October 2016). Speaking about the pros of Celtic studies in a world that seems not to favour the humanities and social sciences, Heather is “convinced that if a student follows their passion, ‘the doors will open’.”
There are challenges in attracting students to Celtic studies, among many others (e.g., music, literature), in the current post-secondary environment. Institutions, bolstered by media attention, are convinced that higher education is about “getting a degree that feeds directly into a job, even though that’s largely a myth.”
Pursuing an arts degree “may not [lead to] an obvious career, but they will have the knowledge and the skills and the background that they need to get a job that will be fulfilling to them.”
Heather Sparling is Canada Research Chair in Traditional (Musical Traditions) and Associate Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Her book Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music was published by CBU Press in 2014.