Michael J. Simonton, Director of Celtic Studies and Lecturer in Anthropology, has been at NKU since 2000. He earned his PhD in Social Anthropology at the National University of Ireland with a longitudinal study of Aging in the context of societal transformation. His other research interests include the origins of the Celtic peoples just prior to and during the Iron Age using ancient history, linguistics, oral literature, and archeology to trace the movements of culturally and geographically related peoples across three continents. He has published four books: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Readings in Cultural Anthropology; Ballybradán: Personal and Cultural Transformation in a North Connacht Town; and Sailing A Life Course: A Longitudinal Study Of Aging In An Irish Town., as well as shorter pieces, such as ‘Celtic Europe: Ancient and Modern’ a major entry in Sage Publications’ Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Northern Kentucky University Student Support Services Faculty of Distinction Award 2006 & 2007 The Margaret Mary Edmonds Huth Memorial Award of Excellence to the Outstanding Senior in Anthropology, University of Dayton 1976
This course delves into the ancient societies of Britain and Ireland, from the megalithic past through the Celts, and explores how their traditions survived invasions to form the foundation for 19th and early 20th century folk life. By visiting ancient sites, such as England’s Stonehenge, Avebury, and West Kennet Long Barrow, and Ireland’s Bru Na Boinne, as well as London's British Museum and Dublin's National Museum, students will gain firsthand experience of the ancient places and things that many know only from books and whose traditions were the foundations of life and culture in the British Isles.
“As someone who has traveled and lived in another country, reading descriptions or looking at photographs in a book cannot give the student any sort of understanding of what it really is like to learn about the lives of those whom we study with any sort of comprehension approaching that of firsthand experience. “ — Michael Simonton