Courses

Irish Studies Classes Fall 2018

For further information on Irish Studies or on the Irish Studies minor contact Professor James H Murphy: james.h.murphy@bc.edu

Introduction to Modern Irish I (ENGL109301)
Matthew Holmberg 
(3) credits
M-W-F, 10:00–10:50 a.m.
Higgins 265

Description: This course continues in second semester as ENGL1094 
This course offers beginners an enjoyable introduction to the language and culture of Ireland. We’ll learn how to speak Gaelic and read modern Irish texts and poetry. And will examine major themes in Irish history and culture associated with the rise and fall of the language over its long history. This course counts as one towards your Irish Studies minor, and one towards your English major. In the spring semester, you can build on what you’ve gained and, if you wish, satisfy the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences language proficiency requirement by completing the four-course cycle the following year.

 

Continuing Modern Irish I (ENGL 209701)
Joseph Nugent
(3) credits
Tues–Thurs, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
Stokes 476S

Description: 
This is a continuing course in modern Irish for those with a basic knowledge of the language. We’ll emphasize the ability to read contemporary literature in various genres. Texts from a variety of authors and historical periods allow students to taste different writing styles: contemporary fiction, journalism, literary criticism, historical and cultural texts, while we enjoy Irish-language short films and videos.

 

Explore the Irish (ENGL 220801)
James H. Murphy
(3) credits
Tues–Thurs, 9:00–10:15 a.m.
Higgins 225

Description:
Ireland is a small island with a remarkable story. Its people have had a significant influence on other societies, including the United States, through emigration. Its history is one of conquest and change, of the interaction of different cultures and of the struggle for national identity. Its culture, most notable its literature, is of great richness. It has produced four Nobel Literature Prize winners, Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney, as well the great novelist James Joyce. This class invites students to discover something of the Irish story and to learn about further opportunities in Irish studies at Boston College.

 

Outcast Ireland (ENGL 430101)
James Smith
(3) credits
Tues–Thurs, 1:30–2:45 p.m.
Cushing 335

Description: 
This course considers the roles played by institutions in Irish society since the formation of the State (1922). We study the history of institutional provision, both as a legacy of empire and an apparatus of social control throughout the twentieth century, e.g., Industrial Schools, Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, and mental Hospitals. We examine legislation and social policy informing social phenomena contained by these institutions, e.g., poverty, illegitimacy, single motherhood, deviancy, illness, etc. We analyze how literary and cultural representations (e.g., fiction, drama, poetry, film, memoir, journalism, and testimony) contribute to making visible those aspects of Irish society typically hidden from view. And, we evaluate the significance of human rights advocacy campaigns, survivor organizations, and the State’s response to demands for justice, redress, and memorialization.

 

Yeats: Work, Thoughts, Contexts (ENGL881801)
Marjorie Howes
(3) credits
Thursday, 4:30–6:50 p.m.
Gasson 304

Description: 
This course will explore Yeats’s major works, with a special emphasis on his poetry. We will examine issues of form and poetics; we will also engage with his work’s social, political, and historical contexts and concerns. We will engage with a wide range of contemporary scholarship on Yeats, as well as Yeats’s own formulations and theorizations of his work.

 

Beckett (ENGL600601)
Andrew Sofer
(3) credits
Tuesday, 2:00–4:25 p.m.
McGuinn 400                                                                            

Description: 
This course introduces a major Irish (post)modernist writer, arguably the most important playwright of the twentieth century. Reading a range of Beckett’s fiction and drama, and with the help of various critical essays, we will place Beckett in his biographical, geographical, theatrical, and historical contexts. Texts will include Waiting for Godot, Endgame, short fictions early and late, and several plays for television. Work will include a class presentation, a short project, and a final long essay for which original archival research in the Burns library is an option. No previous familiarity with Beckett is required.

 

Social & Political Violence in 20th Century Ireland (HIST 326201)         
Oliver Rafferty
Wednesday, 3:00–5:25 p.m.
Stokes 361S
*RESTRICTED to History majors

Description: 
The aim of this course is to enable students to pursue an in-depth study of the history of Ireland’s violent past in its 20th century manifestation. This will initially take the form of a general survey of the revolutionary generation 1913-23 and how this set the pattern for violent encounter with both the British and Irish states for the rest of the century. Students will then opt to look at one aspect of social and political violence and write a 25-page paper exploring these themes.

 

Ireland Before the Famine (HIST 427801)
Kevin O’Neill
(3) credits
Tues–Thurs, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
Campion 303
*Not open to students who have taken HIST2450

Description:  
The course will focus on the social and economic determinants of Irish political history during the early Penal era, the Age of Revolution, the struggle for Catholic Emancipation, and the mid-century crisis. Themes explored will include economic development, sectarianism, republicanism, colonialism, and women's studies.

 

History & Fiction in Irish Culture (HIST4866)
Ciaran O’Neill
(3) credits
Burns Library Fine Print Room

Description: 
Historical fiction by definition offers the experience of imbibing an historic place, time, beliefs, and other issues of a particular time and place. What can we learn from works of pure fiction that give insight into a particular place, time, etc.? What can we learn of empire, colonialism, nationalism, war, rebellion, women's struggles in Great Britain and Ireland? Find out as we take a look at novels, essays, poems, and other types of works in this seminar that will meet at the Burns Library of Rare Books and Special collections. We will make use of the Burns Library collections as we delve into a tumultuous period in history.

 

Irish Fiddle/Experienced Beginner (MUSP161501)
Sheila Falls Keohane
(0) credits
Thursday, 6:30–7:15 p.m.
Lyons 409
*This is a performance course.

Description: 
For students who have taken a full semester of Beginner Irish Fiddle (MUSP1600) or have at least one year's experience playing the violin. This class will help students continue in the development of violin technique. Students will learn more advanced Irish dance tunes with some beginning ornamentation (bowing and fingering). Students may take the experienced beginner class for more than one semester until they feel ready to move to the Intermediate level. Violin rentals are possible. A small portable recorder is required. Fall participants may continue in spring semester, but new students may not enroll in spring semester.

 

Irish Fiddle/Intermediate (MUSP260001)
Sheila Falls Keohane
(0) credits
Thursday, 7:15–8:00 p.m.
Lyons 409
*This is a performance course.

Description: 
For students who have at least three years’ experience playing the violin (classical or traditional Irish) or who have taken the Experienced Beginner class (MUSP 1615) and who the instructor feels is ready for the intermediate level. Traditional music will be taught with a focus on ornamentation, bowing, and style. Airs and dance music of Ireland will be covered along with music of the ancient Bardic harpers and court musicians. Violin rentals are possible. A small portable recorder is required.