Courses

Irish Studies Classes Spring 2020


Irish Politics, 1916 to Present: Critical Case Study (POLI340601)

Sean McGraw
Credits: 03
T Th, 3-4:15 p.m.

Description: Ireland, a country rich in history, has undergone dramatic changes in the twentieth century beginning with its fight for independence and culminating in its meteoric rise during the Celtic Tiger years. What explains Ireland's distinctive political trajectory and how does it compare to other European nations? How should we understand the Celtic Tiger, the rapid series of social, economic and political transformations that have occurred within Ireland since the 1990s? This course explores these questions by studying the political actors and institutional settings of Irish politics, the nature of political influence and the shaping of political priorities, and the forces that shape policy outcomes. It will address such critical issues as the legacies of colonialism and civil war, nationalism, democratization, the relationship between the Church and State, the Northern Ireland Troubles and the European Union. While the course focuses on the Republic of Ireland, it will adopt a broad comparative perspective, situating the country both within the wider global context and within the political science literature.
 

The New Woman in Victorian Fiction (ENGL 601901)

James H. Murphy
Credits: 03
Wed. 2-4:25 p.m.

Description: The late nineteenth century saw the flowering of the "New Woman" movement in fiction. It coincided to a degree with First-Wave feminism and the struggle for women's suffrage. It had literary debts to contemporary writers such as the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen but also to women writers over the previous century such as George Eliot. This course explores those roots while also attending to the work of some of the seminal New-Woman novelists themselves who came from Irish as well as British backgrounds. They include Olive Schreiner, Sarah Grand, Iota, Mona Caird, and George Egerton.
 

Reading Irish Childhood (ENGL 451801)

James Smith
Credits 03
T Th, noon-1:15 p.m.

Description: Why study Irish childhood now? Representations of the child dominate recent Irish culture, from Oscar winning movies, to Pulitzer winning memoirs, and Booker winning novels. The course evaluates this important cultural turn while examining how understandings of the Irish child change over time. We will investigate the relationship between child and nation and ask how nostalgia and memory frame childhood. This course also considers siblings, education, play, adoption, abuse, and institutionalization. Texts include short stories by James Joyce and Kevin Barry, novels by Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, and Emma Donoghue, memoirs by Frank McCourt and Caitríona Palmer, poetry by Connie Roberts, and films and documentaries including The Butcher Boy, Philomena, and States of Fear. Students will participate in the visit to BC by Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, Caitríona Palmer, and Connie Roberts.
 

Joyce’s Ulysses (ENGL 880201)

Marjorie Howes
Credits 03
Monday, 7-9:25 p.m.

Description: This course will be dedicated to an extended exploration of James Joyce's Ulysses, a novel that has often been called the most important literary work of the twentieth century. Most of our time will be devoted to an intensive reading of the novel itself, but we will also read selected critical and historical materials. No prior knowledge of Joyce's works is required, just a willingness to tackle the challenges offered by his most influential masterpiece.
 

Introduction to Modern Irish II (ENGL 109401)

Joseph Nugent
Credits 03
T Th, 3-4:15 p.m.

Description: Following on from ENGL1093, this course offers a continuing introduction to the Irish language for American students. We will continue along our examination of Irish culture and literature through the Irish language. You can look forward to reading contemporary texts, poetry, and drama, and to enlarging your understanding of the cultural heritage out of which the language emerged. Completion of this and Continuing Modern Irish I and II will fulfill the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences language proficiency requirement.
 

Intermediate Modern Irish (ENGL 209801)

Joseph Nugent
Credits 03
T Th, 9-10:15 a.m.

Description: In this completion of the two-year cycle of Irish language learning, we will engage deeply with modern texts and work with Irish through other media—sound and film. You will become familiar with contemporary texts and will engage in a sustained project of reading and translating in the original Irish one or more of the great works of literature written in Irish.
 

Harpies, Hysterics, and Fallen Women (ENGL403001)

Meghan Crotty
Credits 03

Film, Media, and Modern Ireland (HIST 428101)

Robert Savage
Credits 03
Th, 4:30-6:50 p.m.

Description: This course will use a variety of sources, including feature and documentary film, to address the transformation of twentieth century Irish society. Students will work with an array of primary and secondary sources to consider how the development of an indigenous film industry and an electronic media challenged and ultimately undermined a conservative political, cultural, and religious consensus that dominated life in post-independence Ireland.
 

Commemoration Fever: Heritage, Remembrance and Forgetting in Contemporary Ireland (HIST482701)

Guy Beiner
Credits 03
Wed, 3-5:25 p.m.

Description: This course looks at the historical past as it is remembered through political, social and cultural activities in the present. It critically examines the ‘Memory Boom’ in contemporary global culture through a case study of Ireland. In recent years, Ireland (including Northern Ireland) has been preoccupied with intensive commemoration of key events in its modern history. In the 1990s there were extensive commemorations of the sesquicentenary of the Great Famine and the bicentenary of the Great Irish Rebellion of 1798. The current ‘Decade of Centenaries’ is dedicated to commemorations of the Great War and of the Irish Revolution. In addition, there is continuous remembrance of other historical events (not least the annual Orange parades in Northern Ireland). We will consider what characterizes this obsessive engagement with heritage, what motivates commemorations, and what is left forgotten. We will also wrestle with the dilemmas of how academic historians can relate to such manifestations of public history.
 

Eighteenth Century Ireland (HIST427401)  

Kevin O’Neill
Credits 03
T Th, 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Description: Ireland experienced dramatic and often violent social, economic, and political changes as its place within the British political system and Atlantic culture emerged. These global changes coincided both with the emergence of a vibrant colonial culture represented by figures such as Jonathan Swift, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Edmund Burke, and a persistent indigenous culture, outside the view of Anglo culture. This course will explore the interaction of Anglo and Gaelic Irish and the major historical events of the period: the emergence of the Penal system, colonial nationalism, republicanism, the Revolution of 1798, and the Act of Union.
 

Feast or Famine? Food and the Environment (HIST470201)

Kevin O’Neill
Credits 03
T Th, 1:30-2:45 p.m.

Description: Through most of history the primary quest of humans has been to obtain sufficient food for survival. This course will explore the evolving relationships between that quest and the environment. Topics will include: climate change, the domestication of plants and animals, the development of settled agricultural societies, the Columbian exchange of biota, plantation and state sponsored agriculture, and the emergence of agro-business. We will explore the role of both individual crops/commodities such as sugar, chocolate, cod, corn, and the potato, and the environmental systems of which they were part.
 

Irish Fiddle/Experienced Beginner (MUSP 161501)

Sheila Falls Keohane
Credits 00
Tues, 6:30-8:45 pm, Lyons Hall Room 409

Description: Performance course
For students who have taken a full semester of Beginner Irish Fiddle (MUSP 1600) 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 (MUSP 260001)

Sheila Falls Keohane
Credits 00
Th, 7:15-8 pm, Lyons Hall Room 409

Description: Performance course
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.
 

Traditional Irish Dance (MUSP 1620 01)

Caitlin Haggan
Credits 00
Mon, 7:30-9 p.m., Brighton Dance Studio no. 2

Description: Performance course
 

Early Medieval Art in Ireland and Britain (ARTH 442701)

Nancy Netzer
Credits 03
Mon, noon-12:30 p.m.