COMING SOON: Irish Politics
Irish Thought and Literature
Ireland is well known for its poets and writers but what of its thinkers? In the past Ireland has also been called “the island of saints and scholars” but again what of its thinkers? Thomas Duddy’s recent book A History of Irish Thought (2002) offers us helpful resources to address this question. This course will explore some of the main thinkers in the Irish tradition. It will consider whether there is a distinctive style (or perhaps styles) of Irish thought, whether there is a plurality of traditions that yet exhibit distinctive marks. The relation of reason (science) and religion is a major concern in Irish tradition(s). So also is the importance of poetry for the Irish mind. Thinkers to be considered will include Scotus Eriugena, John Toland, George Berkeley, Edmund Burke. We will also look at the explorations of thought in some writers of literature, figures such as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. The course will conclude with a consideration of some recent Irish thinkers in the 20th century, including Iris Murdoch, William Desmond, and Richard Kearney. Themes to be explored in selected texts include: (e)migrant thought; intimate/local knowing and universal reason; exile and home; the condition of “being between”; broken tradition(s); losing a language and finding a voice; the sacred and thought; Irish poetry and reflection; laughter/comedy and Irish thought
ENG1975: Narratives of Belonging in Contemporary Irish Literature
Core Literature & Writing Seminar - Jennifer Joyce
What does it mean to belong? In what ways is it fundamental to the human experience? How might the act of belonging influence understandings of personal, familial, and national identities? In the 20th and 21st Century, Irish writers continue to explore expressions of belonging, and in contrast, separation and isolation, in narratives throughout multiple genres. This English Core Literature and Writing Seminar will analyze and respond to modern and contemporary Irish short stories, novels, drama, and poetry in an effort to uncover the inextricable link between the vital experience of belonging and what it means to be Irish. Texts will range from Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, and Colum McCann, to Stacey Gregg and Claire Keegan, among others, which will offer tremendous occasion for critical thinking about the intersections of identity, nationhood, class, gender, and power in Ireland and within the global context.
HIS2286 Irish-American Saga
Cultural Anthropology: Ireland and the Diaspora
MWF 12:30-1:20 PM - Dori Panzer
What is cultural identity and why does it matter? What does it mean to be “Irish,” “American,” or “other”? Who gets to choose the label? How and why? How do notions of nationhood & citizenship impact identity? What legacies of the past remain significant today? How do people of a Diaspora differ from the “home” country? Using an anthropological perspective, we will explore questions like these to better understand how humans make sense of their world and how they organize their lives. Our focus will be Ireland and its Diaspora, but we will sample research of other cultures as well.
ENG 2450: Irish Epics, Visions, and Hauntings
In this class we read great Irish epics, vision tales, gothic stories, and poems of rebellion. A main goal is to analyze the changes in Irish literature from its early medieval origins to the modern period in the nineteenth century. We begin with the Old Irish saga Táin Bó Cuailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley) and the satiric middle Irish vision text, Aislinge Meic Conglinne. Readings follow through selections of bardic poetry that survived colonial incursions and the collapse of Gaelic social order in the seventeenth century. Two eighteenth century Irish language works, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire (Lament for Art Ó Laoghaire) by Eileen O’Connell and Cúirt An Mheán Oíche (The Midnight Court) by Brian Merriman, are read alongside works by Anglo-Irish authors Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith, with an eye toward understanding conflicts between Gaelic and Anglo cultures in Ireland. The last third of the course surveys the rise of cultural nationalist and gothic writers during the nineteenth-century when the Great Famine of 1845-50 occurred; authors include Maria Edgeworth, Thomas Moore, William Carleton, James Clarence Mangan, and Sheridan Le Fanu. We will read a sampling of plays, poems, and novels, examining how Ireland has been imagined variously over time. We will also explore how the story of Ireland has been told, retold, parodied, and reinvented as cultural nationalist critique and ghost story.