Irish Studies Course Description Fall 2013

 

IRST 10101:01
MWF 9:25-10:15
TBA
Beginning Irish I
No prior knowledge of the Irish language required. This course provides an enjoyable introduction to
modern Irish. Energetic teachers in small classes teach basic language skills and prepare students to
conduct conversations and read authentic texts. Extensive use is made of role-play and interactive
teaching methods. Irish 10101 is a superb opportunity to learn a new language, explore Irish/Celtic
culture, and investigate the linguistic politics of the only minority language offered at Notre Dame.
In addition to satisfying the language requirement of the College of Arts and Letters and the College
of Science, Irish satisfies the popular Irish Language and Literature and Irish Studies minors’
requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.


IRST 10101:02
MWF 10:30-11:20
Mary O’Callaghan
Beginning Irish I
No prior knowledge of the Irish language required. This course provides an enjoyable introduction to
modern Irish. Energetic teachers in small classes teach basic language skills and prepare students to
conduct conversations and read authentic texts. Extensive use is made of role-play and interactive
teaching methods. Irish 10101 is a superb opportunity to learn a new language, explore Irish/Celtic
culture, and investigate the linguistic politics of the only minority language offered at Notre Dame.
In addition to satisfying the language requirement of the College of Arts and Letters and the College
of Science, Irish satisfies the popular Irish Language and Literature and Irish Studies minors’
requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.


IRST 10101:03
MWF 12:50-1:40
Tara MacLeod
Beginning Irish I
No prior knowledge of the Irish language required. This course provides an enjoyable introduction to
modern Irish. Energetic teachers in small classes teach basic language skills and prepare students to
conduct conversations and read authentic texts. Extensive use is made of role-play and interactive
teaching methods. Irish 10101 is a superb opportunity to learn a new language, explore Irish/Celtic
culture, and investigate the linguistic politics of the only minority language offered at Notre Dame.
In addition to satisfying the language requirement of the College of Arts and Letters and the College
of Science, Irish satisfies the popular Irish Language and Literature and Irish Studies minors’
requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.


IRST 10102:01
MWF 9:25-10:15
Mary O’Callaghan
Beginning Irish II
Second semester of instruction in the Irish language. More emphasis will be placed on reading simple
texts in Irish. This class meets 3 days-a-week. In lieu of a scheduled 4th class, students work
independently on technology-based language/culture projects in the CSLC.


IRST 10102:02
MWF 12:50-1:40
Mary O’Callaghan
Beginning Irish II
Second semester of instruction in the Irish language. More emphasis will be placed on reading simple
texts in Irish. This class meets 3 days-a-week. In lieu of a scheduled 4th class, students work
independently on technology-based language/culture projects in the CSLC.


IRST 20103:01
MWF 2:00-2:50
Tara MacLeod
Intermediate Irish
Continuation of the study of the Irish Language with increased emphasis on the ability to read 20thcentury
literary work in the original Irish.


IRST 20116:01
TR 9:30-10:45
Amy Mulligan
Irish Literature and Culture 1
Ireland can lay claim to one of the most extensive, unique, and oldest literatures in Europe. By
engaging with a wide range of literary texts from the medieval and early modern periods (ca. 800-
1800), participants will consider how changing social, cultural, literary and intellectual contexts, in
terms of both authors and audiences, have dramatically transformed Ireland’s literature over the
centuries. By looking at authors ranging from heroic bards and literary monks to lamenting wives
and satirizing schoolmasters, we will examine the dynamics of production and the voices that speak
to us from Ireland’s past. Additionally, by thinking about the identities of those who have more
recently translated and edited the versions of the texts we will read, by questioning the different topics
that scholars have chosen to explore, and by articulating our own responses to often arresting works
from the Irish literary tradition, we will begin to understand the complexities and rich possibilities
inherent in experiencing these literary masterpieces in a time and place very different from medieval
or early modern Ireland. Participants will read both primary literary texts, which may include but are
not limited to The Táin, stories from Early Irish Myths and Sagas, poems from An Duanaire: Poems
of the Dispossessed, Merriman’s Midnight Court, as well as a number of critical essays. Participants
will be required to write several short response papers, to compose discussion questions to help direct
class conversations, and to write 2 papers (4-5 pp. and 6-7 pp.)


IRST 20710:01
MW 3:30-4:45
Mary Smyth
Narrative and Memory
This course will, in part, focus on honing your own critical reading and writing skills and approaches.
We will be reading a series of texts - memoirs and novels - which have in common a concern with the
nature of memory (often of traumatic memory) and the ways in which language can retrieve,
accommodate, memorialize, and respond to the past. One of the themes that will emerge repeatedly is
the instability of memory, as well as an emphasis on the uneasy connections and differences between
fiction and memoir. The following are the texts to be covered in depth: Primo Levi, The Drowned
and the Saved; Bernard Schlink, The Reader; Neil Jordan, Shade; Pat McCabe, The Butcher Boy;
Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark; Toni Morrison, Beloved. These main texts will be accompanied
by a number of related articles, available in a course pack. I may add additional readings if I think it
necessary. You will see that most of these articles concern the first two and the last of our texts. This
is in part because there is not a lot of good secondary material on the Irish books we will be studying.
You will also find, as you read the essays, that there is much in them that resonates with all of our
texts. Please take the time to read carefully all of this material, as we progress; I will be discussing
the articles with you in class. There will also be screenings of four films: extracts from Claude
Lanzmann’s masterpiece Shoah; The Gray Zone; The Butcher Boy; and After 68.


IRST 30111:01
MW 2:00-3:15
Ian Kuijt
Archaeology of Ireland
This course examines the cultural and historical trajectory of the archaeology of Ireland through a
series of richly illustrated lectures, organized chronologically, that trace cultural, social, and
technological developments from the Neolithic through the Viking period. Integrated with this
lecture series, and running concurrently on alternate days, will be a series of seminar and discussion
classes focused upon a number of anthropological and archaeological issues related to each of these
periods of time. This includes the emergence of the unique systems of communities, and the
development of systems of metallurgy in the Iron Age. Other classes will touch upon the topics of
regionalism and identity and contact at different periods of time, mortuary practices and ritual, and
discussion of village life in ring forts during the Bronze Age.


IRST 30115:01
TR 12:30-1:45
Diarmuid Ó Giolláin
Folklore and Irish History
This course will examine notions of history in oral cultures with special reference to Ireland. Who
were those who transmitted oral traditions about historical events? Which genres shaped oral
historical traditions? In which contexts were these traditions transmitted? What was the nature of the
traditions? What was their content? What relationship did they have to the written record, to
counter-hegemonic histories and to official histories? To what extent, if any, can they be said to
articulate a national perspective? These are some of the questions that will be addressed, and case
studies that illuminate special aspects of the subject such as oral traditions of the Vikings, of 1798, of
the Famine and of landlords will be discussed in detail.


IRST 30117:01
TR 2:00-3:15
Sarah McKibben
Queering Early Modern Ireland
This class explores the nature of the early modern (sixteenth- to seventeenth-century) colonial
encounter between the aggrandizing English state and the adjacent Irish polity through the lens of
Irish and English poetry and prose, asking how older Gaelic power relations and sociocultural forms
were altered (queered) by English claims, and how Irish literati responded by challenging (queering)
English authority in turn. Using feminist, postcolonial and queer theory, we will ask how we can
make sense of the forms of relation operative prior to and as transformed by the colonial encounter,
particularly in the male homosocial bonds described by Eve Sedgwick, which become queered
(troubled, stigmatized, rendered illegitimate), as Alan Bray and Jonathan Goldberg have argued in an
English and New World context, when they threaten extant power relations. We will also take up
longstanding areas of debate regarding the characteristics of this colonial encounter, the degree to
which comparisons are useful or apt, the nature of the so-called bardic mentalité, and, if we’re feeling
cocky, the modern. My own particular topics of interest include poet-patron relations, the imposition
of English law, and native mechanisms of legitimation; others will emerge as we read a variety of
texts together. That reading will include bardic professional poetry, state papers, annals, settlercolonial
and administrative screeds, English poetry, maps, and works of history and literary criticism.
While you need not know any Irish (Gaelic) to take this course, you should be prepared to conjoin
history and theory, poetry and politics, through historicized close reading while working across
genres to produce original criticism in the form of several papers whose topics you will develop
yourself.


IRST 30118:01
TR 3:30-4:45
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
20th Century Irish Language Poetry;-From Pearse to Gearold Mac Lochlainn
This course is what it says it is, a study of 20th Century Irish Language Poetry, from Padraig Pearse,
to Gearoid Mac Lochlainn. Each week we take a different poet and study their aims, techniques, and
what they offer to Irish Poetry as a 20th century artistic medium. A knowledge of Irish is not
essential, as we will be using translations, though always with reference to the originals. But it helps.


IRST 30130:01
MW 11:00-12:15
Bríona Nic Dhiarmada
Ireland on Screen
This course will examine and analyze representations of Ireland in film from the Silent era through
Hollywood film to the contemporary independant indigenous cinema of today. It will trace the
representation of the rural and the urban through the varying utopian/dystopian lenses of film makers
from the Kaleb Brothers to John Ford to Jim Sheridan to Lenny Abramson. Films discussed will
range from early 20th century silent films to The Quiet Man, Ryan’s Daughter, The Commitments,
Poitin, The Field, Kings, My Left Foot, Once, Garage, Goldfish Memory and The Guard.


IRST 30310:01
TR 11:00-12:15
Sarah McKibben
The Irish Comic Tradition
Fantasy. Humor. Ribaldry. The Macabre. The Grotesque. Wit. Word play. Satire. Parody. This
course will read diverse examples of the long and fertile comic tradition in Irish literature (in Irish and
in English), from medieval to modern, in order to enjoy a good laugh, get an alternative take on the
Irish literary tradition, and think about the politics of humor. Authors will include unknown acerbic
medieval scribes, satiric bardic poets, Swift, Merriman, Sheridan, Wilde, and Flann O’Brien. No
knowledge of Irish is assumed or necessary.


IRST 30326:01
MW 3:30-4:45
Cathal Goan
Screen Representations of Irish Rebellion
From the Easter Rising of 1916, through the War of Independence 1919-1921, to the end of the Irish
Civil War in 1923, Ireland was convulsed by a series of bloody events with a continuing political,
literary and broad cultural legacy almost one hundred years later. This course will look at portrayals
of the events of the period in film and television, in documentary and drama forms in Ireland and
across the world, from early news-reels to blockbuster features and from early Hollywood to a
planned documentary series for the 21st century. Contested events refracted through differing lenses
offer varying insights into ideology and entertainment, propaganda and craft, relativism and
revisionism, history and hokum. The course will be conducted by Cathal Goan, former Director
General of RTÉ, the Irish National Public Broadcaster, who is currently acting as Executive Producer
in the development of the Notre Dame sponsored television documentary series 1916 - The Irish
Rising. Feature Films, TV Drama and Documentaries to be discussed include 1926 - Irish
Destiny1929 - The Informer (from the novel by Liam O’Flaherty) 1930 - Juno and the Paycock
(director Alfred Hitchcock) 1935 - Guests of the Nation (director Denis Johnston) 1937 - The Plough
and the Stars (director John Ford) 1959 - Mise Éire (dir. George Morrison) 1965 - The Young
Cassidy (director John Ford & Jack Cardiff) 1966 - Insurrection (director Louis Lentin) RTÉ 1993 -
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles ABC TV 1996 - Michael Collins (director Neil Jordan) 2001 -
Rebel Heart (writer Ronan Bennett) RTÉ/BBC Co-production 2010 - Seachtar na Cásca [The Easter
Seven] TG4.


IRST 30416:01
TR 2:00-3:15
Rory Rapple
Tudor England: Politics and Honor
The period from 1485 to 1603, often feted as something of a ‘Golden Age’ for England, saw that
country undergo serious changes that challenged the traditional ways in which the nation conceived
of itself. These included the break from Rome, the loss of England’s foothold in France, and the
unprecedented experience of monarchical rule by women. Each of these challenges demanded
creative political responses and apologetic strategies harnessing intellectual resources from classical,
Biblical, legal, chivalric and ecclesiastical sources. This course will examine these developments. It
will also look at how the English, emerging from under the shadow of the internecine dynastic
warfare of the fifteenth century, sought to preserve political stability and ensure a balance between
continuity and change, and, furthermore, how individuals could use these unique circumstances to
their own advantage.


IRST 30431:01
MWF 10:30-11:20
James Smyth
Modern Irish History: 1600-1800
This course explores the main themes in Irish histories from the plantation of Ulster, after 1603, to the
rebellion of 1798 and the Act of Union with Great Britain in 1800. Attention focuses on plantation,
colonization, and religious conflict; the Cromwellian reconquest and the Williamite wars in the 17th
century, and the anti-Catholic penal laws and rise of Protestant Ascendancy in the 19th century. This
dramatic and formative period witnessed the emergence of many of the forces and rivalries that
shaped modern Irish politics and society and continues to generate lively disagreement among
historians today.


IRST 30434:01
TR 3:30-4:45
Rory Rapple
Early Modern Ireland
This course offers new perspectives on the struggle for mastery in Ireland from 1470 to 1660. Though
keeping in mind the traditional view of the “English reconquest” (decades of rebellion, dispossession,
and plantation until, in the aftermath of Cromwell, all Ireland was finally subjected to English rule)
this course will take a different approach. By investigating a range of primary sources from the
period, students will explore the interactions between the three different models of conquest: (1)
descendants of the old Norman colonists (e.g., Fitzgeralds and Butlers) seeking to finish the job; (2)
Tudor reform (inspired by Renaissance optimism), by which the English attempted to establish rule
by means of legal, social, and cultural assimilation; and (3) unabashed exploitation by English private
entrepreneurs on the make. The most important effect of these “contending conquests” was the way
they shaped the diverse responses of the native Irish, ranging from accommodation and assimilation
to outright rebellion and national war.


IRST 30588:01
MW 12:30-1:45
Abigail Palko
Childhood and the Irish Family in the Twentieth-Century

Ireland famously (or infamously) voted in 2004 to end the automatic citizenship right for all babies
born in Ireland; supporters of the legislation argued that women were travelling to Ireland to give
birth specifically to obtain an EU passport for their children. This was certainly not the first time that
constructions of the family created conflict in Ireland (we might think of the 1937 Constitution and
the series of divorce laws enacted by the State, or the Ann Lovett case and the various child abuse
scandals), nor that representations and understandings of childhood were contentious topics of public
discourse. Thus the 2009 release of the Ryan Report has been seen as signaling a new openness in
Ireland to discussing formerly taboo topics. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the
intersections of childhood and the construction of the family in twentieth-century Irish society. The
central focus of this exploration will be literary representations of the family (texts to be read may
include James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Kate O’Brien, The Land of Spices; Hugo
Hamilton, The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood ; Patrick McCabe, The Butcher
Boy; Mary Leland, The Killeen; and Emma Donoghue, Stir-fry); we will also examine media
depictions of the family. Topics to be covered include: education; child abuse; traditional roles of
the mother and father in the family; teenage pregnancy and the Magdalene laundries; censorship
issues.


IRST 40435:01
MW 3:30-4:45
James Smyth
Irish Memoir & Autobiography
This class has four basic objectives, to explore different ways in which to read texts, to explore the
different ways in which memoir and autobiography can be read, though the lives of the authors to
introduce modern Irish social and political history, and more broadly, to introduce students to
different human experience. Key texts may include Frank McCourt’s Anglea’s Ashes, Brendan
Behan’s Borstal Boy, Maurice O’Sullivan’s Twenty Years Agrowing. In addition we may study
extracts from other books, by writers such as William Carlton, Elizabeth Bowen and Robert
Harbinson.


IRST 63000:01
TBA
Christopher Fox
Irish Studies Graduate Pro Seminar
The Irish Studies Pro Seminar is built around the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
semester-long Irish Studies Seminar events (irishstudies.nd.edu). Students will attend a program of
internationally recognized scholars, artists, musicians and politicians addressing the Institute this
semester for one hour of class credit. This course must be taken twice as part of the requirements for
a graduate minor in Irish Studies.