Spring Courses 2011 Cúrsaí An Earraigh 2011

IRST 10101:01
MWF 9:35-10:25
T 9:30-10:20
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 Studies minor's requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.

IRST 10101:02
MWF 10:40-11:30
R 11:00-11:50
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 Studies minor's requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.

IRST 10101:03
MWF 1:55-2:45
T 2:00-2:50
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 Studies minor's requirements, and selected students will have an opportunity to study in Dublin, Ireland.

IRST 10102:01
MWF 11:45-12:35
T 11:00-11:50
Mary O’Callaghan
Beginning Irish II

A second semester of instruction in the Irish Language. More emphasis will be placed on reading simple texts in Irish.

IRST 10102:02
MWF 9:35-10:25
T 9:30-10:20
Marie Darmody
Beginning Irish II

A second semester of instruction in the Irish Language. More emphasis will be placed on reading simple texts in Irish.

IRST 20103:01
MWF 1:55-2:45
Tara MacLeod
Intermediate Irish

Continuation of the study of the Irish Language with increased emphasis on the ability to read 20th-century literary work in the original Irish.

IRST 20114:01
TR 12:30-1:45
Mark McKinney
The Hidden Islands

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the islands and islanders of Ireland, with particular focus on those communities in the traditional Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) regions of Munster, Connacht and Ulster. The seminar will examine the concept of “identity” through an analysis of the regional literature, language, folklore, and song tradition of these island people, together with their representation in television and film. We will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to placing these communities in their historical, socio-economic, and cultural context. Students will be expected to participate actively in discussion and to complete essays focusing on the various topics covered in class. No prior knowledge of the Irish language is required.

IRST 20203:01
TR 9:30-10:45
Peter McQuillan
Advanced Readings in Irish Culture

An advanced course focusing on reading and translating a variety of texts in the Irish language. We concentrate on further development of reading, interpretive, and technical skills mastered in previous language courses (IRLL 10101, IRLL 10102, IRLL 20103). Texts from various authors and historical periods allow students to taste different writing styles: contemporary fiction, journalism, literary criticism, historical and cultural texts. Emphasis will be on sentence structure, stylistics and syntax. Students are required to have earned a high grade in IRLL 20103 in order to take this class. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to conduct independent research with Irish texts.

IRST 20316:01
TR 2:00-3:15
Patrick Griffin, Brian Ó Conchubhair and Ian Kuijt
The Irish in Us: Comparative Perspectives on Being Irish and Irish-American

This class provides an educational and entertaining reflection on the deep historical and cultural intertwining of America and Ireland, and the extent to which our world is shaped by Irish people, culture and heritage. Drawing upon the skills of three Notre Dame professors, each of which has different interests, in this class we explore comparative perspectives of the cultural, economic, and political context of being Irish and Irish-American. In this class we seek to provide new perspectives on the interconnections between Ireland and America, in the past, present and future. Based on lectures and presentations, we explore some fundamental historical questions, such as how were the Irish Famine, emigration, and economic developments of the 18-20th centuries interconnected, and how did the Irish Diaspora shape the historical and cultural trajectory of America. Similarly, we explore what it is to be Irish and Irish-American, be it through family history, or growing up watching Notre Dame football. What are the interconnections between regional Irish identities, language, and history? Finally we explore how American, let alone global, culture is being actively shaped by Irish culture (such as literature, theater, film, music), and the extent to which this is a dynamic process. Looking at it from a different perspective, how has the reintroduction of such an idealized form of Irishness to Ireland, impacted the country? Drawing upon literature, history, archaeology and folklore, this class will illustrate the different ways we can explore and conceive of the past and present world of Ireland and Irish-America. Seeking answers to these questions offers students a fascinating opportunity to learn more about Ireland, America, and the connections between these cultures and peoples.

IRST 21601:01
MW 4:30-5:45
James McKenna
Irish and American Tap Dance

This course will teach a range of fundamental steps.

IRST 30105:01
TR 3:30-4:45
Diarmuid Ó Giolláin
Irish Folk Custom and Belief: Popular Religion and Rural Ireland

‘Irish Folk Custom and Belief’ is both the title of a popular work from 1967 by Seán Ó Súilleabháin (1903-1996), archivist of the Irish Folklore Commission, and an approach to the study of rural Irish popular religion. That approach was long dominant among Irish folklorists. It tended to frame rural popular religion a historically and to fudge the issue of its relationship to specific social groups. At the same time it led to the recording of extraordinarily rich data, mostly from the Irish-speaking population of the West. Concentrating on the work of 19th century antiquarians and 20th century folklorists and anthropologists, the course will examine the study of rural popular religion in Ireland. It will contextualize it both in terms of historical, sociological and anthropological knowledge of Irish rural society and specifically of Irish peasant society, and in terms of the scientific study of religion. Specific topics often identified under the headings of ‘folk custom and belief’ will be discussed, in particular ritual, festival, magic, supernatural beings, sacred places and the oral narratives that deal with them. Specific scholarly texts, including texts by leading contemporary scholars of Irish rural popular religion, will be discussed as well as ethnographic texts recorded by the Irish Folklore Commission.

IRST 30109:01
TR 11:00-12:15
Sean O’Brien
Migration and Identity in the New Ireland

In less than two decades, the Republic of Ireland has shifted from a relatively poor country with a high level of national, racial, and ethnic homogeneity to a country experiencing an exponential expansion of cultural diversity. One of the expressions used to describe this shift is “New Ireland,” and this course will discuss the cultural dimensions of this term. We will examine selections from contemporary Irish literature and film which contribute to this analysis and contextualize our discussions with legal, political, and economic approaches to Irish social issues. Course work will include several short papers, a digital research project, and an exam.

IRST 30308:01
TR 11:00-12:15
Sarah McKibben
Great Irish Writers

The objective of this course is to offer an introduction to a representative cross-section of literature in Irish from approximately 800 down to the present day. We will examine the great Irish medieval epic, the Táin Bó Cúailnge (“The Cattle Raid of Cooley”) which recollects a pre-medieval heroic society but which uses the lineaments of that society to tackle social and political issues current in the Middle Ages in Ireland. Then we will look at the poetic tradition in Irish between approximately 1600 and 1900, an era when England, later Britain, consolidates its conquest and colonization of the country. Much of the poetry is to be read against the background of disruption and dislocation caused by the political turmoil of these centuries. Finally, we will consider some more contemporary writing in Irish from 1900 to the present: the novel, the short story as well as poetry. All materials will be read in English translation.

IRST 30312:01
MW 11:45-1:00
Bríona Nic Dhiarmada
The Blasket Islands and their Literature

“The island of the Great Blasket lies three miles off the Kerry coast of Ireland, at the westernmost tip of Europe. Virtually unknown before this century, it was to produce a rich and extraordinary flowering of literature that has made it famous throughout the world.” Oxford University Press. This course will examine the phenomenon that is Blasket Island literature. Before its eventual desertion in 1953, the previous thirty years had seen the production of literary works by inhabitants of the Blaskets such as An tOileánach/ The Islandman by TomásÓ Criomhthainn; Fiche Bliain ag Fás/ Twenty Years A Growing by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin; Machnamh Seanmhná/ An Old Woman’s Reflections by Peig Sayers. This course will trace this remarkable flowering both to the immensely rich oral traditions of the island and the dynamic interplay of such literary and scholarly visitors as George Thompson and Robin Flower with the island authors. All texts will be read in translation.

IRST 30320:01
MW 3:00-4:15
Bríona Nic Dhiarmada
Screening the Irish Troubles

This course will look at how political conflict in Ireland from the 1916 Rebellion and the War of Independence up to and including what became known as “The Troubles” in the North of Ireland has been represented on the screen. Students will analyze a wide variety of cinematic texts, mainstream commercial Hollywood features as well as independent Irish and British films. Documentary film will also be analyzed. Certain seminal events such as Bloody Sunday and the 1981 Hunger Strikes which have a diverse representational history on screen will be given particular attention. Among the films discussed will be Mise Eire, Saoirse, Michael Collins, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Some Mother’s Son, In the Name of the Father, and Bloody Sunday.

IRST 30322:01
TR 12:30-1:45
Amber Handy
The Viking Age

From their violent emergence onto the European scene at the close of the eighth century up to the present day, images of bloody raids, pillaging, and horned helmets have dominated our shared vision of the Vikings. But how accurate is that picture? Some Scandinavians were indeed remarkable, if violent, seafarers whose reach extended from Ireland to Russia, Byzantium, and even the shores of North America. Others were farmers, skilled craftsmen, and savvy politicians and merchants who helped to shape the medieval world with their innovative technology and artistry. In this class we will examine the historical, archaeological, and literary record to generate a more complete picture of these medieval Scandinavians between roughly 750-1100. We will start in their homeland by learning about their society, family life, art, literature, technology, mythology, and conversion to Christianity. We will then follow the Vikings as they explore, trade, and raid their way across wide swaths of the known world, giving special attention to their impact on Ireland and Britain. Throughout the course we will pay close attention to how the Vikings have been understood and represented by their contemporaries and by modern observers and see how closely that matches the historical record.

IRST 30371:01
MWF 10:40-11:30
Christopher Fox
Introduction to Irish Writers

As the visit to campus of the most recent Irish winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature suggests, this small island has produced a disproportionate number of great writers. Designed as a general literature course, the class will introduce the student to a broad range of Irish writers in English from the eighteenth century to the present. Writers will include Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Brian Friel, and John McGahern. We will also look at recent film versions of several of these writers’ works, including Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest. Themes to be explored include representations of “national character” and the relationships between religion and national identity, gender and nationalism, Ireland and England, and “Irishness” and “Englishness.” Students can expect a midterm, a paper (5-6 pages typed) and a final.

IRST 30415:01
MWF 9:35-10:25
James Smyth
Modern Irish History 1: 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 11:00-12:15
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 40014:01
TR 3:30-4:45
Mark Pilkinton
Anglo-Irish Theatre Since 1700

Students of English theatre and drama often ignore both the overt and covert contributions made by Ireland, its people, and its culture. Many of the greatest English playwrights since the Restoration have in fact been Irish, Anglo-Irish, or heavily influenced by Ireland, and this discussion-oriented course will examine and explore this important symbiosis in terms of theatre, history, and society. Both in terms of internal aspects and external relations, the course will examine a dozen significant Anglo-Irish playwrights writing in English including Congreve, Goldsmith Sheridan, O’Keeffe, Boucicault, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Synge, O'Casey, Shaw, Wilde, Beckett, Behan, and Friel. We will relate a play (the drama) to the production history of that play (the theatre) while exploring both the larger societal issues of the times, internally to Ireland and externally to England, France, and the United States while also looking at the important World Drama component (as seen with Yeats and Japanese Noh).

IRST 40308:01
TR 12:30-1:45
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Modern Irish Poetry

This course will use (often multiple) translations into English to chart the development of Irish Language Poetry in the 20th and early 21st century from rather meager beginnings as an instrument of the language revival movement to become a fully-fledged and highly sophisticated art form. The main poets of this period will be richly represented, while some lesser known talents will also be discussed in terms of sociological context. Though taught in English, the course will include detailed closed analysis of key texts in the original Irish. This will be usefully to students studying Irish, but knowledge of Irish is not mandatory for the course.

IRST 40435:01
MW 11:45-1:00
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 Angela’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 40529:01
MW 3:00-4:15
Susan Harris
Gender and Irish Drama

This course will examine constructions of gender in the works of Irish playwrights.

IRST 40850:01
MW 4:30-5:45
Patrick McCabe
Advanced Fiction Writing

This course is intended for students who have already taken a Fiction Writing course (or the equivalent) and who are seriously interested in writing fiction, and graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.