Fall 2014

IRST 10101:01
MWF  9:25-10:15
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.  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 10101:02
MWF  11:30-12:20
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.  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 10102:01
MWF  10:30-11:20
Tara MacLeod
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  12:50-1:40
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 20116:01
TR  12:30-1:45
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 20118:01
TR  9:30-10:45
Bríona Nic Dhiarmada
Modern Literature in Irish (Survey 2)

This course offers an introduction to modern and contemporary Irish language literature.  We will begin by tracing the influence of the Revival and cultural nationalism on the development of a modern literature in the Irish language.  We will read key texts in the light of the national narrative, taking note of cultural change and contested identities in considering the specificities of a literature that can trace an unbroken line to what is often described as the oldest vernacular literature in Europe. Among the texts discussed will be work by Pearse, Ó Conaire, the Blasket autobiographies, Ó Cadhain, Ó Ríordáin, Ní Dhomhnaill, Mac Lochlainn among others. All texts will be read in translation. Relevant documentaries will also be used and shown in class to further illustrate and elucidate the work of particular authors.

IRST 20180:01
MW  3:30-4:45 
Denise Ayo
The Anglo-Irish Big House

The term “big house” refers to the country mansions that English settlers built in Ireland as a part of England’s colonization of Ireland.  “Anglo-Irish” refers to these settlers and their descendants.  In this course, students will read nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century works that examine the Anglo-Irish big house and discuss the tense relationship between the native Irish and Anglo-Irish. Students will read works that lament the fall of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy such as Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent as well as the incredibly sardonic Good Behaviour by Molly Keane.  We will also investigate Seamus Deane’s suggestion that Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a big house novel and examine how Elizabeth Bowen uses the supernatural to describe her experiences as an Anglo-Irish woman in the mid-twentieth century.  Students will analyze the tenuous position of the Anglo-Irish class that resulted from them being neither the colonizing English nor the colonized Irish and thus disowned by both.  This course will give students a foundation in modern and contemporary Irish literature, history, and culture.

IRST 30101:01
TR  3:30-4:45
Amy Mulligan
A Divine Vernacular:  Old Irish Language and Literary Culture

Early Irish sources record that at the Tower of Babel, when faced with the disordered confusion of languages Fénius Farsaid and Goídel Glas deployed a team of scholars to take “what was best of every language and what was widest and finest”; from these choice linguistic elements they made the Irish language, Goídelc, “Gaelic” or (Mod. Irish) “Gaeilge.”  These origin myths tell us that Irish was created to restore and preserve God’s language and heavenly speech, and that eventually it was brought from the Holy Land to Ireland, where Irish linguistic and literary culture flourished. Old Irish was at a very early period used extensively as a language of learning and literature:  Irish is Europe’s oldest vernacular, or native, literary culture, and Old Irish texts are some of the most diverse and intriguing of the Middle Ages, as we will explore in this course. When the Irish began to create literature in their native language, what ideas, stories and aspects of their culture were they most interested in exploring?  Operating in a culture with a vibrant oral, story-telling bardic culture, how did the Irish use their native language to preserve and develop these spoken traditions in writing?  In this course participants will divide their time between 1) learning the fundamentals of the Old Irish language (no previous experience necessary!) and 2) studying key texts which give us insight into medieval Irish thinking about the role and importance of language and literary culture.  We will examine early heroic sagas, saints’ lives, myths about legendary poets and the act of literary creation, stories of pre-Christian women warriors and otherworldly prophets, monstrous human heroes and poems as diverse as those celebrating the natural world, praising God, recording fears about Viking raids and even pondering the difficulty of getting thoughts down on paper.  All literary texts will be available in English translation, though as our Old Irish skills develop over the course of the semester, we will also increasingly engage with the texts in their original Old Irish forms.  No previous knowledge of Irish (modern or otherwise), or other medieval languages, is necessary for this course. Course requirements will include completion of language exercises, translation of a text of the participant’s choosing (creative adaptations as well as linguistically precise translations are possible), a paper on any aspect of medieval Irish literary, linguistic or textual culture, and 1-2 exams.

IRST 30130:01
MW  11:00-12:15
Briona 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 filmmakers 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 30356:01
MWF  9:25-10:15
James Smyth and Peter McQuillan
Histories of Ireland, 1600-1800:  Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter

In 1924 the scholar Daniel Corkery published a study of eighteenth-century Gaelic poetry entitled, The Hidden Ireland. He referred to the fact that up onto that point the history, politics, and culture, of the Irish-speaking majority on the island of Ireland were virtually invisible in the work of mainstream, Anglphone, historians, such as the otherwise meticulous W.E.H. Lecky.  Lecky, rather, focused on the Dublin parliament, the Anglo-Irish, Protestant governing elite, and drew on entirely English language sources in print and in the archive. It was as if the majority community has vanished from history.  Corkery instigated the slow, painstaking, retrieval of that hidden past, and in recent decades Irish language scholars have mined the rich and vast corpus of poetry in manuscript, toreconstruct a vibrant political “counter-culture”.  This team-taught survey course examines in counterpointthe overlapping histories of Corkery’s hidden- and leckey’s Anglo-Ireland. beginning with the plantation of the province of Ulster by Scots and English protestant settlers at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the topics covered include religious conflict, the wars of the three kingdoms in the 1640s, the Cromwellian conquest, the Williamite wars, Jacobitism, parliamentary reform, the age of revolution, and the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1800-01.  (All materials originally in the Irish language will be read in English translation.)

IRST 30416:01
TR  9:30-10:45
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 40026:01
MW  12:30-1:45
Isabelle Torrance
Greek Tragedy and the Irish

The 20th and 21st centuries have seen numerous Greek tragedies adapted, translated or reconfigured by Irish dramatists in order to highlight social or political issues in Ireland.  In this course we will study a selection of these adaptations, in conjunction with English translations of the Greek originals on which they were based, to explore how Greek tragedy has been appropriated to an Irish context. Themes covered will include tensions within Irish politics and social issues relating to conceptions of religion, the place of women, and psychological disorders within Irish society.

IRST 40432:01
TR  2:00-3:15
John Kelly
Heaney and Yeats:  Public and Private Poets

Seamus Heaney and William Butler Yeats are two of the greatest Irish poets, a fact recognized by the critical attention they have attracted and by the many awards and accolades they won in their  lifetimes, including the Nobel Prize.  The sad and unexpected death of Seamus Heaney now enables us to begin to see his literary canon as a whole and to start to make assessments of his role in the literary history of Ireland.  This is what the present course will attempt, using as a yardstick and comparison the career and poetry of W. B. Yeats. Although from significantly different backgrounds, both lived in turbulent times, both were keenly aware of the Irish traditions which gave their work its identity, and both were acutely sensitive to the historical, political, and cultural forces which helped shape their poetry.  They both brooded intensely on the nature of poetry and on the need for a rigorous attention to technique and craft to avoid falling into rhetoric in their public poetry and sentimentality in their more private and autobiographical work.  Their gifts in both cases extended to playwriting and to perceptive and influential critical writings, which raise questions about the nature of poetry, illuminate their own practices, and contextualize their respective canons.  The essence of the course will be close reading of major poems and texts by both poets, and, growing out of this, developing a comparison of their approaches to poetry and to the themes that engaged and occupied their imaginations.  We shall resist any temptation to force the two into a false symbiotic relationship, and their differences will be as important in our attempts to “place” them as their similarities.  We shall begin with a biographical and historical overview of their careers, illuminated by their own life-writings and poems of particularly personal significance.  We then move on to examine the literary and cultural contexts in which they began to write (paying attention in particular to what Heaney had to say of Yeats, and how Yeats appears in his work); to appraise their early poems in providing a foundation for their respective careers; to discuss how and why they learned to be public poets; to compare how they addressed the question of violence; to assess their achievements as “private” and love poets; and to explore the nature and scope of their criticism (especially their writings on the art and practice of poetry).  We shall conclude by attempting to assess their contribution to, and place in, the modern Irish literary tradition.  The main texts for the class will be Yeats’s Collected Poems and Heaney’s Selected Poems.  These will be supplemented by a course book which will make available further poems by Heaney and extracts from both writers’ prose works, as well as providing the texts of poems or other significant work by those who influenced them.

 

IRST 40508:01
MW  9:30-10:45
Abigail Palko
Jane’s Heirs

What is it about Jane Eyre that has so captured our collective imagination for the past one hundred and sixty years?  In this course, we will celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s cultural legacy and assess the enduring appeal of her mousy governess.  We will begin by carefully reading Jane Eyre; we will supplement our understanding of the novel by applying selected theoretical approaches (specifically feminist and cultural theories) to the novel.  As we work with Brontë’s text, we will explore as well the historical parameters under which she worked, attempting to account for her success.  We will then sample the richly varied film and novel adaptations of Brontë’s novel (including Rebecca, Wide Sargasso Sea, and The Autobiography of My Mother, as well as pop culture reincarnations like Jane Slayre) to interrogate the story's continuing hold on our imagination.  Our readings of these derivative texts will focus on their constructions of femininity and masculinity and their questioning of social mores to reveal the gendered concerns driving them.  Throughout the semester, we will interrogate the ways in which people respond to the literary canon so that their literary intervention and reinventions assure a classic like Jane Eyre’s lasting relevance.

IRST 60120:01
TR  3:30-4:45
Amy Mulligan
A Divine Vernacular:  Old Irish Language and Literary Culture

Early Irish sources record that at the Tower of Babel, when faced with the disordered confusion of languages Fénius Farsaid and Goídel Glas deployed a team of scholars to take “what was best of every language and what was widest and finest”; from these choice linguistic elements they made the Irish language, Goídelc, “Gaelic” or (Mod. Irish) “Gaeilge.”  These origin myths tell us that Irish was created to restore and preserve God’s language and heavenly speech, and that eventually it was brought from the Holy Land to Ireland, where Irish linguistic and literary culture flourished. Old Irish was at a very early period used extensively as a language of learning and literature:  Irish is Europe’s oldest vernacular, or native, literary culture, and Old Irish texts are some of the most diverse and intriguing of the Middle Ages, as we will explore in this course. When the Irish began to create literature in their native language, what ideas, stories and aspects of their culture were they most interested in exploring?  Operating in a culture with a vibrant oral, story-telling bardic culture, how did the Irish use their native language to preserve and develop these spoken traditions in writing?  In this course participants will divide their time between 1) learning the fundamentals of the Old Irish language (no previous experience necessary!) and 2) studying key texts which give us insight into medieval Irish thinking about the role and importance of language and literary culture.  We will examine early heroic sagas, saints’ lives, myths about legendary poets and the act of literary creation, stories of pre-Christian women warriors and otherworldly prophets, monstrous human heroes and poems as diverse as those celebrating the natural world, praising God, recording fears about Viking raids and even pondering the difficulty of getting thoughts down on paper.  All literary texts will be available in English translation, though as our Old Irish skills develop over the course of the semester, we will also increasingly engage with the texts in their original Old Irish forms.  No previous knowledge of Irish (modern or otherwise), or other medieval languages, is necessary for this course. Course requirements will include completion of language exercises, translation of a text of the participant’s choosing (creative adaptations as well as linguistically precise translations are possible), a paper on any aspect of medieval Irish literary, linguistic or textual culture, and 1-2 exams.  Graduate students will be expected to undertake additional reading, writing and translation.

 

IRST 63000:01
TBA
Christopher Fox
Irish Studies Graduate Pro Seminar

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.

IRST 90506:01
TR  11:00-12:15
Susan Harris
Modern Irish Drama on the World Stage

When W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Edward Martyn decided to launch their first effort at an Irish theater in 1897, they were responding not only to a reawakening of Irish national feeling, but to the phenomenon of radical and often national “free theaters” springing up all over Europe during the preceding decades.  In this course, we will consider the Irish dramatic revival in both its national and international contexts.  While investigating the relationship between the major Irish revival dramatists and the Irish cultural and national politics that so often shaped their plays’ reception in Ireland, we will look at how Irish playwrights responded and contributed to international developments in twentieth- and twenty-first-century theater.  We will also consider, through our investigation of the possibilities and pitfalls of “global” criticism, whether or how transformative events in international politics should be considered part of the story of twentieth-century Irish drama.  In addition to major dramatic works by W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, Douglas Hyde, Sean O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw, Denis Johnston, and Samuel Beckett, we will also read the work of playwrights that influenced or were influenced by modern Irish dramatists, possibly including but not necessarily limited to Maurice Maeterlinck, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Henrik Ibsen, Federico Garcia Lorca, Bertolt Brecht, Eugene O'Neill, Ernst Toller, Rabindranath Tagore, Zeami (as filtered by Ezra Pound), and Derek Walcott. (All non-Anglophone texts will be assigned in English translation.)  The theoretical questions about gender, sexuality, and the body that are always raised by theatrical performance will be foregrounded in our discussions of all this material.