Spring 2015

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
James Hamrick
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 10102:02
MWF  11:30-12:20
Claire Dunne
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  11:00-12:15
Peter McQuillan
Irish Literature and Culture I

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 20175:01
MW  3:30-4:45
James Hamrick
The Novel:  Digital Approaches

This broad-ranging survey on the history and form of the novel combines traditional literary analysis (close  reading) with the “distant  reading” approaches enabled by recently developed digital techniques. In other words, while we will likely spend hours discussing and analyzing one or two short passages from a single novel, we will also learn how to use computers to “read” hundreds or thousands  of  novels in a matter of minutes. So-called  distant  reading involves aggregating and analyzing data about a large number of individual texts. While conventional literary analysis will remain an important part of what we do, computational or quantitative methods can provide insights that we never could have gained from reading books one by one.  Nonetheless, during the semester we will give close attention to a small number of canonical novels, with an emphasis on Irish fiction. Some of the books we may read include Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels,  Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent and James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses.

Almost from the very moment the novel emerged as a distinct genre, there have been more novels published than any one person could ever hope to read.   In the late eighteenth century a new novel was published, on average, every single week; in 2010 over 50,000 new novels were published – more than anyone could read in a lifetime. How do we keep up?  Can we really understand the novel by giving close attention to just a handful of books?  What can computational approaches to literature tell us that close reading can’t?   Moreover, can we combine close and distant reading in a way that enhances our understanding of literature, and the novel in particular? In this course we will attempt to answer these and other questions.  Along the way, we will learn how to perform various kinds of text mining, such as named entity extraction, sentiment analysis and topic modeling.  We will also learn how to put certain kinds of data into visual form, discussing both the benefits and limitations of such  techniques.  No prior  technical expertise is required  and ample instruction in using various digital tools will be provided.


IRST 20181:01
TR  3:30-4:45
Sonia Howell
Reading Contemporary Ireland

Since the turn of the millennium, Ireland has undergone economic, societal, and political changes that have fundamentally altered the fabric of life on the island.  Focusing on literary works published since 2000, this course will investigate how these changes are addressed in contemporary Irish writing. Through the close reading of texts by a selection of Ireland’s contemporary writers John Banville, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Clair Kilroy, Colm McCann, Patrick McCabe, Paula Meehan, and Colm Tóibín--we will examine how established themes and tropes of Irish literature are being reconfigured or replaced to reflect the Ireland of today.  The course will extend beyond the canon of literary fiction to include works from the popular genres of chick lit and crime fiction.  We will supplement our study of literary texts by examining representations of Ireland in contemporary film, specifically, John Michael McDonagh’s 2011 hit movie, The Guard, and Lenny Abrahamson’s, What Richard Did (2012).  By the end of this course, students will have developed a foundation in contemporary Irish literature and the skills necessary to interrogate representations of Ireland as they appear across genres.


 

IRST 20203:01
TR  9:30-10:45
Brian Ó Conchubhair
Intermediate Irish II

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 30127:01
MW  3:30-4:45
Robert Schmuhl
The Making of Irish America

What is Irish America and how did it develop?  This class will focus on distinct periods of Irish and American interaction in the United States from early emigration times (with its emphasis on manual labor and service work) to involvement in politics (especially in large cities) and, after years of bias and bigotry, widespread participation in American business and industry. Why do we see the rapid changes within this particular ethnic group?  What characteristics of Irish life contributed to those changes? What American traits were significant in the formation of Irish America?  The class will approach these questions and others from a variety of perspectives: historical, political, literary, journalistic, and economic.  Assigned  readings  will reflect  the interdisciplinary orientation of the course. There will be mid-term and final examinations as well as a major research paper on a specific aspect of the Irish-American experience.


IRST 30310:01
TR  2:00-3:15
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 30311:01
MW  9:30-10:45
Briona Nic Dhiarmada
The West of Ireland

This course interrogates  and examines representations of the West of Ireland in various twentieth- century literary texts focusing, in particular on the role of “the West of Ireland” in state formation and legitimization during the early decades of independent Ireland and its role in the construction of an Irish identity.  We will look at how images of the West of Ireland were constructed in various utopian or romanticized formulations as well as examining more dystopian versions.  This course will take an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the visual arts and film as well as on literary texts written in both Irish and English.  (Irish language texts will be read in translation).


IRST 30371:01
MWF  10:30-11:20
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 30413:01
MWF  9:25-10:15
James Smyth
B
ritish History, 1660-1800

This course of lectures and readings  concentrates on British (that is, Scottish  as well as English) history from the restoration of monarchy in 1660 to the great crisis detonated by the French Revolution and war in the 1790s. Themes include the politics of Protestant dissent, political ideologies, the role of parliament, Jacobitism, and the rise of the radical parliamentary reform movement.


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 30535:01
TR  2:00-3:15
Abigail Palko
Dublin Streets to Caribbean Beaches:  Reading Joyce and Walcott

This course begins with the premise that the twentieth-century situations of Ireland and the Caribbean bore more than a passing resemblance to each other. In a1979 interview, Derek Walcott (the first Caribbean writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature) claimed affinity with Irish writers on the grounds of a shared colonial background: “I’ve always found some kind of intimacy with the Irish poets because one realised that they were also colonials with the same kind of problem  that existed in the Caribbean - Now, with all of that, to have those astounding achievements of genius, whether by Joyce, or Yeats, or Beckett, illustrated that one could come out of a depressed, deprived, oppressed situation, and be defiant and creative at the same time.” To explore this assertion, we will read selected writings of James Joyce (Irish novelist, short story writer, and essayist) and Derek Walcott (St. Lucian poet, playwright, and essayist). This comparative reading will highlight their common themes of ethnicity, postcolonial constructions of masculinity, cultural chauvinism, and political inequality. Both work within and against the traditional Western canon, and so our primary focus on their epics, Ulysses and Omeros (we will read selections from each), will consider the ways that Joyce and Walcott are writing back to the imperial center/rewriting the imperial canon, employing its literary techniques and traditions in their works. Both writers thematically investigate the dichotomy between colonizer and colonized, the interplay between their own culture and Western civilization writ large, and the influence of island geography on their societies. Their writing exposes the lasting wounds - personal, cultural, and political -inflicted by British colonialism in their native lands and the ways that  anxieties of masculinity were exacerbated by and contributed to this domination. Our readings of Joyce’s and Walcott’s texts will be guided throughout by the theoretical lens of masculinity studies. This course is open to students interested in exploring the ways that masculinity studies serves as a useful lens for reading Joyce and Walcott and for analyzing the political and cultural ties between their homes (as well as their problematic relationships to those homes); no prior knowledge is assumed.


IRST 40114:01
T  3:30-6:15
Briona Nic Dhiarmada
Locating Women’s Poetry

This course will look at the work of contemporary  women poets through the mediating  prisms of gender, national, regional and linguistic identities. It will locate their work in relation to the traditional canon and examine the poetic strategies used by these diverse poets.  Poets studied will include Eavan Boland, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Maire Mhac an tSaoi, Maedhbh McGuckian, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Moya  Cannon, Vona Groarke, Paula Meehan, Dorothy Molloy,Collette Bryce and Martina Evans.


IRST 43505:01
TR  2:00-3:15
Susan Harris
Seminar:  Gender and Sexuality in Irish Fiction After Joyce

In this course we will look at the relationship between gender politics and national politics as it plays out in the development of Irish fiction after the era of James Joyce.Beginning with the short stories of Liam O'Flaherty and Sean O'Faolain in the post-independence era, we will follow the reaction against government censorship in the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland in the fiction of Kate O'Brien, John McGahern, Mary Lavin, and Edna O'Brien, and investigate the emergence of feminist and gay and lesbian writers in the 1980s and 1990s. We will conclude with an investigation of the way 21st century Irish writers respond to the major changes in Irish culture, and major revelations about the recent past, that emerged during the first decade of the 21st century. Students will write one 20-30 page seminar paper and several shorter response papers and give one in-class presentation.


IRST 60112:01
M  3:15-6:30
Amy Mulligan
Storied Landscapes:  Ireland, Britain, and the Medieval Poetics of Place

Both foreign and home-grown accounts of medieval Ireland and Britain feature a surprisingly high concentration  of  sophisticated  literary  topographies,  or  narratives  that  are invested  in  mapping persons and places.   Rooted in the physical geographies  of Ireland, England and Wales (and to a lesser extent, the Holy Land), these narrative topographies nonetheless ultimately move beyond the land  itself  and  become  powerful, portable  worlds  that  can  be  accessed  and  occupied  by  readers anywhere and at any time, something which becomes particularly clear as we examine pilgrimage and travel  narratives, as well as accounts of otherworlds and invented  places. While we will be considering the dynamics, language and images of place internal to these narratives, we will also historically contextualize these sources.  In several cases they are written and circulated as responses, often  recuperative, to political events (various invasions and conquests of Ireland,  England and Wales, the Crusades and fights for control of the Holy Land, and other more local, smaller scale experiences of disenfranchisement from the land).

All unified by their conscientious use of a sophisticated poetics of place, the texts we will examine use discursive landscapes in varied ways.  They present lavishly (and minimally) detailed static landscapes that provide telling backdrops; others showcase the land’s own agency, its ability to catch fire and its rivers rise in fury to protest a king’s bad judgments and the trauma of unfit rulers; several narratives focus on the movement of individuals, heroes, saints and colonizers through challenging and transformative geographies; some tales probe both individual and community reactions to being shepherded to or driven from the places, both mundane and otherworldly, they would like to call home; other accounts describe bountiful hunts and rich harvests to demonstrate the happy union of a people with their intended homeland.

Primary texts will be drawn (and in some cases excerpted) from medieval Irish, Welsh, and English vernacular and Latin literary traditions, and may include: Navigatio Sancti Brendani (‘Voyage of St. Brendan’); Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica (‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’; Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (‘History of the Kings of Britain’); Irish immrama or voyage tales; Old English poetry; Táin Bó Cuailnge (‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’); Longes mac nUislenn (‘Exile of the Sons of Uisliu’); Mesca Ulad (‘Drunkenness of the Ulstermen,’); Acallam na Senorach (‘Colloquy of the Ancients’); selections from the Irish poetic Dindshenchas or ‘lore of high places’; the Welsh Mabinogi; Giraldus Cambrensis’ Topographia Hiberniae (‘Topography of Ireland’) and Itinerarium and Descriptio Cambriae (‘Journey through and Description of Wales’); TheTravels of Sir John Mandeville and possibly Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will also examine medieval mappae mundi (‘world maps’) to consider visual rhetorics at play in depictions of Irish and British topographies (and their relationships to/deviations from textual topographies).  Furthermore, we will read two contemporary novels to compare how and why medieval and modern authors create and deploy narrative topogrpahies (and how audience members respond to them).  The Wake, by eco-activist Paul Kingsnorth (longlisted for the 2014 Booker Prize), is written in an Old English ‘shadow tongue’ and takes us on a traumatic journey through the fen landscapes of England following the Norman conquest of 1066.  Moving beyond a hyper-lyricized and naratively crowded Irish landscape, in City of Bohune Kevin Barry verbally conjures up a new Irish territory, his futuristic western frontier city demonstrating how, as readers, we begin to occupy imagined landscapes.

Critical readings will be wide-ranging and will include material from anthropologists (Keith Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places), geographers (Edward Casey, Edward Soja), literary and cultural studies theorists (Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands), and numerous medievalists.

All readings will be available in English translation -- no previous linguistic knowledge is assumed. However, participants will be encouraged to work with texts in the original language where possible. Requirements for graduate students will include brief position papers, two longer papers (7- and 15-pages), one class presentation and delivery of conference-length paper during the last weeks of class. (Any undergraduates participating in this seminar will have lighter requirements, i.e., briefer papers, etc.).   


IRST 60114:01
T  3:30-6:15
Briona Nic Dhiarmada
Locating Women’s Poetry

This course will look at the work of contemporary  women poets through the mediating  prisms of gender,  national,  regional  and  linguistic  identities.  It  will  locate  their work  in  relation  to  the traditional canon and examine the poetic strategies used by these diverse poets.   Poets studied will include Eavan Boland, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Maire Mhac an tSaoi, Maedhbh McGuckian, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain,  Moya  Cannon,  Vona  Groarke,  Paula  Meehan,  Dorothy  Molloy,  Collette  Bryce  and Martina Evans.


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.