Ireland: Culture, Politics, Society and Nation

Discipline: History
Instructor: Connolly
Credits: 3

Field Work: Ireland: Culture, Politics, Society and Nation
Prerequisites: The standard CSU prerequisites – three (3) history credits AND no fewer than 45 credits – have been waived by the instructor

The island of Ireland, roughly only the size of the American state of Maine, and with a population of just over six million, has had a disproportionate influence on the world, particularly the United States where today over 40 million claim to have Irish roots. In terms of culture, it also punches above its weight class – think of such luminaries as William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Séamus Heaney, the Dubliners, the Pogues, Planxty, Enya, U2, and (if you like the Americanization of Irish culture) Riverdance. The politics of Ireland over the last 800 years, but especially since the late 1960s, has been dramatically influenced by its larger neighbor to the east, Great Britain. Even today the northeastern corner of the island is still part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This course will begin briefly with a look at the early Celtic and pre-Celtic periods, the early Christian influences of Patrick and other saints and monks on “the Isle of Saints and Scholars,” and Anglo-Irish relations during the Medieval and Early Modern periods. The focus of the course, however, will be on modern Ireland, especially since 1800, and Ireland’s long-standing attempts to assert its statehood, and hasten the day when “Ireland long a province [will] be a nation once again.” Comparative examples will be utilized to examine Irish-British relations, Ireland’s often disruptive influence on the British Empire where it served as a model for other countries trying to gain their independence, and finally on Ireland’s massive and powerful influence on American politics and culture.

Field Work