This course will provide a general introduction to Irish history and contemporary culture through an exploration of modern (20th and 21st century) literature and film. We will analyze such important issues as politics and religion, gender, class and ethnicity, and Irish identity in a transnational world. Students will gain knowledge of the causes for anti-colonialist struggle, the significance of the Irish literary renaissance, and economic downturns that helped fuel the Irish famine (the Great Hunger of the 19th century) and large scale out-migration. At its core, the course features three leading writers of the Irish Literary Revival: James Joyce (1882-1941), W. B. Yeats (1865-1939), and John Millington Synge, all of whom challenged popular conceptions of Irish national culture.
Field WorkCountry: Ireland
Students will be able to see how nature affects the creative imagination. The literature of the Celtic Revival Movement (or Irish Renaissance) is rooted to the rolling hills and "western sea" of Ireland. In Galway, the center of Irish culture and language, we will have the opportunity to visit some of the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes that enrich the writing of such luminaries as W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, John M. Synge, and Louis dePaor. On our bus tour, we will see some of the most wild and beautiful scenery in Ireland, and stop to explore the countryside. We will visit the geological setting with unique floura in Burren, the grandiosity of the Cliffs of Moher and then, Connemara National Park. We will return to Galway where, on our own, we can listen to Irish musicians in the city centre (the Crane, the Western Bar, among other choices).