The Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger
Much has been written about the economic rollercoaster the Irish economy has experienced over the last 30 years. This course will use the “Celtic Tiger” as a gateway into looking at not only the history of the Irish economy, but as a way to define, compare and contrast culture through an economic lens.
The Celts- Hags, Druids, and Saints pace the pages of Celtic myth and folklore, entrancing audiences and readers with stories of personal dilemmas, heroism, and magic. This course will analyze comparatively some Irish and Welsh myths, study the evolution of the legend of St. Patrick, and read fairy tales in an effort to understand important cultural realities and the social changes they reflect.
Ireland in Film
This course surveys a wide range of Irish-themed films in order to develop a deeper understanding of modern Irish cultural identity. Major thematic areas explored in the course include representations of the Irish West, the political struggle for independence, the role of Catholicism in Irish society, the status of minority groups such as the Irish travelers, and the urban working class in Ireland.
The Nature of Ireland
This course examines how the people of Ireland have established identity in relation to the landscape they inhabit. Topics include the Neolithic, Celtic, and early Christian Irish people’s interactions with nature, and the impact of British colonial occupation and modern commercialism on Irish identity with the landscape. Sources are literary and informational. A final project has students examine identity and community in its relationship to their own local landscape.
This course will first explore the reasons for which the Gothic tradition, with its literary roots in Walpole and Radcliffe and its political roots in the French Revolution, found fertile ground in the Anglo-Irish culture of the nineteenth century. Then it will investigate the evolution of that tradition in the works of selected writers: Maria Edgeworth, Charles Maturin, Sheridan Le Fanu, and Bram Stoker.