English 100

Junior Seminar: Irish Writing in English, 1900-45

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2005 Rubenstein, Michael
Rubenstein, Michael
MW 2-4 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Joyce, J.: Dubliners; Synge, J.M.: The Aran Islands; Yeats, W.B.: Selected Poems and Four Plays; O'Brien, F.: The Third Policeman; O'Flaherty, L.: The Informer; Gregory, A.: Selected Writings; a course reader, including selections from R. Casement, C. Toibin, S. Deane, T. Eagleton, E. Said, and B. Anderson


Irish writing in the period is almost invariably concerned with Irish national independence, which was often justified by way of arguments for Irish difference or Irish originality. We will explore the idea of Irishness through the writing of those, in the period of the struggle for independence and after, who defined it, defied it, debated it, and in some cases died for it. Is there, we might consider, some particularly Irish aesthetic born of the cultural and literary struggle for self-definition? What is it that makes Irish literature Irish? The course will introduce some key concepts of postcolonial theory and theories of nationalism.

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