English 166

Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2017 Falci, Eric
TTh 11-12:30 note new location: 150 GSPP (Goldman School of Public Policy) Novel
Drama
Poetry
Special Topics

Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Waiting For Godot; Beckett, Samuel: Watt; Bowen, Elizabeth: The Last September; Joyce, James: Ulysses; O'Brien, Edna: The Country Girls; O'Brien, Flann: At Swim-Two-Birds; Yeats, W.B.: The Collected Poems

Description

In this course we will focus on one of the major canons in modern literature, one that includes, some would argue, the most significant English-language poet, the most important novelist, and the most remarkable playwright of the 20th century.  Indeed, we’ll spend a good portion of the class on the work of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett.  We’ll also read novels by Elizabeth Bowen, Flann O’Brien, Edna O’Brien, and Máirtín Ó Cadhain; and plays by Lady Gregory, John Millington Synge, and Sean O’Casey.  
 
The history of Ireland in the period that this course covers (roughly the 1880s through the 1960s) was of immense consequence and the cultural and social matters that these writers frame and transform are knotty.  We’ll examine the various formal and generic experiments that these writers undertake, and we’ll consider a range of issues—colonialism, religion, politics, gender and sexuality—as we dive into some of the most fascinating texts of the twentieth century. 
 
One note: while we will focus our Joycean efforts on Ulysses, I will assume some knowledge of his previous works, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  It isn’t essential that you read these texts before the semester begins, but it could help.
 
In addition to a final exam, there will be two written assignments, each in the 5-7 page range.  
 

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Comedy & Violence Flynn, Catherine
166/2 Special Topics: Romantic Science Goldstein, Amanda Jo
166/3 Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
166/4 Special Topics: Marxism & Literature Lye, Colleen
166/5 Special Topics Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics Jones, Donna V.
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/3 Special Topics: Black Science Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
166/4 Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice Giscombe, Cecil S.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Lye, Colleen
166/2 Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather) Francois, Anne-Lise
166/3 Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy Wagner, Bryan
166/4 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Aesthetics and the Environment in the Eighteenth Century Picciotto, Joanna M
166/2 Special Topics: Vladimir Nabokov Naiman, Eric
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Elizabethan Renaissance: Art, Culture, and Visuality Honig, Elizabeth
Fall, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Epistles: The Letter in Life and Literature Thornbury, Emily V.
166/2 Special Topics: Where the Wild Things Are: Empire and Travel Writing Saha, Poulomi
Spring, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Scotland and Romanticism Duncan, Ian
166/2 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
166/3 Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov Naiman, Eric

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