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
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


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, 2019
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Gothic Duncan, Ian
166/2 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Gonzalez, Marcial
166/4 Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class Giscombe, Cecil S.
166/5 Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality Leong, Andrew Way
166/6 Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now Cordes Selbin, Jesse
166/7 Special Topics: Anton Chekhov Muza, Anna
Fall, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
166/3 Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700 Miller, Jasmin
166/4 Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson Stancek, Claire Marie
166/5 Special Topics Le, Serena
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: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics: Speculative Fiction Jones, Donna V.
Summer, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
166/2 Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern Strub, Spencer
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

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