English 90

Practices of Literary Study: Seamus Heaney and the Twentieth Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2022 Nathan, Jesse
TuTh 2-3:30 Wheeler 305


In this course, we'll read the poetry of Seamus Heaney, from his early work to his last poems. We'll also take a look at some of his prose and translations. Our hope is to use the oeuvre of Seamus Heaney as a lens with which to view the history and politics of the twentieth century, particularly in the English-speaking world. We'll touch on the work of Heaney's contemporaries, writers and thinkers in the Anglophone world such as Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Derek Walcott, and we'll understand the poetry in terms of questions of form, lyric, colonialism, empire, translation, transatlantic culture, the natural world, childhood, and the connections--as well as vast differences--between rural life and the urban milieu in which many poets end up living and working. Requirements include two four-page essays and one six-page essay, as well as regular attendance and participation in discussion. 

Book #1: OPENED GROUND - https://search.library.berkeley.edu/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=alma991007041099706532&context=L&vid=01UCS_BER:UCB&lang=en&search_scope=DN_and_CI&adaptor=Local%20Search%20Engine&tab=Default_UCLibrarySearch&query=any,contains,opened%20ground%20seamus%20heaney&offset=0

Book #2: SELECTED POEMS - https://search.library.berkeley.edu/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=cdi_askewsholts_vlebooks_9780571321735&context=PC&vid=01UCS_BER:UCB&lang=en&search_scope=DN_and_CI&adaptor=Primo%20Central&tab=Default_UCLibrarySearch&query=any,contains,selected%20poems%20of%20seamus%20heaney%202013&offset=0

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