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School of History

HST6387 – The Politics of Irish Literature, from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century

Module code: HST6387

Credits: 6
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Professor Roy Foster

Irish writing in the English language has re-shaped cultural history through the interventions of great originals such as Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. This course looks at the phenomenon of Irish literature through a political lens, by studying texts by writers such as Swift, Edgeworth, Trollope,  Yeats,  Joyce and Heaney, and reading them in the historical  contexts of their time: such as the Union with Britain, the Famine of the 1840s, the cultural revival at the turn of the twentieth century, the Irish revolution of 1912-22, and the Northern Irish crisis from the late 1960s. It thus provides an opportunity to read great drama, fiction and poetry in a political sense, and understand how ideas of national identity  and political confrontation are mediated through creative literature- as well as studying the historical background of key moments of crisis in the history of Irish-British relations.

Assessment: Book Review (1,000 words) [25%] and Essay (3,000 words) [75%]
Level: 6