Spring 2022 - HIST 362 D100
Ireland from the Penal Era to Partition (4)
Class Number: 4627
Delivery Method: In Person
Examines key social, economic, political, and intellectual developments in Ireland from the 18th to the mid-20th centuries. It will also explore shifting understandings of the 'Irish nation' and consider how communal historical memory can be appropriated to serve different political agendas.
Our study of Irish history will begin in the sixteenth century, when the Reformation momentously added a religious dimension to a complicated colonial struggle whose origins reached back to medieval times. Underneath the narratives of military conflict and political intrigue, we’re going to focus on how Ireland’s native Gaelic communities and Gaelic culture adapted and survived despite centuries of internal displacement, outward migration, religious persecution, and ethnocide. As always when seeking to understand the perspectives of colonized peoples who had limited access to literacy and the printing press, we shall devote special care to the analysis of oral tradition and material culture as historical evidence.
Foreshadowing postcolonial developments in other parts of the globe, strategies of cultural survival ultimately morphed, in the late nineteenth century, into an ambitious program of Gaelic revivalism. The inauguration of that movement’s leader, Douglas Hyde (1860-1949), as first President of an independent Ireland in 1938 will mark our chronological endpoint. Along the way, we’ll meet such fascinating personalities as Turlough Carolan (1670-1738), the blind musician who invented the Gaelic Baroque; Edmund Burke (c. 1730-97), the political philosopher who is regarded as the founder of conservative thought; Sydney Owenson a.k.a. Lady Morgan (c. 1783-1859), whose writings helped to define the modern novel; and the folklore-hunting socialite, suffragist, and revolutionary, Jane “Speranza” Wilde (1821-96). Such figures’ diverse backgrounds, the varied conceptions of Irish identity that they represent, and the surprising twists in their careers hint at the extraordinary cultural, religious, and social complexity of Europe’s most emphatically postcolonial society.
- Tutorial participation 10%
- Reading quizzes 20%
- Canvas discussion board posts (popular culture and Irish historical memory) 20%
- Primary source analysis 15%
- Group project (topography and memory) 10%
- Final exam 25%
Students are advised to acquire their own print copies of Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl. The following edition is recommended:
- Owenson, Sydney (Lady Morgan). The Wild Irish Girl: A National Tale (Oxford World’s Classics 2008) ISBN: 9780199552498
Owenson’s novel is available in free online editions, but it is a long novel and such online texts are not reader-friendly.
All other sources will be provided for free on Canvas
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