The Irish Studies area at SIUC focuses on Irish literature, originally written in Irish or English, from the Medieval period through the 21st century. Acknowledging the immense span of time, language, and culture this body of literature represents, the faculty offer upper-level special topics courses for graduate and undergraduate students that concentrate on particular periods, authors, approaches, or topics, as well as regularly scheduled survey courses. Courses including Irish fiction, poetry, and drama are also offered in the Modern British Literature, Nineteenth Century British Literature, Eighteenth Century British Literature, and Old and Middle English Literature areas.
Seminar: Irish Film, Professor Dougherty
This course will focus on Irish film in its cultural context(s), focusing particularly on films of the last twenty years. Films will include: Man of Aran, The Quiet Man, Odd Man Out, The Long Good Friday, The Field, The Crying Game, In the Name of the Father, Hush-A-Bye-Baby, Some Mother's Son, The Boxer, The Nephew, Bloody Sunday, and others.
Survey of Irish Literature from 400 AD, Professor Dougherty
A survey of literature of Ireland from the present day to the early Christian era. Beginning with contemporary Irish poetry, short stories, and drama and extending backwards to 400, we will read works by such authors as Seamus Heaney, William Trevor, and Brian Friel; Edna O'Brien and Elizabeth Bowen; Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Synge and O'Casey; Maria Edgeworth and Thomas Moore; and Swift, Sheridan and Goldsmith. We will conclude with an examination of early Irish literature in translation.
Survey of Irish Literature from 400 AD to 1700, Professor Wiley This course comprises a survey of Irish literature from its medieval beginnings through the seventeenth century. Special attention will be given to the emajor genres of early Irish literature, especially the saga texts, hagiography, and poetry, as well as to important historical and cultural information. All works are read in transla tion.
Seminar: Ireland in Theory, Professor Dougherty
One scholar, Theodore Allen, has attributed our modern understanding of the concept of race to the Irish colonial encounter; another scholar, Robert J.C. Young, has attributed the modern meaning of culture to the Irish experiences of Anthony Trollope. Historically, then the Irish situation has produced theory as well as being produced by it. In this course, we will examine theories of Ireland and Irishness. We will begin with a discussion of the creation of the field of Irish Studies, then go on to examine historical theories of Irish identity proposed by Giraldus Cambrensis, Edmund Spenser, the Irish antiquarians, Thomas Carlyle, Daniel Corkery, and Matthew Arnold. We will then read contemporary works of theory by such authors as Margot Backus, Elizabeth Cullingford, Stephen Howe, David Lloyd, and RF Foster, exploring issues of race, gender, sexuality, the body, historical revisionism, language, and colonialism.
Seminar: Myth in Irish Society, Professor Wiley
This seminar will examine the form and function of myth in Irish society from the early medieval period through the nineteenth century. The class will begin with a survey of the more popular scholarly approaches to myth to provide students with the necessary theoretical and methodological background for exploring the main topics of the course. These topics include the church of Armagh and its promotion of the cult of St. Patrick; the rise of the Uí Néill and the myth of the high-kingship of Ireland; the use of myth in early modern bardic verse; the aisling or vision poetry of the eighteenth century; and the 1895 trial for the burning of Bridget Clearly, in which the defendants attempted to use their beliefs in traditional Irish myths as a defense for murder. All course readings will be available in English and in their original languages.
Resources at SIUC and Elsewhere
Beyond taking courses, writing a thesis or dissertation, and teaching classes, every graduate student interested in a career must consider various forms of professional development. The English Department regularly offers students the opportunity to learn about the profession directly from experienced faculty. There are reliable online sources as well:
- Library Holding in Irish Studies at SIUC
- SIU Irish Studies blog
- Various Online Archives and Reseach Opportunities
- Academic and Non-academic Resources for Irish Studies
- Listserv Group: Irish Studies News/Announcements (enter "subscribe" in subject line and "subscribe ireland_list" in message body, send)
- Listserv Group: Ireland discussion (enter "subscribe" in subject line and "subscribe irl-discussion your name" in message body, send)
- For information on The Southern Illinois Irish Festival Website