CCIV20070 Poets, Power and Performance

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module, offered by Celtic Studies and Folklore, is interdisciplinary by nature but at its core are languages and literatures in the Celtic languages. It explores the role of the poet and the power of words in Ireland, extending from the present day back to the earliest written evidence.

The first half of the module examines the power of words as magical agents in verse and song, including the lament. The efficacy of the spoken and written word in prayers, charms and curses will also be analysed. The vital role of these phenomena will be placed in a framework of traditional life in Ireland and discussed in relation to vernaclar life. The social status and role of the poet as found in Irish oral tradition will also be highlighted.

In the second half of the module we will examine the organisation of the professional poets and their status in medieval Irish society (c. 600-1200), focusing on their primary functions of praise and satire. Drawing on a collection of medieval Irish poetry, we will study the language of satire and its many forms, from mockery, ridicule and name-calling to invectives and curses.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Display their familiarity with written sources and themes.
2. Appreciate the range of literary skills deployed by the authors of the texts studied.
3. Gain an understanding of folk narratives and beliefs relating to the poet.

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:

Lectures and on-line resources. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: < Description > Week 6 n/a Graded No


Essay: < Des Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback provided post-assessment.

Name Role
Dr Tiber Falzett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Kelly Fitzgerald Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Allison Galbari Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Fangzhe Qiu Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 12:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 11:00 - 11:50