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Academic Year 2023/2024

Public Humanities and Ireland (ENG42090)

Arts & Humanities
English, Drama & Film
4 (Masters)
Module Coordinator:
Assoc Professor Clare Hayes-Brady
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

The Public Humanities and Ireland: Sources and Resources

Public humanities has been defined as “the work of engaging diverse publics in reflecting on heritage, traditions, and history, and the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of civic and cultural life.” This module will introduce students to key sources and resources relating to the promotion of public engagement with Irish literature and culture.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this module students will be able to demonstrate
1. critical awareness of the concept and implementation of public humanities, nationally and internationally;
2. understanding of the impact and significance of public humanities in Irish literature and culture;
3. appreciation of the diverse strategies of public engagement current in Irish cultural institutions, literary and cultural initiatives and related resources;
4. knowledge of key public sources (historical and contemporary; archival, material and digital) and understanding of their target audiences in the fields of Irish literature and culture;
5. ability to critically evaluate the impact of recent cultural initiatives linked to Irish culture, nationally and internationally
6. the ability to complete an extended essay of their choice on a topic related to the course

Indicative Module Content:

Through these seminars, and through site-visits to various cultural institutions (such as the Museum of Literature Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, Poetry Ireland, UCD Archives and Special Collections), we will reflect on and analyse the relevance of the humanities in Irish culture, historically and in a contemporary context. For example, we will explore the value of archives and collections, investigate the nature of government policy and funding, and consider the significance of selected artistic initiatives and literary projects (e.g the Abbey Theatre’s Dear Ireland, young people’s public arts and YA writing, the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, the Digital Platform for Contemporary Irish Writing, Radio MoLI, local/national/ international literary events and prizes, etc). We will also examine and discuss the impact of recent cultural initiatives linked to Irish culture, nationally and internationally, that are seeking to promote diversity, access and greater public inclusion.

Topics will include

Exploring Literary and Cultural Archives

Digital resources in the Irish Humanities

What do we mean by the public(s) of the public humanities?: Outreach and Engagement

Literary Texts and their Publishers: Historical Trends and the Contemporary Scene

Literary Festivals, Societies and Prizes: the Reception and Commemoration of Irish Writers

Art, the Artist and the Audience in Contemporary Irish Creative Practice

Cultural Institutions and Public Programming (including on-site visits and interviews)

Literature, Culture and the role of the Irish State

International Public Humanities: The Place of Irish Literature and Culture

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is taught through seminar format and will also feature a series of on-site visits.

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 In Module Component Repeat Offered
Portfolio: Students will complete 4 of a range of at least 6 assignments over the course of the module, to be submitted as a portfolio at the end of term. All 4 submissions will be equally weighted. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 

Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Catríona Clutterbuck Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Lucy Collins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Clare Hayes-Brady Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Eve Kearney Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Margaret Kelleher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer