IRST20060 Reading Irish Studies

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module introduces students to a series of key texts relating to Irish Studies in a multi-modal context including literature, print, film, art, music and original source documents relating to the different disciplines that contribute to Irish Studies. Themes explored and discussed in this module include the expression of Irish identity through music, sport, language, literature, media, religion, politics, gender and citizenship. Students meet twice a week to discuss the course material and are required to participate in class discussions on this material. Each student will be required to lead a discussion by delivering a short presentation on one of the module themes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge, critical understanding and authoritative interpretation of the key themes and texts studied in this module;
2. Assess individual aspects of different disciplinary approaches to Irish Studies;
3. Present both orally and in writing aspects of various current and historical debates within Irish Studies;
4. Demonstrate the skills required for original analysis of primary and secondary sources;
5. Deliver an oral presentation on a key topic;
6. Prepare a 1,500-word research paper.

Indicative Module Content:

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Language
Week 3: Sport
Week 4: Media
Week 5: Art
Week 6: Emigration
Week 7: Citizenship
Week 8: Politics
Week 9: Gender and Sexuality
Week 10: Rural and Urban

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will include:
- seminars
- in-class discussions
- small group work
- active learning
- critical analysis
- essay writing
- reflective writing
- student presentations

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
Presentation: Oral presentation on a key topic Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 1,500-word research paper Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Journal: Online learning journal Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
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
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Learning Journal: Group feedback in class; Individual feedback online through Brightspace. Presentation: Individual feedback post-assessment. Research Essay: Individual feedback on essay plan/draft; Individual feedback on each essay post-assessment.

**Weekly required reading and texts are shared through Brightspace. An extensive list of additional sources is provided below.

Ballin, M. Irish Periodical Culture, 1937-1972: Genre in Ireland, Wales and Scotland (New York, 2008)
Bartlett, T. (ed.), Irish Studies: A General Introduction (Dublin, 1988)
Beckett, J.C., Confrontations: studies in Irish history (London, 1972)
Billings, C. ‘The first minutes: An analysis of the Irish Language within the official structures of the Gaelic Athletic Association, 1884-1934’, Éire-Ireland (Spring/Summer 2013, 32-53)
Brady & Walsh (eds.), Crossroads: performance studies and Irish culture (Basingstoke, 2009)
Boyd, E., Ireland’s Literary Renaissance (London, 1923)
Brown, T., Ireland: A Social and Cultural History, 1922-2002 (London, 2004)
Butler, C., Interpretation, Deconstruction and Ideology (Oxford, 1984)
Campbell, M. Ireland’s New Worlds: Immigrants, Politics and Society in the United States and Australia, 1815-1922 (Wisconsin, 2008)
Cairns, D. & Richards, S., Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture (Manchester, 1988)
Connolly, C. Theorizing Ireland (Hampshire, 2003)
Coulter, C., The Hidden Tradition: Feminism, Women and Nationalism in Ireland (Cork, 1993)
Cronin, M. and Ó Cuilleanáin, C. (eds.) The languages of Ireland (Dublin, 2003)
Crotty, W. ‘The Catholic Church in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Nationalism, Identity, and Opposition’, in Manuel, Reardon and Wilcox (eds.), The Catholic Church and the Nation-State. Comparative Perspectives. Washington, D.C., 2006, 117-130)
Dean, J.F., Riot and great anger: stage censorship in twentieth-century Ireland, (London, 2004)
Deane, S., Strange Country: Modernity and Nationhood in Irish Writing since 1790 (Oxford, 1997)
Donaldson, L. E., Decolonizing Feminisms: Race, Gender and Empire-Building (London, 1992)
Elliott, M. When God took sides. Religion and Identity in Ireland: Unfinished History (Oxford, 2009)
Fanning, B. (ed.), Immigration and social change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester, 2007)
- The quest for modern Ireland: the battle of ideas 1912-1986, (Dublin, 2008)
- Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester, 2002)
Fanning et al. (eds.), Theorising Irish social policy (Dublin, 2004)
Ferriter, D. Occasions of Sin. Sex and Society in Modern Ireland. London, 2009)
Frawley, O. (ed.), Memory Ireland. Vol. 1, History and modernity (New York, 2011)
Foster, R.F., Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History (Harmondsworth, 1993)
Grubgeld, E., Anglo-Irish autobiography: class, gender, and the forms of narrative (New York, 2004)
Harvey, D., The condition of post modernity: An enquiry into the origins of cultural change (Oxford, 1989)
Horgan, J. Irish Media: A Critical History since 1922 (London and New York, 2001)
Irish Studies Review: Special issue on Organised spaces: revival activism and print culture (Vol. 22, No. 1, February 2014)
Irish University Review: a journal of Irish studies: special issue on literature, criticism & theory (Vol. 27, No. 1, Spring/Summer 1997)
Kiberd, D. and Mathews, P.J. (eds.) Handbook of the Irish Revival. An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891-1922 (Dublin, 2015)
Kirby, P., Gibbons, L., and Cronin, M., Reinventing Ireland : culture, society and the global economy (London, 2002)
Larkin, F. and O’Brien, M. (eds.) Periodicals and Journalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland. Writing Against the Grain (Dublin, 2014)
Lee, J.J. Ireland, 1912-1985: Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1989)
Leerssen, J., Mere Irish and Fíor-Ghael, (Cork, 1996)
McDowell, L., Gender, identity and place: understanding feminist geographies (Cambridge, 1999)
McGrath, F.C., Language, Illusion and Politics: The (Post) Colonial Drama of Brian Friel (New York, 1999)
McLaughlin, J., Location and dislocation in contemporary Irish society: emigration and Irish identities, (Cork, 1997)
McMahon, T. ‘“All Creeds and Classes”? Just who made up the Gaelic League?’, Éire-Ireland (Vol. 37, 2002, 118-168)
Mills, S., Gender and colonial space (Manchester, 2005)
Morash, C. A History of the Media in Ireland (Cambridge, 2010)
Munck & Fanning (eds.), Globalization, migration and social transformation: Ireland in Europe and the world (Farnham, 2011)
Murray, C., Twentieth Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to a Nation (New York, 2000)
Ní Úrdail, M. The scribe in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland: motivations and milieu (Münster, 2000)
Nilsen, K.E. ‘The Irish Language in New York, 1850-1900’, in Bayor and Meagher (eds.), The New York Irish (Baltimore and London, 1996, 252-274)
Ó Conchubhair, B. ‘The GAA and the Irish Language’, in Cronin, Murphy and Rouse (eds.) The Gaelic Athletic Association 1884-2009 (Dublin and Portland, OR, 2009, 137-155)
O’Leary, P. The Prose Literature of the Gaelic Revival 1881-1921. Ideology and Innovation. (Pennsylvania, 1994)
Potter, S.J. (ed.) Newspapers and Empire in Ireland and Britain (Dublin and Portland, OR, 2004)
Rouse, P. ‘The Politics of Culture and Sport in Ireland: A History of the GAA Ban on Foreign Games, 1884-1971. Part 1: 1884-1921’, The International Journal of the History of Sport (Vol. 10, Issue 3, 1993, 333-360)
Smyth, G., The novel & the nation: studies in the new Irish fiction (London, 1997)
- Decolonisation and criticism: the construction of Irish literature (London, 1998)
Tracy, R., The unappeasable host: studies in Irish identities (Dublin, 1998)
Uí Chollatáin, R. ‘Crossing Boundaries and Early Gleanings of Cultural Replacement in Irish Periodical Culture’, Irish Communications Review (Vol. 12, 2010, 50-64)
Ward, M. ‘A Terrible Beauty? Women, Modernity and Irish Nationalism before the Easter Rising.’ in Walsh (ed.) Knowing their place? The intellectual life of women in the 19th Century (Dublin, 2014)
Whelan, A. ‘Language revival and conflicting identities in The Irish Independent, 1905-1922’, Irish Studies Review (Vol. 22, No. 1, February 2014)
- ‘‘Irish Ireland’ and the Irish Independent, 1905-22’, in O’Brien and Rafter (eds.) Independent Newspapers: A History (Dublin, 2012, 67-80)
Whelan, K., ‘Between: The Politics of Culture in Friel's Translations’, Field Day Review, Vol. 6 (2010), pp. 6-27

Name Role
Mr David McKinney Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Aoife Whelan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Mon 10:00 - 10:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 10:00 - 10:50