MA Irish History
Semester 2 (Jan-June)
Co-ordinator: Prof Peter Gray
What is this course about?
This team-taught course examines aspects of the interaction between culture and politics in Irish society between the sixteenth century and the recent past. The relationships it examines are complex and reciprocal. On the one hand culture in all of its different forms was repeatedly used to define or support political claims and aspirations. At the same time developments in political attitudes and modes of action were closely related to the changing character of both popular and elite culture(s).
As a part of the MA in Irish History this course has three principal objectives: to examine a topic that is important in its own right; to highlight the extent to which cultural and political identities must be seen, not as historical givens, but as something constructed and open to redefinition over time; and to provide an opportunity to engage both with a specialist secondary literature and with a range of relevant contemporary sources.
How is this course taught and assessed?
The course is taught in weekly seminars, led by Irish historians in their areas of research specialism. Topics include religion and identity in early-modern and Georgian Ireland; the cultural politics of O’Connellism and Young Ireland; the ‘Cultural Revival’ of 1890-1914; language and revolutionary nationalism; the political cultures of Ulster Protestantism in the 19th-20th centuries; and cultures of commemoration in modern Ireland.
Assessment is by two research essays of 3,000 words, each worth 50% of overall mark.
What can I read in advance?
There is no core text for this course, but introductory reading would include: