The National University of Ireland, Galway was established in 1845 and is located in the fourth largest city in the Republic of Ireland. The school, situated on the banks of the River Corrib, offers a variety of student services that are all close to Galway's city center. Galway is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a thriving cultural and commercial community. Traces of Galway's rich medieval past are evident on all sides. Because of its dynamic and pioneering role in theater, arts and culture, Galway has earned the title "Cultural Capital of Ireland". The University now has over 15,000 students and more than fifty academic departments and research centers. Academic resources include a library, computer resource center, an Irish Language Center, and the Applied Languages Center. Over 1,500 international students, almost 10% of the student population, representing 50 countries attend University College Galway each year. The international students are mainly from Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
Relevant text for all courses will be Irish Studies: A general Introduction .
Representing Ireland- Literature and Film offered at the same time as Irish Society(SU401)
The aim of this course is to analyze the varied ways in which 'Ireland' and 'Irishness' have been represented in a range of English-language media, including fiction, poetry, drama and film. The course will be structured around particular themes such as the representation of 'The West', the contrast between city and country, the politics of theatre, gender identity, and the meaning of Irish nationality. We will be reading works by Irish writers such as W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Augusta Gregory, J.M. Synge, Liam O'Flaherty, Brian Friel, Eavan Boland and Patrick McCabe. We will also view and discuss a number of films from both American and Irish filmmakers. The course may include a visit to Yeats' 'Thoor Ballylee' and Lady Gregory's Coole Park estate in south County Galway.
The Archaeological Heritage Of Ireland(SU402)
Ireland's archaeological heritage is one of the richest in Western Europe. The development of Irish Society down through the ages can be seen in the great Neolithic monuments of the Boyne valley such as Newgrange and Knowth and also in the wealth of bronze implements and gold ornaments of the succeeding Bronze Age. The Celtic Iron Age is represented by sites like Tara, Co. Meath, and the great stone forts of Dún Aenghusa on the Aran Islands and Aileach in Donegal. From the early Christian Period, monastic ruins and high crosses survive at sites such as Clonmacnoise while the finds from Dublin, Ireland's millennium capital, tell us of the Viking raids and settlement. Romanesque and Gothic churches, castles and abbeys represent the early medieval heritage and Galway, itself an Anglo-Norman foundation, provides an immediate and local wealth of sites and features dating from the later medieval period.
The course, outlining the archaeological heritage of Ireland from its beginnings, about 8000 B.C., to the early Medieval period, will be particularly suitable for students majoring in Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology or History. The lectures will be fully illustrated throughout, with field trips to several relevant prehistoric and historic locations.
This course will treat of the different peoples who became permanent settlers in Ireland over the centuries and of the contribution that each has made to the development of an Irish society and economy, and to a distinctive Irish artistic and political life. The earlier lectures will consider the Celts, the Vikings and the Anglo-Normans, but the principal focus will be on the modern centuries with a detailed treatment of English and Scottish Protestant settlement in Ireland and of the interaction of these settlers and their descendants with the existing Catholic population. Special attention will be given to the major conflicts that occurred, especially those of 1641-52, the 1790's and the recent conflict in Northern Ireland. There will also be lectures on the role of women in Irish life and especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course will be of interest to majors in History, Politics and Literature as well as anybody wishing to be guided to the best recent literature on Ireland's past. There will be fieldtrips as an integral part of the course.
Gaelic Culture and Literature(SU404)
Gaelic Literature is the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe; this course will trace the development and its cultural context from earliest times to the present day. Despite the vicissitudes of history and the flagging fortunes of the Gaelic language, this literature not only manages to survive but is, now, actually displaying signs of vibrant and exciting creativity. Though very much citizens of the world, contemporary Gaelic writers are conscious of their inherited tradition, and freely exploit the rich resources of Gaelic folklore, thus creating an unique and distinctive spirit in their writing. A knowledge of the Gaelic language is not a prerequisite; classes will be through English.
A comprehensive study of issues in modern Irish society including: family, kinship and marriage patterns; the impact of religion; the role of women; rural and urban communities; social change and social problems such as emigration, poverty and conflict in contemporary Ireland. The course will also act as an introduction to Irish community studies, which commenced in nearby Co. Clare with the classic anthropological study, Family and Community in Ireland. This course is suitable for all students interested in contemporary Ireland, especially students majoring in Sociology and Anthropology, students from Liberal Arts programmes or those who are interested in the social background to Anglo-Irish and Gaelic Literature.
Negotiating Identity: Irish Traditional Music and Dance(SU406)
Musical expression allows individuals and communities to negotiate identities and declare boundaries. The complex relationship between Irish traditional music and a national/ethnic identity is one of the main areas which will be examined in this course. Irish immigrant communities used traditional music as a means of maintaining ethnic identity. Because of the particular strategies that were employed, Irish traditional music also served, on occasion, as a means of assimilation. Particular social, geographical and political circumstances also meant that Irish communities in Britain differed significantly from their counterparts in the U.S. Parallel negotiations of identity took place on Irish soil, which were very often bound up with the aspiration towards a national ideal. This course will offer the opportunity to explore such issues through readings, discussions and seminars.
Introduction to Art in Ireland(SU407)
This course traces the development of Irish art from Newgrange to the 2009 Venice Biennale. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of prehistoric art before moving on to consider the outstanding artistic achievements of the ’Golden Age’ of Irish art, including the Book of Kells, the Tara Brooch and Irish High Crosses. The second half of the course will focus on how the ’rediscovery’ of this early artistic legacy informed later artists, culminating in the ’Celtic Revival’ of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In exploring the development of modern art in Ireland, students will learn to appraise and evaluate a broad spectrum of Irish art both iconographically and art historically, including the work of Jack Yeats, Mainie Jellett, and Louis le Brocquy. The course will conclude with an overview of trends in contemporary Irish art. A key question underlying the various strands of the course will be the development of a distinctly Irish cultural identity in the visual arts and the influence of international trends on Irish artists throughout the ages.
Creative Writing: Poetry and Fiction(SU408)
This course will be a workshop in the writing of prose and poetry. Students may choose the genre they wish to emphasise, engaging in experimentation, writing and rewriting under the supervision of the directors and the faculty. Workshops will involve review, analysis and editing, in an atmosphere of constructive criticism and support. There will be individual contributions from a number of the country's leading writers.
Irish Studies: As part of the Irish Studies programme, introductory classes in the Irish Language (non-credit) will be provided for interested students.
Teaching will be by means of lectures, seminars, dramatic performances, guided tours and informed contact with the music, language and people of Ireland. An interdisciplinary approach will be used within each course and between the courses of the Irish Studies programme.
Students will have access to library, audio and visual facilities of the University.