Irish Studies (IRST)

Course descriptions

1201 An Introduction to Modern Irish

3 credit hours

This course will introduce students to Modern Irish, with emphasis on the spoken and written forms.

1202 Modern Irish Language

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1201 or permission of instructor.

This course will develop the student’s ability to speak, write and read Modern Irish.

1203 Scottish Gaelic - Introductory I [ACST 1203]

3 credit hours

This course gives the student an introduction to the structure and use of Scottish Gaelic in a Nova Scotia context.  Topics covered include grammar and conversation basics, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.

1204 Scottish Gaelic - Introductory II [ACST 1204]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1203.

This course gives the student a continuation of the introduction to the structure and use of Scottish Gaelic in a Nova Scotia context.  Topics covered include grammar and conversation basics, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and conversation aimed at specific occasions and locations.

1215 Ireland: An Introduction [HIST 1215]

3 credit hours

The course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to Ireland through a survey of the island’s history. Although it is situated on the fringes of Europe, Ireland was influenced by developments on the continent from the earliest times. In addition, the later experience of overseas migration connected Ireland to developments across the Atlantic and beyond.  This course will pay particular attention to how Ireland’s history reflects these broader European and transatlantic connections.

1216 Ireland: Culture and Society

3 credit hours

This course, which complements IRST 1215, seeks to expand students’ understanding of the complexity of the Irish experience.  Areas covered in this course include: Women in Ireland; the Irish abroad (with special emphasis on the Irish in Canada); Ireland in a European context; the Celtic Tiger; Northern Ireland in the post-Belfast Agreement period; sport in Ireland; and the Irish and film.  This survey is aimed at both Irish Studies students and those who have a general interest in Ireland.

2206 Reading and Writing Ireland

3 credit hours

Students are introduced to Irish writing, including academic writing and research. A range of issues in Irish culture will be addressed. At the same time, they will learn how to read scholarly articles, analyse literary theory, and write a University-standard academic essay.

2325 Intermediate Irish I

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1201 and 1202.

A continuation of elementary Irish, with emphasis placed on students attaining a firm grasp of spoken Irish. In addition, students will continue their study of the history and development of the Irish language.

2326 Intermediate Irish II

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 2325 or permission of instructor. 

Building upon the skills acquired while studying elementary Irish and Intermediate Irish I, students will concentrate on refining their command of the Irish language. A variety of aural sources and written texts will be used.

2327 Scottish Gaelic - Intermediate I [ACST 2327]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1203 and 1204.

This course gives the student an opportunity to advance from the introductory level in a structured environment.  Topics covered include a review of grammar and conversation basics.  Time will be spent on composition of short stories, translation of written and recorded Gaelic, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and poetry and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.

2328 Scottish Gaelic - Intermediate II [ACST 2328]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 2327 or equivalent.

This course gives the student an opportunity to advance from the introductory level in a structured environment.  Topics covered include a review of grammar and conversation basics.  Time will be spent on composition of short stories, translation of written and recorded Gaelic, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and poetry and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.

2346 A Sociolinguistic History of Ireland [LING 2346]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least six (6) credit hours in IRST, ENGL, LING or HIST

This course charts the history and development of language in Ireland from earliest times to the present.  Students learn about the origins and growth of Irish, the influence on it of Latin, Norse and English, and the emergence of Hiberno-English.  A series of texts which demonstrate the changing linguistic landscape of Ireland and the interrelationship of languages are considered.

2350 The Irish Musical Tradition

3 credit hours

A survey of Irish folk music from pre-Christian times to the twentieth century. Areas under investigation shall include folk music as it relates to the wider background of Irish history; folk instruments; song-airs and singers; the structure and ornamentation of Irish folk music; and the role of Irish folk music in its nation’s current musical scene. A knowledge of musical notation and terminology is not a prerequisite.

2391 Geography of Ireland [GEOG 2390]

3 credit hours

Students examine the physical, social, cultural, economic, and political geography. Special emphasis will be given to the nature of past and present internal population movements and emigration patterns, regional variations in economic development, and the effects of membership in the European Union.

2520 Irish Folklore [ENGL 2520]

3 credit hours

A comprehensive study of folklore in Ireland. All aspects of folklore will be examined, with special emphasis on the storytelling, song, and folk drama traditions.

2537 Ireland in Revolution, 1890-1922 [ENGL 2537]

3 credit hours

Students study Irish literature and culture as a case study in anti-colonial revolution. Drawing on the works of Ireland’s major revolutionaries and writers, including Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Constance Marklevicz, Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. Students examine how and why colonized peoples resist, and what the long-term effects of colonialsim, and its overthrow, might be.

2538 Postcolonial Ireland – 1922 – Present [ENGL 2538]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 1205

Students study Irish literature and culture as a case study in the pitfalls of postcolonial independence. Students examine issues arising from the legacy of English colonial domination as well as the pre-eminence of Irish life, before and after independence, of the Catholic Church.

3325 The Irish and Atlantic Canada [ACST 3325]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours and ACST 1000 or permission of instructor

This interdisciplinary course will offer a survey of the history and culture of people of Irish descent in the Atlantic Region.  Topics will include Irish settlement in the Atlantic Region, religion and politics, sectarian conflict, social status, community organizations and contemporary Irish identity in the Atlantic Region.

3330 Irish Shame [ENGL 3330]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 1205

The history of Irish independence has been marked by endemic abuse of vulnerable communities, especially Irish women and children, but also travellers and, more recently, immigrants and asylum seekers. What has Irish literature had to say about these issues? How might we use literature to understand Ireland’s legacy of abuse?

3333 Ireland in Film

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: At least 6 credit hours in IRST, FILM, ENGL or HIST

Beginning with a survey of the history, development and current state of Irish cinema, this course will primarily focus on literary works that have been adapted for the screen. Students will consider a selection of early 20th century texts, such as Maurice Walsh’s ‘The Quiet Man,’ and James Joyce’s ‘The Dead,’ as well as examples of recent fiction, such as the work of William Trevor, Elizabeth Bowen, Roddy Doyle and Patrick McCabe that have subsequently been filmed.

3448 Irish Poetry and the Problem of Sex, 1890 – Present [ENGL 3448]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ENGL 1205

Drawing on the theoretical work of Michel Foucault, as well as queer theory and psychoanalysis, students use Irish poetry, from W.B. Yeats to Paula Meehan, as a lens to study the ways Irish writers have resisted and reframed offical discourses about Irish sex and sexualities

3453 Irish Drama in the 20th Century [ENGL 3453]

3 credit hours

This course studies Irish drama from the founding of the Irish National Theatre society in 1903 up to the present time, including the works of Yeats, Hyde, Lady Gregory, Synge, Shaw, O’Casey, and Beckett.

3460 Issues in Modern Irish History [HIST 3460]

3 credit hours

This course will examine a range of topics that have been the focus of debate in Irish History. The issues to be explored will be selected by the instructor and may include such topics as: the history of the Irish Plantations, the affects of the Penal Laws, the consequences of the 1798 Rebellion, the rise of Irish Nationalism, the causes of the Great Famine, the consequences of mass Irish Emigration, the position of women in Irish society, and the significance of the Easter Rising. In addition to providing an understanding of some of the major issues in Modern Irish History, the course will also provide an overview of historical change in Ireland from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.

3470 Irish Studies Seminar

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of Coordinator

This interdisciplinary course will allow students to consider a selection of topics relating to the Irish experience at home and abroad. Availing of the expertise of internal and external guest speakers, areas of study will include post-colonial Ireland; Ireland in a contemporary European context; language and culture; Northern Ireland; contemporary literature in Irish and English; the Irish contribution to Canada; and sources for the study of the history of the Irish in Canada.

3500 Contemporary Canadian Irish Prose [ENGL 3500]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: At least six (6) credit hours in Irish Studies, English or History or with permission of instructor.

This course examines the work of Canadian authors who have drawn on Ireland, Irish themes or the Irish in Canada in their writings, and the work of Irish-born authors living in Canada whose works contain significant Canadian content. Following an overview of the range of earlier Canadian Irish writings, students will read and discuss a selection of recent fiction and non-fiction texts by authors such as Charles Foran, Jane Urquhart, Brian Moore, Emma Donoghue, Peter Behrens and John Moss.

3787 Ireland in an Age of Globalization

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Either IRST 1215 or 1216.

This course will chart the history and progress of this half century within the context of trends in European and global dynamics, especially within the past 25 years of so-called globalization. Over the past half century, Ireland has been transformed from an essentially agrarian and rural socio-economy into a European powerhouse of industrial and IT manufacture and "knowledge economy" production. From the "frugal comfort" of the De Valera era to levels of prosperity and consumer purchasing power the equal of other European nations, from an age of rural infrastructure to modern transportation systems and digital access, from a land of myths and legends, poetry and music to a nation of business-friendly export production policies.

3826 – 3849 Special Topics in Irish Studies

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of Coordinator of the Irish Studies Program.

This course will investigate in depth a specific topic or set of topics in Irish Studies. The topic will vary from year to year.

4431 The Modern Irish Novel [ENGL 4431]

3 credit hours

This course will involve a study of the modern Irish novel, placing each work in its social and cultural context. It may include works by James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen and/or Samuel Beckett, as well as a selection of contemporary novels by writers like Anne Enright and John Banville.

4441 The Irish Short Story [ENGL 4441]

3 credit hours

This course will examine the short story as a major form in the fiction (in English) of Ireland, tracing its development from the Irish folktale to the sophisticated modern stories of internationally read practitioners such as Joyce, O’Connor, O’Faolain and Lavin.

4451 Gender and Irish Drama

3 credit hours

The focus of this course is the representation and construction of masculinity and femininity in Irish Drama.  The gendered body will be at the core of our discussion as we study both closet dramas and staged (or embodied) performances through dramatic texts and other sources. 

4566 Irish Migration [HIST 4566]

3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  same as History 4000 level courses

During the nineteenth century Ireland had the highest emigration rate in Europe. In order to better understand this phenomenon, this seminar course will focus on the literature that discusses the nature of Irish migration and settlement from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. While the course will examine Irish immigrants in their various destinations, it will focus in particular on Irish settlement in North America.

4876 - 4899 Directed Reading Courses in Irish Studies

3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of Coordinator

An independent reading course in selected topics relating to Ireland and the Irish abroad.  Topics include: the history and culture of Ireland; languages and literature; the Irish in Canada; and contemporary Ireland.