EN 444.01                                                                                                                                       Spring, 2007

Major Irish Writers                                                                                                              James Smith

Fulton 415                                                                                                                                      MWF 11:00-11:50

                                   

Description:

This course will survey the major literary figures of modern Ireland, including William Butler Yeats, John Millington Synge, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. We will study the historical and social contexts linking nationalism and literature in Ireland.  Major themes to be considered include cultural nationalism, literature and violence, and the relationships between class, gender, religion and identity formation.

 

Course Materials:

Required Texts:

Seamus Heaney                                 Open Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996

James Joyce                                          A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Patrick Kavanagh                             The Collected Poems

Declan Kiberd                                     Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (II)

Peggy O’Brien (ed.)                       The Wake Forrest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry, 1967-2000

Richard Finneran (ed.)                 The Yeats Reader (YR)

John Millington Synge                 Aran Islands

John Millington Synge                 The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays

 

Media Reserve:

The Dead. Dir. John Huston

Man of Aran. Dir. Robert O'Flaherty

Mother Ireland. Dir.  Anne Crilly

 

Reserve Reading Materials – O’Neill Library Reserve Room

Attridge, Derek. The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce

Brown, Terence. Ireland: a social and cultural history, 1922 to the present.

Campbell, Matthew, The Cambridge companion to contemporary Irish poetry

Corcoran, Neil. After Yeats and Joyce: reading modern Irish literature.

Deane, Seamus (Gen. Ed.).  The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing. Vols. 1-3.

Deane, Seamus. A short history of Irish literature.

---. Celtic Revivals : essays in modern Irish literature1880-1980. (CR)

Grene, Nicholas. The politics of Irish drama : plays in context from Boucicault to Friel.

Haberstroh, Patricia Boyle. Women creating women : contemporary Irish women poets.

Harrington, John P. Modern Irish Drama.

Howes, Majorie and John Kelly. The Cambridge Companion to W.B. Yeats.

Innes, C. L. Woman and nation in Irish literature and society, 1880-1935.

Johnston, Dillon.  Irish poetry after Joyce.

Kiberd, Declan. Irish Classics (IC)

Mills, Lia. “‘I Won’t Go Back to It:’ Irish Women Poets and the Iconic Femine.” Feminist Review 49 (Spring 1995):69-88.

Murray, Christopher.  Twentieth-century Irish drama: mirror up to nation.

Richards, Shaun.  The Cambridge companion to twentieth-century Irish drama

Yeats, W. B. Yeats' poems.  Edited and annotated by A. Norman Jeffares ; with an appendix by Warwick Gould.

 

Course Guidelines -- READ CAREFULLY:

I)              Classes will generally be a mixture of discussion and informal lecture. For that reason attendance is essential. More than three unexplained absences will result in an automatic grade reduction in the next assignment due. Each absence beyond the first five will lower your final course grade by one letter grade.  I will take attendance.

II)            Class begins at 11:00 am sharp.  Please arrive on time.

III)          The grade for this class will be determined as follows:

i) reading assigned texts before class and regular (active) participation [10%].

ii) a group presentation addressing one of the subjects listed on the syllabus.  Each presentation group will be primarily responsible for the secondary critical material for each writer.  This requires 2 specific tasks:

a.  creating a summary, an evaluation, and a list of a major issues explored in each of the critical essays.  This should be emailed to the class the night before class.

b. creating a set of questions we should consider before class to prepare for the group discussion. This should be circulated on the day of the group presentation.

Each group is required to meet with me during office hours at least 2 weeks prior to the group presentation date.  Each member of a group must also write-up an outline of the presentation and submit it together with a bibliography of additional sources.  Typed outlines are due at the beginning of the subsequent class. [10 %]

iii) two short essays (5-6  pages), due February 21 and April 13 [20% each].  Papers must be typed and should follow the MLA Handbook format.

                  iv) an in-class mid-term exam on March 2 [20%]

                  v) a final exam, date TBD [20 %]

 

If necessary, short quizzes and/or in-class writing exercises may be given at any time. Except for written medical excuses, there are no extensions on papers.  Similarly, there are no make-up exams.  Communication is key — speak to me BEFORE a due date if you anticipate a problem. The grading system consists of twelve categories, as follows: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F.  A is excellent; B is good; C is satisfactory; D is passing but unsatisfactory; F is failure.

IV)               Please bring this syllabus to every class.  It is your guide to where we are at any given time during the semester and I will refer to it frequently.

V)            Please review the “Boston College Statement on Academic Integrity,” part of the University Code of Student Conduct, at www.bc.edu/integrity. Please ask any question(s) you have; it is your responsibility, as a member of the academic community, to uphold its principles.  PLAGIARISM could result not only in your earning an F in this course, but also in your dismissal from the university.

VI)               My office is located in Connolly House, 300 Hammond Street.  The Office Number is 301. Office hours this semester will be Monday noon-1:15 and Wednesday noon-2:30p.m.  I strongly encourage students to come and speak to me concerning any aspect of the course during this time. My office phone number is 617-552-1596 and my home phone is 617-333-9898 (before 10:00 p.m.). I welcome students communicating with me by email, and my address is <smithbt@bc.edu>.

 

CLASS SCHEDULE & ASSIGNMENTS

 

Date

Class Reading

Secondary Criticism and Presentation Reading

Jan. 17

Introductions, Review Syllabus, Profiles

 

Jan. 19

Lady Gregory, “Our National Theatre” and Yeats’s “An Irish National Theatre,” Modern Irish Drama (377-86 &388-91)

 

 Jan. 22

Yeats: Crossways and The Rose (YR 23-35)

Kiberd, “Yeats: Looking into the Lion’s Face,” (II 99-132)

 Jan. 24

Yeats’s Cathleen Ni Houlihan

 

Bernard O'Donoghue, "Yeats and the drama," Cambridge Companion to WB Yeats (101-15)

Jan. 26

Yeats: Responsibilities (YR 47-53)

Deane, “Yeats and the Idea of Revolution,” (CR 38-50)

Jan. 29

Yeats: Wild Swans at Coole (YR 54-65)

Jonathon Allison, "Yeats and Politics," Cambridge Companion to WB Yeats 185-205)

Jan. 31

Yeats: Michael Robartes and The Tower (YR 64-93)

Kiberd, “Uprising,” (II 196-217)

Feb. 2

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS: YEATS

Feb. 5

O’Flahery, Man of Aran

Tim Robinson, “Place,/Person/Book: Synge’s The Aran Island,” vii-l.

Feb. 7

Synge, Aran Islands, 1-76

 

Feb. 9

Synge, Aran Isalnds, 77-136

Declan Kiberd, “Synge’s Tristes Tropiques: The Aran Islands.’ Irish Classics, (IC 420-39)

Feb. 12

Synge, Riders to the Sea

Mary King, “J.M. Synge, ‘national’ drama and the post-Protestant Imagination.” Cambridge Companion to 20th Century Irish Drama, 79-93.

Feb. 14

Synge, Playboy

Seamus Deane, “Synge and Heroism,” (CR 51-62)

Feb. 16

Synge, Playboy

Declan Kiberd, “J.M. Synge – Remembering the Future.” (II 166-190)

Feb. 19

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS: SYNGE

Feb.  21

Screening of John Houston’s The Dead

FIRST PAPER DUE

Feb. 23

Joyce, Portrait …

 

Feb. 26

Joyce, Portrait …

Seamus Deane, “Joyce and Stephen: the Provincial Intellectual,” (CR 75-91)

Feb. 28

Joyce, Portrait …

Declan Kiberd, “James Joyce and Mythic Realism,” (II 327-58)

Mar. 2

MID-TERM EXAMINATION

Mar. 12

Joyce, Portrait …

John Paul Riquelme, “Stephen Hero, Dubliners, and A Portrait…,” Cambridge Companion to James Joyce, 103-30

Mar. 14

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS: JOYCE

Mar. 16

Seven Ages-The 1920s-50s

Mar. 19

Patrick Kavanagh – Monaghan Poems

Terence Brown, Ireland: A Social and Cultural History, Ch. 1, 13-36

Mar. 21

Patrick Kavanagh – The Great Hunger

Jonathan Allison, “Patrick Kavanagh and antipastoral,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 42-58.

Mar. 23

Patrick Kavanagh – The Great Hunger

Neil Corcoran, “Lyrical Fields and Featherbeds…,” After Yeats and Joyce, 57-99

Mar. 26

Patrick Kavanagh – Dublin Poems

Dillon Johnston, “Kavanagh & Heaney,” Irish Poetry after Joyce,  121-66.

Mar. 28

Seamus Heaney Death of a Naturalist,  Door into the Dark and Wintering Out

Seamus Deane, “Seamus Heaney: The Timorous and the Bold,” (CR 174-86)

Mar. 30

Seamus Heaney - North

Neil Corcoran, “Ulsters of the Mind,” After Yeats and Joyce, 131-74.

Apr. 2

Seamus Heaney – Field Work

Dillon Johnston, “Violence in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 113-32.

Apr. 4

Seamus Heaney- Sweeney Astray and Station Island

Declan Kiberd, “Under Pressure- The Writer and Society,” (II 580-613)

Apr.  11

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS: KAVANAGH AND HEANEY

Apr. 13

Mother Ireland

SECOND PAPER DUE

Apr. 18

Eavan Boland 

 

 

Lia Mills, “ ‘I won’t go back to it:’ Irish Women Poets and the Iconic Feminine.” Feminist Review 49 (Spring 1995):69-88.

 

 

 

Apr.  20

Eavan Boland

Patricia Boyle Haberstoh, “Eavan Boland.”  Women Creating Women, 59-92

Apr. 23

Eavan Boland

Guinn Batten, “Boland, … and the body of the nation,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 169-88.

Apr. 25

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill

Patricia Boyle Haberstoh, “Nuala NiDhomhnaill.”  Women Creating Women, 161-96.

Apr. 27

Nuala NiDhomhnaill

Frank Sewell,  “Between Two Languages,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 149-68

Apr. 30

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill

Robert Fagan, “Irish Poets and the World.” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 229-49

May 2

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS: BOLAND AND NÍDHOMHNAILL

TBD

FINAL EXAM

 

 


 

Online Reserves:

 

 

Lady Gregory, “Our National Theatre” and Yeats’s “An Irish National Theatre,” In Harrington's Modern Irish Drama (377-86 &388-91)

 

Bernard O'Donoghue, "Yeats and the drama," Cambridge Companion to WB Yeats (101-15)

 

Seamus Deane, “Yeats and the Idea of Revolution,” (CR 38-50)

 

Jonathon Allison, "Yeats and Politics," Cambridge Companion to WB Yeats 185-205)

 

Declan Kiberd, “Synge’s Tristes Tropiques: The Aran Islands.’ Irish Classics, (IC 420-39)

 

Mary King, “J.M. Synge, ‘national’ drama and the post-Protestant Imagination.” Cambridge Companion to 20th Century Irish Drama, 79-93.

 

Seamus Deane, “Synge and Heroism,” (CR 51-62)

 

Seamus Deane, “Joyce and Stephen: the Provincial Intellectual,” (CR 75-91)

 

John Paul Riquelme, “Stephen Hero, Dubliners, and A Portrait…,” Cambridge Companion to James Joyce, 103-30

 

Terence Brown, Ireland: A Social and Cultural History, Ch. 1, 13-36

 

Jonathan Allison, “Patrick Kavanagh and antipastoral,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 42-58.

 

Neil Corcoran, “Lyrical Fields and Featherbeds…,” After Yeats and Joyce, 57-99

 

Dillon Johnston, “Kavanagh & Heaney,” Irish Poetry after Joyce,  121-66.

 

Seamus Deane, “Seamus Heaney: The Timorous and the Bold,” (CR 174-86)

 

Neil Corcoran, “Ulsters of the Mind,” After Yeats and Joyce, 131-74.

 

Dillon Johnston, “Violence in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 113-32.

 

Lia Mills, “ ‘I won’t go back to it:’ Irish Women Poets and the Iconic Feminine.” Feminist Review 49 (Spring 1995):69-88.

 

Patricia Boyle Haberstoh, “Eavan Boland.”  Women Creating Women, 59-92

 

Guinn Batten, “Boland, … and the body of the nation,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 169-88.

 

Patricia Boyle Haberstoh, “Nuala NiDhomhnaill.”  Women Creating Women, 161-96.

 

Frank Sewell,  “Between Two Languages,” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 149-68

 

Robert Fagan, “Irish Poets and the World.” The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, 229-49