E 314V • Irish American Literature and Culture
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
This course has a substantial writing component and most of your grade will be determined by the quality of your written expression. We will start with readings on nineteenth and twentieth century Irish history, paying particular attention to the Famine, Irish immigration to America, the Irish War of Independence, and the Troubles. We will discuss Irish-American literature and its representations of historical trauma, and we will also examine other forms of art and culture, such as music and film. We will analyze different ideas of Irish-American identity, ethnic stereotypes, and parallels between the Irish-American experience and that of other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. We will look at various forms of literature, including nonfiction, drama, poetry, novels and short stories.
Early in the semester, working with the technology of our computer-assisted classroom, you will be required to create a Powerpoint presentation on images of Irish-American identity. Familiarity with Powerpoint is not necessary to take the course, but basic computer skills, such as familiarity with the Internet and MS Word, are recommended. Your writing assignments will include short bi-weekly reading journals, one 4-5 page critical analysis of a literary work, and one final 5-6 page comparative analysis.
Powerpoint presentation and write-up 15%
Critical Analysis (midterm) 20%
Comparative Analysis (final) 25%
Bi-weekly reading journals 20%
Class participation, attendance and preparation 20%
Catherine Brady, The End of the Class War
Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry
Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
Alice McDermott, Charming Billy
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Films: State of Grace, The Matchmaker, Gangs of New York, Road to Perdition, Mystic River