There is no present or future in Ireland, only the past happening over and over again.

—Eugene O'Neill

The study of Irish history does not excite political animosity but leads to the very opposite result. To thoroughly appreciate the history of this country it is necessary to sympathise with all parties...

—A.G. Richey, A Short History of the Irish People (1869)

Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.

—W.B. Yeats

THIS is an interdisciplinary course that surveys the literature and history of Ireland from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present day. Readings for this course will combine historical scholarship with literature and primary source documents from different periods in the development of Modern Ireland. The goals of the course are to introduce students to the basics of historical research and analysis as well as to literary criticism and theory. Students will be given an overall narrative of Modern Irish history with attention to competing interpretations and key themes in scholarship. The study of literature will introduce students to major developments in the Irish (and British) literary tradition and how Irish society and politics both contributed to and were affected by these developments. The interdisciplinary approach will train students to appreciate works of literature for their importance as historical texts as well for their literary value. It will also challenge students to consider the role of fiction, language, and literary imagery in the creation of historical memory.

Our literary study will focus on the works of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, Patrick Kavanagh, Sean O'Casey, Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle and many others. Historical topics will include the rise of the Home Rule Movement, emigration and identity among the Irish diaspora, Republicanism and Unionism, the war for independence and the Irish Civil War, the relationship between church and state in the Irish Republic, the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, and the dynamics of present-day Irish culture and society.

This course requires sophomore standing or higher and counts toward both the history and English majors. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

Prof. John Callahan
Department of English, Miller 429
Tel: 503.768.7203

Prof. David Campion
Department of History, Miller 409
Tel: 503.768.7435

Lewis & Clark College
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd
Portland, Oregon 97219 USA

Class Hours:
MTh 3:00-4:30
Miller 208

Office Hours:

Prof. Callahan
MTh 1:00-3:00
Miller 429
Prof. Campion
MTh 1:00-3:00
Miller 409

Course Requirements

Schedule of Classes

Map Exercise

Irish Online Resources

Ireland in Film

Supplementary Reading

Prof. Campion's Other Courses

Top (left to right):
Irish National Theatre Society © Abbey Theatre
Sheep's Head between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay, West Cork
Irish Harp (artist unknown)
Jim Larkin addressing a Dublin workers rally, 1923 © J. Cashman
"Playboy of the Western World" by J.M. Synge, 1907 © Abbey Theatre

Bottom (left to right):
Doonagore Castle, Doolin, Co. Clare
Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916
Children in West Belfast, 2003
RMS Titanic under construction, Harland & Wolff Shipyard, Belfast, 1911 © Titanic Historical Society
First postage stamp issued by the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) 1922

Created by campion@lclark.edu | Updated February 2016