Course: Irish History and Culture

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Course title Irish History and Culture
Course code KAJ/7IR
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Seminary
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 2
Language of instruction English
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Koy Christopher Erwin, PhDr. M.A., Ph.D.
Course content
The course is conceived as introduction to Ireland, its history and culture. No previous knowledge is required. Students must have acquired upper intermediate or above level proficiency. They must have an active interest in the subject matter. The syllabus readings focus on selected texts of Irish history and culture which include also some works of fiction, encompassing historical and cultural themes such as England and Ireland's political relationship, the Irish potato famine of the 1840s and the subsequent mass emigration, the IRA (Irish Republican Army), the continuing issues of Northern Ireland including the Catholic-Protestant conflicts at the end of the 20th century as well as the position of Ireland within the European Union. 1. Introduction & Class Goals. Sinéad O'Connor,"Famine," Padraig Pierce, "Renunciation" (in Irish & English), Wm. B. Yeats, poetry: "Easter 1916," "When you are old" etc 2. Early IRA and Irish Independence Michael Collins (film); Frank O'Connor, "The Guests of the Nation" 3. Overview of Irish History (pre-Christian period to Henry VIII); Jonathan Swift: "A Modest Proposal" (1729) 4. Overview of Irish History (Henry VIII to Wolfe-Tone). J. Joyce: The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Ch. 1. 5. Overview of Irish History (Emmet to O'Connor to DeValera's Irish Constitution); J. Joyce: The Portrait Ch 2-3 6. Overview of Irish History (WWII to Irish membership in EU); J. Joyce: The Portrait Ch. 4. 7. Overview of Irish History (Northern Irish War to Good Friday Agreement); Joyce: The Portrait finish novel. 8. Overview of Irish History (Peace to Brexit and the Irish Border); U2 song, "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" Seán Ó Faoláin, "No Country for Old Men" Bernard MacLaverty, "On the Roundabout" 9. Women in Ireland; Edna O'Brien, "The Creature" William Trevor, "The Ballroom of Romance" 10. Horror story writers; Bram Stoker "Burial of the Rats" and J.S. LeFanu 11. Religion in Ireland; George Bernard Shaw, "The Miraculous Revenge" 12. Irish Diaspora: Liam O'Flaherty, "Going into Exile" 13. Review for test 14. Written test

Learning activities and teaching methods
Dialogic (discussion, interview, brainstorming), Work with text (with textbook, with book), Demonstration, Activating (simulations, games, drama)
Learning outcomes
In the course of the first three semesters of Practical English, the students will gradually and systematically build up their communicative competence in the target language to reach level B2 according to the CEFR. This practically oriented course aims at consolidating grammar and vocabulary and developing the four skills.
Communicative competence. Aiming at language level B2 according to CEFR.
Language level B1 according to the CEFR Credits for this subject can also be earned on the basis of presenting the B2 First exam certificate with grades A or B, awarded not more than five years ago.

Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination, Essay, Student performance assessment, Analysis of student's language skills, Test

All examinations and consultations are held in English. Active participation. Answers to written questions about three Irish short stories A response paper on an Irish novel or an Irish history book A written test on Irish history
Recommended literature
  • CAHILL, T. How the Irish Saved Civilization. New York, Doubleday, 1995.
  • COOGAN, T.P. The Man Who Made Ireland: The Life and Death of Michael Collins. London, Hutchison, 1992.
  • COOGAN, T.P. The Man Who Was Ireland: Eamon de Valera. New York, HarperCollins, 1993.
  • FRIEL, B. Translations. In: Selected Plays. London, Faber, 1984.
  • JOYCE, J. The Portable James Joyce. London, Penguin, 1983.
  • KIBERD, D. Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation. New York: Vintage Paperback, 1996.
  • KINSELLA, T. (editor). The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Oxford: Oxford Universiity Press, 1989.
  • O'CONNOR, F. (editor). Classic Irish Short Stories. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • PILNY, O. Irony and Identity in Modern Irish Drama. Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2006.
  • QUINN, J. The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry, 1800-2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • REGAN, S. (editor). Irish Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester