Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

416 - Degree in English

27852 - Irish Literature

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27852 - Irish Literature
Faculty / School:
103 - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
416 - Degree in English
4 and 3
Second semester
Subject Type:

5.1. Methodological overview

See "Learning activities " and "Syllabus".

More information will be provided on the first day of class.

5.2. Learning tasks

  • Theoretical lectures.
  • Practical lectures.
  • Individual work.
  • Personal study.
  • Assessment activities.

5.3. Syllabus

(27852) Irish Literature

1.The Irish Novel

1.1  Introduction: What is "Irish" literature? What is an "Irish" writer? What is an "Irish" novel?

1.2   Difficulties for the emergence of the Irish novel: the colonial paradigm.

1.3  Formal and structural features of the Irish novel.

1.4  Main genres and themes

Readings: extracts from Castle Rackrent (Maria Edgeworth, 1800), The Wild Irish Girl (Lady Morgan, 1806) and "Carmilla" (Sheridan Le Fanu, 1872)

                  "Themes" (The Novel and the Nation, Gerry Smith, 1997: pp.48-62)

1.5 The Contemporary Irish Novel

Reading: "The Forester's Daughter" (Claire Keegan, Walk the Blue Fields, 2007)

2. The Big House Novel

2.1. The Anglo-Irish Ascendancy and Big House culture.

2.4. Conventions of the genre. Main authors and titles.


1) "Conventions of the Big House Novel" (Vera Kreilkamp, The Anglo-Irish Novel and the Big House: 20-25)

2) Yeats's "Upon a House Shaken by The Land Agitation" (Yeats, Responsibilities and Other Poems, 1914)

3) "Coole Park, 1929" (Yeats, The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1929)

Reading: fragment from John Banville's Birchwood (1973)

2.5. William Trevor's Big House trilogy: a revisionist approach.

Reading: William Trevor's Fools of Fortune (1983)

3. The peasant novel

3.1. The myth of rural Ireland

Extracts: The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)and Man of Aran (Robert J. Flaherty, 1934)

Reading: "Bell Wethers" (Jim Phelan [1895-1966] Bog Blossom Stories, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1948)

3.2. Women in rural Ireland

Reading: O'Hara, Patricia. "Women in Farm Families: Shedding the Past and Fashioning the Future". In Anne Byrne and Madeleine Leonard, eds., Women and Irish Society: A Sociological Reader, Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1997: 361-376

3.3. Main representatives of the genre

Reading: The Boy in the Moon (Kate O’Riordan, London: Flamingo, 1997)

4.. The "Gothic" novel.

4.1 Characteristics of the genre.

4.2. The Irish Gothic and the Neo-gothic.

4.3. Uncanny ghosts and doubles.

Reading: Patrick McCabe's WinterWood (2006)

5. The Troubles novel

5.1. The historical facts

5.2. Different explanations for the Troubles

Reading: "Religion, ethnicity and colonialism as explanations of the Northern Ireland conflict" (Pamela Clayton. Ed. David Miller, Rethinking Northern Ireland: Culture, Ideology and Nationalism. London and New York: Longman, 1998: 40-54)

5.3. Media and visual representations of the Troubles

5.4. Written fiction: novels and short stories

Readings: William Trevor's "Attracta" (William Trevor, The Collected Stories. London and New York: Penguin, 1992 [1978]: 675-690) and Eugene McCabe's "Victims".

Reading: Eoin McNamee's Resurrection Man

Reading: "The Precession of Simulacra" (Jean Baudrillard. Ed. Bran Nicol, Postmodernism and the Contemporary Novel: A Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002 [1981]: 91-109)



5.4. Course planning and calendar

See the academic calendar of the University of Zaragoza ( and the website of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (Schedule of classes:; Examination schedule:

More information will be provided on the first day of class.

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

BB  Arthur, Paul. Special relationships : Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland problem / Paul Arthur Belfast : Blackstaff, 2000
BB Changing shades of orange and green : redefining the union and the nation in contemporary Ireland / edited by John Coakley Dublin : University College Dublin Press, 2002
BB Contemporary Irish fiction : Themes, tropes, theories / Edited by Liam Harte and Michael Parker . [1st ed.] Houndmills (England) [etc.] : Palgrave (McMillan Press), 2000
BB Eaglestone, Robert. Ethical criticism : reading after Levinas / Robert Eaglestone. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, cop. 1997
BB Eagleton, Terry. Heathcliff and the great hunger : studies in Irish culture / Terry Eagleton. London ; New York : Verso, 1996
BB Fitzgerald-Hoyt, Mary. William Trevor : re-imagining Ireland / Mary Fitzgerald-Hoyt. Dublin : Liffey Press, cop. 2003
BB Harpham, Geoffrey Gal. Shadows of ethics : criticism and the just society / Geoffrey Galt Harpham. Durham : Duke University Press, 1999
BB Ireland and cultural theory : the mechanics of authenticity / edited by Colin Graham and Richard Kirkland. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999
BB Ireland and the politics of change / edited by William Crotty and David E. Schmitt London ; New York : Longman, 1998
BB Ireland in proximity : history, gender, space / edited by Scott Brewster ... [et al.] London ; New York : Routledge, 1999
BB Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland : the literature of the modern Nation / Declan Kiberd. London : Vintage Books, 1996
BB Kreilkamp, Vera. The Anglo-Irish novel and the big house / Vera Kreilkamp. Syracuse, N.Y : Syracuse University Press, 1998
BB McCabe, Patrick. WinterWood / Patrick McCabe . London : Bloomsbury, 2007
BB McNamee, Eoin. Resurrection man / Eoin McNamee. New York : Faber and faber, 2004
BB Miller, J. Hillis. The ethics of reading : Kant, de Man, Elliot, Trollope, James and Benjamin : The Welleck Library lectures at the University of California, Irvine / J. Hillis Miller . New York : Columbia University Press, cop. 1987
BB Norris, Christopher. Truth and the ethics of criticism / Christopher Norris. Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press, 1994
BB O'Riordan, Kate. The boy in the moon / Kate O'Riordan . London : Flamingo, 1997
BB O'Toole, Fintan. Black hole, green card : the disappearance of Ireland / Fintan O'Toole Dublin : New Island Books, cop. 1994
BB Peach, Linden. The contemporary irish novel : critical readings / Linden Peach . New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
BB Rethinking Northern Ireland: Culture, Ideology and Colonialism / David W. Miller. London : Longman, 1998
BB Ryan, Ray. Ireland and Scotland : literature and culture, state and nation, 1966-2000 / Ray Ryan. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 2002
BB Siebers, Tobin. The ethics of criticism / Tobin Siebers . Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1988
BB Smyth, Gerry. The novel & the nation : studies in the new Irish fiction / Gerry Smyth. London ; Chicago : Pluto Press, 1997
BB Stewart, A.T.Q.. The shape of Irish history / A.T.Q. Stewart. Belfast : Blackstaff, 2001
BB Trevor, William. Fools of fortune / William Trevor. New York : Penguin Books, 2006