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Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Seminars

358:422 Medieval Irish Literature

01  TTH5  CAC   09443    NOVACICH   AB-3200

This course explores the literature of medieval Ireland, from the earliest writings by and about its legendary saints, through its heroic poetry and accounts of otherworldly travel, through to its textual afterlives in modern-day translation and poetic reworking. Central, semester long questions will concern the role of religious transition and variety; geography and cultural exchange; the relationship among myth and history; and the cultural role of poetry. Readings will include Saint Patrick’s Confession, the Life of Saint Brigid, the epic poem The Táin, accounts of Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, The Voyage of Saint Brendan, excerpts from Gerald of Wales, poetry by Seamus Heaney, and a number of scholarly essays and book chapters. Students are expected to keep up with weekly reading assignments, but also to supplement these assignments by developing their own curiosity and research plans, which eventually will culminate in a 12-15-page paper. There will be a number of shorter writing assignments along the way to help prepare for this research project.