358:309 Medieval Irish Literature

01  TTH4  CAC  14769  O'BYRNE  MU-208

Medieval Irish Literature

Escape enslavement with St. Patrick.  Set sail from the rocky western coast of Ireland to lands unknown.  Accompany the great warrior Cú Chulainn on his quest to single-handedly defend Ulster from the army of Queen Maeve.  Flee the wrath of king Conchobar with Deirdre and her lover, Naoise.  This course offers a survey of literature written in Ireland between 400 and 1400.  Major readings will include St. Patrick’s autobiography, the famous saga, The Cattle Raid of Cooley, accounts of Finn McCool and his band of élite warriors, the tale of Oisín’s journey to the Land of the Young, and several works pertaining to the lives of Ireland’s three major saints: Patrick, Bridget, and Columba.  This course asks students to think critically about the ways in which literature reflects and enhances the culture that created it.  Students will gain an understanding of the history and development of literature in Ireland.  In the final weeks, they will explore how medieval literature persists in modern Irish culture.  Through this course, students will develop a set of tools for examining other ancient, multilingual cultures and their literature.  They will also have the opportunity to deepen their skills in close reading and oral and written expression.  Some course texts will be in Middle English.  All course texts originally written in Irish, Latin, Old Norse, or French will be available in English translation.


Attendance and Participation                                                                    10%

Blog post and responses to others’ posts                                                   10%

2 in-class reports on topics and secondary scholarship accompanied by 2-page summaries   20%

Midterm exam                                                                                       15%

Peer-review of essay drafts of 2 classmates                                             10%

7-8 page essay                                                                                      20%
Final Exam                                                                                            15%