BLAST COURSES IN THE HUMANITIES (from AGHI on Hopkins@Home)
Course Title: “The Northern Irish Troubles: Literature of Conflict”
Dates: Mondays/Thursdays from July 13th through August 14th (5 weeks)
Class Type: 1 lecture + 1 live discussion meeting (Zoom) per week
Course Description: This course will cover the Northern Irish literary scene during and immediately following the period of conflict known as The Troubles (1968-1998). In the process of investigating the specifics of the Northern Irish Troubles, this course will question the structural roots of violence and the ways in which authors register and represent structural violence compared to direct violence in writing. The course will also question the differences between writing during times of conflict and writing after the “end” of conflict. By considering the scarred landscape and traumatized society left in the wake of imperial and local violence in Ireland, we will ask what it means to live in and build a post-conflict society. By the end of this introductory course students will be familiar with modern and contemporary Northern Irish literature of conflict. Through particular attention to the politics surrounding Irish Republicanism, British Unionism, and sectarian violence broadly, students will develop the tools to appreciate the relationship between literature and society, to critique modes of colonial oppression, and to understand the fraught relationship between rebels combating state injustice and domestic terrorism. Classes will center around specific texts that will be provided ahead of time, but the amount of reading a student completes before class will be at their own discretion and ability. Authors considered in this class include: John Montague, Colm Tóbín, Eavan Boland, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Lisa McGee, Anna Burns, and Sinéad O’Shea.
Instructor: Daniel T. McClurkin, English (he/him)
Open to the public
[image credit: "Free Derry" wall (screenshot from Sinéad O’Shea’s documentary, “A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot," 2017)]