Irish Studies

Course Descriptions

1201 An Introduction to Modern Irish
3 credit hours

This course will introduce students to Modern Irish, with emphasis on the spoken and written forms.


1202 Modern Irish Language
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1201 or permission of instructor.

This course will develop the student’s ability to speak, write and read Modern Irish.


1203 Scottish Gaelic - Introductory I [ACST 1203]
3 credit hours

This course gives the student an introduction to the structure and use of Scottish Gaelic in a Nova Scotia context.  Topics covered include grammar and conversation basics, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.


1204 Scottish Gaelic - Introductory II [ACST 1204]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1203.

This course gives the student a continuation of the introduction to the structure and use of Scottish Gaelic in a Nova Scotia context.  Topics covered include grammar and conversation basics, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and conversation aimed at specific occasions and locations.


1215 Ireland: An Introduction [HIST 1215]
3 credit hours

The course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to Ireland through a survey of the island’s history. Although it is situated on the fringes of Europe, Ireland was influenced by developments on the continent from the earliest times. In addition, the later experience of overseas migration connected Ireland to developments across the Atlantic and beyond.  This course will pay particular attention to how Ireland’s history reflects these broader European and transatlantic connections.


1216 Ireland: Culture and Society
3 credit hours

This course, which complements IRST 1215, seeks to expand students’ understanding of the complexity of the Irish experience.  Areas covered in this course include: Women in Ireland; the Irish abroad (with special emphasis on the Irish in Canada); Ireland in a European context; the Celtic Tiger; Northern Ireland in the post-Belfast Agreement period; sport in Ireland; and the Irish and film.  This survey is aimed at both Irish Studies students and those who have a general interest in Ireland.


2325 Intermediate Irish I
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1201 and 1202.

A continuation of elementary Irish, with emphasis placed on students attaining a firm grasp of spoken Irish. In addition, students will continue their study of the history and development of the Irish language.


2326 Intermediate Irish II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 2325 or permission of instructor. 

Building upon the skills acquired while studying elementary Irish and Intermediate Irish I, students will concentrate on refining their command of the Irish language. A variety of aural sources and written texts will be used.


2327 Scottish Gaelic - Intermediate I [ACST 2327]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 1203 and 1204.

This course gives the student an opportunity to advance from the introductory level in a structured environment.  Topics covered include a review of grammar and conversation basics.  Time will be spent on composition of short stories, translation of written and recorded Gaelic, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and poetry and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.


2328 Scottish Gaelic - Intermediate II [ACST 2328]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IRST 2327 or equivalent.

This course gives the student an opportunity to advance from the introductory level in a structured environment.  Topics covered include a review of grammar and conversation basics.  Time will be spent on composition of short stories, translation of written and recorded Gaelic, traditional and new Gaelic songs, and poetry and conversation aimed at specific social occasions and locations.


2346 A Sociolinguistic History of Ireland [LING 2346]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least six (6) credit hours in IRST, ENGL, LING or HIST

This course charts the history and development of language in Ireland from earliest times to the present.  Students learn about the origins and growth of Irish, the influence on it of Latin, Norse and English, and the emergence of Hiberno-English.  A series of texts which demonstrate the changing linguistic landscape of Ireland and the interrelationship of languages are considered.


2350 The Irish Musical Tradition
3 credit hours

A survey of Irish folk music from pre-Christian times to the twentieth century. Areas under investigation shall include folk music as it relates to the wider background of Irish history; folk instruments; song-airs and singers; the structure and ornamentation of Irish folk music; and the role of Irish folk music in its nation’s current musical scene. A knowledge of musical notation and terminology is not a prerequisite.


2391 Geography of Ireland [GEOG 2390]
3 credit hours


2520 Irish Folklore [ENGL 2520]
3 credit hours

A comprehensive study of folklore in Ireland. All aspects of folklore will be examined, with special emphasis on the storytelling, song, and folk drama traditions.


3325 The Irish and Atlantic Canada [ACST 3325]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours and ACST 1000 or permission of instructor

This interdisciplinary course will offer a survey of the history and culture of people of Irish descent in the Atlantic Region.  Topics will include Irish settlement in the Atlantic Region, religion and politics, sectarian conflict, social status, community organizations and contemporary Irish identity in the Atlantic Region.


3333 Ireland in Film
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: At least 6 credit hours in IRST, FILM, ENGL or HIST

Beginning with a survey of the history, development and current state of Irish cinema, this course will primarily focus on literary works that have been adapted for the screen. Students will consider a selection of early 20th century texts, such as Maurice Walsh’s ‘The Quiet Man,’ and James Joyce’s ‘The Dead,’ as well as examples of recent fiction, such as the work of William Trevor, Elizabeth Bowen, Roddy Doyle and Patrick McCabe that have subsequently been filmed.


3443 Irish Poetry [ENGL 3443]
3 credit hours

This course examines poetry in Ireland from 1890 to the present, beginning with W.B. Yeats and the Literary Revival, and concluding with the poetry of the Northern renaissance.


3453 Irish Drama in the 20th Century [ENGL 3453]
3 credit hours

This course studies Irish drama from the founding of the Irish National Theatre society in 1903 up to the present time, including the works of Yeats, Hyde, Lady Gregory, Synge, Shaw, O’Casey, and Beckett.


3460 Issues in Modern Irish History [HIST 3460]
3 credit hours


3470 Irish Studies Seminar
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of Coordinator

This interdisciplinary course will allow students to consider a selection of topics relating to the Irish experience at home and abroad. Availing of the expertise of internal and external guest speakers, areas of study will include post-colonial Ireland; Ireland in a contemporary European context; language and culture; Northern Ireland; contemporary literature in Irish and English; the Irish contribution to Canada; and sources for the study of the history of the Irish in Canada.


3500 Contemporary Canadian Irish Prose [ENGL 3500]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: At least six (6) credit hours in Irish Studies, English or History or with permission of instructor.

This course examines the work of Canadian authors who have drawn on Ireland, Irish themes or the Irish in Canada in their writings, and the work of Irish-born authors living in Canada whose works contain significant Canadian content. Following an overview of the range of earlier Canadian Irish writings, students will read and discuss a selection of recent fiction and non-fiction texts by authors such as Charles Foran, Jane Urquhart, Brian Moore, Emma Donoghue, Peter Behrens and John Moss.


3534 Literature of Modern Ireland I: The Literary Revival, 1890-1922 [ENGL 3534]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 9 credit hours in ENGL in addition to ENGL 1205.

This course will examine the literature of the Irish Literary Revival with a strong emphasis on social and cultural context.  Writers to be studied will include W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge and James Joyce.  


3535 Literature of Modern Ireland II: After the Revival, 1922-Present [ENGL 3535]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 9 credit hours in ENGL in addition to ENGL 1205. 

This course will examine the literature of modern Ireland after the revival with a strong emphasis on social and cultural context.  Writers to be studied will include Elizabeth Bowen, Brendan Behan, Kate O’Brien, Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney and Medbh McGuckian.


3788 Literature and Culture in Celtic Tiger Ireland [ENGL 3788]
3 credit hours

This course will examine the culture and literature produced in the period of economic expansion in Ireland known as the 'Celtic Tiger'. Students will examine how writers, artists, film-makers and musicians responded to the growth of a neo-liberal Irish society, in which the hitherto dominant position of the spiritual hegemony of the Catholic Church was replaced by an emphasis on material growth and secular individualism.


3826 – 3849 Special Topics in Irish Studies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of Coordinator of the Irish Studies Program.

This course will investigate in depth a specific topic or set of topics in Irish Studies. The topic will vary from year to year.


4431 The Modern Irish Novel [ENGL 4431]
3 credit hours

This course will involve a study of the modern Irish novel, placing each work in its social and cultural context. It may include works by James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen and/or Samuel Beckett, as well as a selection of contemporary novels by writers like Anne Enright and John Banville.


4441 The Irish Short Story [ENGL 4441]
3 credit hours

This course will examine the short story as a major form in the fiction (in English) of Ireland, tracing its development from the Irish folktale to the sophisticated modern stories of internationally read practitioners such as Joyce, O’Connor, O’Faolain and Lavin.


4451 Gender and Irish Drama
3 credit hours

The focus of this course is the representation and construction of masculinity and femininity in Irish Drama.  The gendered body will be at the core of our discussion as we study both closet dramas and staged (or embodied) performances through dramatic texts and other sources. 


4566 Irish Migration [HIST 4566]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite:  same as History 4000 level courses

During the nineteenth century Ireland had the highest emigration rate in Europe. In order to better understand this phenomenon, this seminar course will focus on the literature that discusses the nature of Irish migration and settlement from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. While the course will examine Irish immigrants in their various destinations, it will focus in particular on Irish settlement in North America.


4876 - 4899 Directed Reading Courses in Irish Studies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of Coordinator

An independent reading course in selected topics relating to Ireland and the Irish abroad.  Topics include: the history and culture of Ireland; languages and literature; the Irish in Canada; and contemporary Ireland.