History 434

                                                                  History of Ireland

                                                         Second Semester, 2004-2005

                                                                   Reed Browning



This course is intended to introduce students to the outlines of Irish history.  By and large I have chosen works for us to read that represent recent scholarship.  There are three introductory points I want to make:


1.                  I do not intend to place heavy emphasis upon historiographical quarrels, but because the fervor with which many students come to the subject of Ireland is one of the elements at play in the study of the history of the island, it would be irresponsible to pretend that engagement is unimportant.  Therefore, I shall have us discuss the matter of revisionism directly (see September 18).  Nevertheless, I’m chiefly interested in moving beyond what historians disagree over and pulling forward what they can agree upon.


2.                  An important and enjoyable aspect of any history course is learning more about the geography of the area under investigation.  Several of the books we read have maps, and we will make an effort in the seminar to become familiar with the basic geography of the island.


3.                  I will take bits of time here and there to introduce students to aspects of the Irish language.  This element will not play a prominent role, but I want to make sure everyone is forewarned of my interest.


I hope you will join me in looking upon this seminar as a joint venture in learning.



Books to purchase:


John O’Beirne Ranelagh, A Short History of Ireland


Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British 1580-1650   

Barry Cunliffe, The Celts: A Very Short Introduction

Cormac Ó Gráda, The Great Irish Famine

Robert James Scally, The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine and Emigration

Charles Townshend, Ireland: The Twentieth Century




January 20:                   Getting Organized: introductions, report assignments, mapping Ireland



January 27:                   Celtic and Norman Ireland


All read:

Cunliffe, 1-145.

Ranelagh, 1-42                                    


Monograph report:

Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization


Tourist report:

Gerald of Wales, on Ireland


February 3:                   Tudor and Stuart Ireland


All read:

Ranelagh, 43-65

Canny, Making Ireland British, 59-120, 165-242, 461-578 [you may read it all if you wish]


Monograph report:

James Scott Wheeler, Cromwell in Ireland


Tourist report

Edmund Spenser, on Ireland


February 10:                 The Protestant Ascendancy                                                 


All read:

Ranelagh, 66-86


Roy Foster, “ History and the Irish Question,” and Brendan Bradshaw, “Nationalism and Historical Scholarship in Modern Ireland,” in Interpreting Irish History, ed. Ciaran Brady, 122-45, 191-216 [on reserve]


Monograph report:

S.J. Connolly, Religion, Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland


Tourist report:

Arthur Young, on Ireland


February 17:                 Union and Catholic Emancipation


All read:

Ranelagh, 87-109


Monograph reports:

Kevin Whelan, The Tree of Liberty: Radicalism, Catholicism and the Construction of Irish Identity, 1760-1830

Marianne Elliott, Partners in Revolution: The United Irishmen and France


Tourist reports:

Alexis de Tocqueville, on Ireland          


February 24:                 The Famine


All read:

Ranelagh, 110-18

Ó Gráda, The Great Irish Famine


Monograph report:                                          

L. Perry Curtis, Jr., Anglo-Saxons and Celts: A Study of Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian Britain


March 3:                      Diaspora


All read:

Ranelagh, 118-28

Scally, 3-22, 82-236 [you may read it all if you wish]


Monograph reports:

Kerby H. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America

David Fitzpatrick, Oceans of Consolation: Personal Accounts of Irish Migration to Australia

Wilfried Neidhart, Fenianism in North America


We will take a few minutes today to discuss whether the course is accomplishing what the students are hoping to get out of it.


March 24:                    Home Rule


All read:

Ranelagh, 129-51

Townshend, 1-37


Monograph reports:

Conor Cruise O’Brien, Parnell and His Party, 1880-90

Maria Luddy, Women, Power, and Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century Ireland


A tentative outline for your research essay is due today.


March 31:                    Week off for individual conferences on research essays


April 7:             The Cultural Revival


All read:

Townshend, 38-51

R. F. Foster, The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland, 275-337 [on reserve]


Monograph reports:     

Jeanne Sheehy, The Rediscovery of Ireland’s Past: The Celtic Revival, 1830-1930

Oliver MacDonagh, States of Mind: A Study of Anglo-Irish Conflict 1780-1980


Tourist report:

Louis F. A. Paul-Dubois, on Ireland [Wooster library]


April 14:           Freedom


All read:

Ranelagh, 152-209

Townshend, 52-107


Monograph report:

William Irwin Thompson, The Imagination of an Insurrection: Dublin 1916




April 21:                       Independent Ireland


All read:

Ranelagh, 210-54

Townshend, 108-77


Film reviews (by teams of two):

The Boxer

Michael Collins

In the Name of the Father


April 28:                       The Troubles


All read:

Ranelagh, 255-88

Townshend, 177-234


Monograph reports:

Gerry Adams, Before the Dawn: An Autobiography

Eileen Fairweather, Only the Rivers Run Free

Sean O’Callaghan, The Informer

A. T. Q. Stewart, The Narrow Ground


May 5:                         Sharing Views of Ireland




Please keep the following points in mind:


1.         My regular office hours will be from 9:00 to 10:50 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  If those are not convenient, we can schedule a meeting for some other time.  My office is Seitz 9. My home phone is 427-3155; my office extension is 5642.  My e-mail address is browninr.


2.                  The research essay, on a subject of your own choosing (but selected in consultation with the instructor), is due on Monday, April 18.   Unpenalized extensions will not be granted. A tentative outline for the essay is due on Thursday, March 24.


3.                  It is imperative for the success of the seminar that you are prepared for your oral report on the day it is scheduled.  These reports should consist (as relevant) of the following elements:


1.                  A description of the thesis of the book (film)

2.                  Information about sources

3.                  Analysis of assumptions, models, and/or theories underlying the work

4.                  Information about the author (producer, director)

5.                  Some questions the seminar might want to discuss


4.         Plagiarism is the use and representation of someone else's work as one's own.  It is the most serious offense that can be committed in an academic community.  We are obliged to acknowledge our debts to the labors of others, and recourse to notes (footnotes or endnotes) is the most typical way of fulfilling that obligation.  Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations gives wonderful advice on building notes and bibliographies. The Student Handbook contains a full discussion of plagiarism.  Please read it.  I will be glad to discuss any issues about plagiarism with any student.


5.         If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your ability to carry out assigned course work, I would urge that you contact the Office of Disability Services at 5453.  The Coordinator of Disability Services, Erin Salva (salvae@kenyon.edu), will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are appropriate.  All information and documentation of disability is confidential.


6.                  There will not be a final examination in the course.


7.                  The course grade will be calculated as follows:


One oral report                         20%

Participation in discussion                      40%

Research essay                         40%


6.                  If you have recommendations or questions about the course (in particular, perhaps, about how I’m assessing your participation), or if you feel that the course isn’t fulfilling its promise, please get in touch with me to discuss possible adjustments.  See the schedule for March 3.