History at Queens: Culture, Politics, and Identity course

I started the week with supervisor meeting and my Historical Documents class, which you can read about here. On Thursday, I had the first meeting of my second of the two spring courses: Culture, Politics, and Identity. This is a real, honest to goodness, class on history. Not theory, not practice, actual history. Though I’ve been sufficiently indoctrinated to question what ‘actual history’ is to begin with, we’ll put that aside. C.P.I., as I will probably refer to it for brevity’s sake, will cover ‘the interaction between culture and politics in different sections of Irish society between the sixteenth century and the recent past.'[1. From the introduction to the wonderful module handbook]

Irish history is a fascinating mix of differing views on culture and politics, and it should be much fun to study. For those of you who are unfamiliar with current political boundaries in Ireland, I’d definitely recommend this video summary by CPGray:

(if you want just the explanation of Ireland, skip to about 1:40 and play through 2:20 — I think the whole video is good, however)

I’ll be assessed[2. Remember dear American reader, that they say ‘assessed’ and ‘marks’ rather than ‘graded’ and ‘grades’] by three papers, though one hardly counts at only 10% of my total marks. That leaves 90% of my marks contingent on two 4,000-5,000 word essays. Oh yay. Best line  from this part of the handbook: ‘It is your responsibility to organize your workload so that your two essays may be completed on time.’ There’s a shock. Anyway, the two essays must be on one of the topics covered in the class, but I can choose that, which is nice. The third essay is really just a short essay over a presentation we must attend, again of our choosing, and relating to the class.

The class topics will be:

  • 9 Feb: ‘More Irish than the Irish themselves’? The debate on culture and identity in early modern Ireland
  • 15 Feb: Anglo-Irish cultural identities in the 18th Century
  • 23 Feb: The culture and politics of O’Connellism [3. I will be doing a presentation on this topic, yay!]
  • 1 Mar: Popular culture / language change
  • 8 Mar: Young Ireland and the politics of culture
  • 15 Mar: Cultural nationalism and revolution
  • 22 Mar: Diaspora and identity
  • 29 Mar: Religion and identity, 1800-1914
  • 26 Apr: Protestant politics and Ulster unionism, 1800-1914 [4. If you are perplexed by the rather large gap between the last class and this one, it’s due to a university-wide 3 week break everyone gets. Yay!]
  • 3 May: Politics, women and identity in Ireland, c. 1922-1972
  • 10 May: The politics of commemoration in modern Ireland

Should be fun, no? Well, I’m excited anyway. Stay tuned for updates along the way!

Read more from History at Queens:

[catlist name=”class summaries”]



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