Saints and Scholars, Poets and Politicians:
Introduction to the KU Irish Collections
Mondays, 2-3:45 pm
Spencer Research Library 326
Office hours: 202 Nunemaker, Tuesdays 1-3 pm; other days
& times by appointment
Office phone: 4-3314
E-mail (best way to reach me): kconrad
Blackboard website: https://courseware.ku.edu/webapps/login/?campus_id=1
University of Kansas has one of the best special collections in Irish
materials in the country, including first editions of Yeats and Joyce,
political and historical pamphlets, broadsides from the Cuala and Dun
Emer presses, nationalist newspapers, and much more. This course will
both provide background in the historical, political, and cultural
contexts of the core of the Irish collections—the late 19th and
early 20th century, often called the "Irish Renaissance"—and
allow students hands-on experience with the collections. We will also
discuss the value of rare book collections. What is it that is so
compelling about direct contact with rare materials? What kinds of
intellectual work can be done in such a collection? What is the place
of the research library in the university? What is the future of rare
books and ephemera in a digital age?
explore these issues together and use the Spencer collection for our
texts and discussion; although I will choose the primary texts to
discuss, you will also be able to provide suggestions for texts you'd
like to see each week. You will also have the opportunity to pursue
your own research in the collections, which you will present on the
day of class. You will be responsible for a written version of your
research (5 pages) and an annotated bibliography of five items from the
collection, also due on the last day of class. You will also be
responsible for presenting a summary of an article on the topic of
archives/special collections. Your grade will be
based on these assignments and on attendance and class participation.
participate in the Honors Tutorial Symposium, which will be held at the
end of the semester.
- The Kenneth Spencer Research Library: http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/
with Disabilities: The staff of Services for
Students with Disabilities (SSD), 135 Strong (Lawrence), 785-864-2620
coordinates accommodations and services for KU courses. If you have a
for which you may request accommodation in KU classes and have not
them, please do as soon as possible. Please also see me privately in
to this course (Adopted from SSD statement).
colleges and universities have a writing center, a place for students
talk about their writing with trained peer consultants. At KU, we call
writing centers Writer's Roosts. When you visit, bring your
work in progress
and an idea of what you would like to work on-organization, support,
editing, etc. The Roosts are open in several different
campus; please check the website at http://www.writing.ku.edu/
for current locations and hours. The Roosts welcome both drop-ins and
appointments, and there is no charge for their services. For more
call 864-2399 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Adopted from Writing Center Statement).
cancellations: Call 864-SNOW to discover whether
classes have been cancelled by the University due to inclement weather.
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- January 22: General introduction
to the Spencer....registration....course overview....introductions.
Sampling of Irish materials (19th c and earlier).
- January 29: Introduction to
the Irish collections with Rick Clement....introduction to the Irish
renaissance (literature, culture, politics).
5: The Irish literary renaissance.
Selected Yeats, Joyce, Cuala Press, and Abbey Theatre materials.
Selected political pamphlets, newspapers, Land League, 1916 materials.
12: Irish politics.
- February 19: Research day.
Use class time to pursue your project.
- February 26: Undiscovered country: uncatalogued treasures.
Selected political pamphlets, Henderson scrapbooks, and file folders.
- March 5: Presentations. Written work due.
- TBA: Honors tutorial symposium.
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