English 530:  The Irish Literary Renaissance

Spring 2012
Wednesdays, 7-9:30 pm
1007 Wescoe Hall

Professor Kathryn Conrad
Office hours:  M-Th 1:30-3:30 pm
Office phone: 4-2572
E-mail (best way to reach me): kconrad @
Course website:
Blackboard website (for discussion blogs, grades):

*Syllabus under construction.  Last updated 4/25/2012.

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Admission to English courses numbered 300 and above is limited to students who have completed the freshman-sophomore English requirements or their equivalents.  500+-level capstone English courses are intended for students who have completed at least one 300-level English literature or theory course. No prior Irish literature or history is required for this course.
Enrollment (from University timetable) :

Students may neither add nor change sections in any English course after January 23 without departmental permission. For courses numbered above 200, instructor's permission is required to add or change sections.   The last day to add classes with permission is February 13. 

The Department of English reserves the right to terminate administratively the enrollment of any student who misses two consecutive class meetings during the first two weeks of the semester. Should an emergency situation cause the student to miss two consecutive class meetings, the student should contact the instructor(s) or the English Department, 864-4520, immediately.

Students who decide to drop English classes should do so promptly so that other students may enroll in the class.  The last day to drop classes is April 16.

Recording of Classes:  At KU, course  materials prepared by the instructor, together with the content of lectures, are the property of the instructor. Video and audio recording of lectures without the consent of the instructor is prohibited.  On request, the instructor will usually grant permission for students to audio tape lectures, on the condition that these audio tapes are only used as a study aid by the individual making the recording. Unless explicit permission is obtained from the instructor, recordings of lectures may not be modified and must not be transferred or transmitted to any other person, whether or not that individual is enrolled in the course. (Adopted from KU Faculty Council statement)

Course description and texts:
Irish theater critic Stephen Gwynn said of W. B. Yeats's play Cathleen ni Houlihan, "I went home asking myself if such plays should be produced unless one was prepared for people to go out to shoot and be shot." His comment proved prophetic: many of the Irish men and women who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising spoke of Yeats's play as their inspiration. As this anecdote suggests, writing and politics have been--and still are--closely and explicitly intertwined in Ireland. In this course, we will look at the literary and political responses to Ireland's history of British colonial ruleWe will explore a variety of genres, including essays, poetry, film, and music.  Short historical lectures and background readings will be included; no prior experience with Irish literature is expected. This course fulfills the English 314 or equivalent requirement for the English major.

These books are required and available for purchase at the bookstore:

The following book is recommended for those without a background in Irish history:

The following book is the style book used by the department.  I will not refer specifically to this text, but the department has ordered it for you if you don't already have a copy:

(This book was ordered but is no longer required.  It is, however, a nice little anthology:
Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939
, ed Stephen Regan (Oxford).)

Grades consist of three major components:
1. 20%:  Attendance, blog postings, and participation in classroom discussion. Four Blackboard discussion blog postings of at least a paragraph in length are required. For a posting to count toward this requirement, it must be completed prior to the class session in which the text/topic is discussed. Additional blog postings (of any length) count toward participation more generally, and are especially recommended for students who are quiet in class or who must miss class for any reason.  Students are expected to attend every class and should contact me by e-mail (kconrad @, preferably before your absence, if you must miss class.  Students who miss more than two classes are likely to do poorly in the course.  
 2. 15%:  Final examination (identification and essay).
 3. 65%:  Spencer annotated bibliography assignment (20%), prospectus (5%), research paper (40% of total grade), and blogs. Please see plagiarism policy below.  

Grading policy:
In this course we will be using the +/- grading scale, approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to describe intermediate levels of performance between a maximum of A and a minimum of F.  Intermediate grades represented by plus or minus shall be calculated as .3 units above or below the corresponding letter grade. Blackboard will be used to calculate grades.
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Other resources:
        Plagiarism is stealing and passing off someone else's ideas or words as one's own or using information from another's work without crediting the source.  Any detected cheating offense--including but not limited to plagiarism; the unauthorized use of crib sheets, texts, or other materials during an examination or quiz; the copying of another student's work (even with the permission or aid of that student, who is thereby culpable); the use of prewritten essays (the student's own or someone else's); the uncredited adoption of another writer's interpretation of a work; the copying of all or part of websites without specific and accurate attribution; or the unauthorized use of work written for another assignment or class--will be reported to the University. A record of each verified offense will be kept throughout the student's association with the University (Adapted from FSE statement).
     Plagiarism is not a game, nor is it simply a "shortcut" when time presses.  It is a very serious form of academic misconduct and will be treated as such in this class. When you consult outside sources for ideas--through published or unpublished essays, interviews, the Internet, conversation, etc.--you must cite those sources clearly in your work. Credit that work carefully, and credit both quotation (even a few words) and paraphrase.
   I understand that academic work can be daunting: if you are struggling with an assignment, are unclear about our expectations, or are behind on your work, please consult me. There is always a better path than plagiarism; I can work with you to help you find your own voice while incorporating others' ideas appropriately. If after reading the statement above, you are still unclear about what constitutes plagiarism, ask me BEFORE turning in an assignment (even a rough draft or blog posting).  In this class, it is better to turn in a paper late than to plagiarize.  One of the goals of English courses is helping you to improve your writing, and plagiarism undermines that process entirely.
    A plagiarized assignment will result in failure of the assignment (no credit given); it will also result in an official reduction of grade for the course, usually to an F. Both of these sanctions are recorded on an Academic Misconduct Form and submitted to the Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, both of which keep them on file.  If a student is found to have committed academic misconduct previously, the sanction will be more severe (e.g., suspension or expulsion from the University). The Department of English has a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism. I may also send a copy of the plagiarism form to the home department or school of any student who is found to have plagiarized.

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Reading and assignment schedule 

    This schedule is likely to change.  For the most accurate reading and assignment schedule, pay attention to updates given in class and emails and announcements from Blackboard.  Updates will eventually be reflected on this website.
    All readings should be completed by the day listed on the syllabus. To count for a required blog post, you must post before the class session in which the text/topic is discussed.

January 18: Introduction.
Course outline, goals, and introductory lecture.
Manifesto of the Irish literary theatre (in class; also in MID, Lady Gregory:  "Our Irish Theatre").
Selections from Matthew Arnold's On Celtic Literature (in class; also online)
(Students should begin to read Moody & Martin, esp. Ch. 17-19.

January 25: 
Lady Gregory, The Rising of the Moon (play, MID)
John Keegan Casey, "The Rising of the Moon" (song, online)
Lady Gregory, Spreading the News (play, MID)
Selections from Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (folklore and essays, online).  Read especially 'Preface', 'Seers and Healers',  'Herbs, Charms and Wise Women', 'Astray and Treasure', 'In the Way', and 'Notes' and 'Witches, Wizards and Irish Folklore' by Yeats

February 1: 
*Meet at Spencer Research Library for tour.  Please read prior to attending.

February 8:
Yeats, Cathleen ni Houlihan (play, MID)
Yeats essay, "An Irish National Theatre" (essay, MID)
Yeats poetry: "Red Hanrahan's Song About Ireland," "To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time," "To Ireland in the Coming Times"
James Clarence Mangan, "Dark Rosaleen" (poem, online at CELT), "Kathaleen ny-Houlahan" (poem, online at CELT), "Kathleen ni Houlahan" (poem, online at CELT)

February 15: 
Post your guesses as to why there were riots at the first performances of Playboy before you read Holloway's journals.
Synge, Riders to the Sea, The Playboy of the Western World (plays, MID)
Synge, "In the Shadow of the Glen" (one-act play, online)
Yeats, "The Attack on 'Playboy of the Western World', 1907," "A Coat" (poems)
Selections from Joseph Holloway's journals, MID 456

February 22: 
Patrick Pearse:  (online at CELT,
    poems: "Why do ye torture me?," "Renunciation," "Christ's Coming,""Christmas 1915,"  "Little Lad of the Tricks," "The Mother"
    play: The Singer 

    story: "Barbara," "The Keening Woman"
    speech:  Graveside oration (you can skip the character study), online at CELT
*Annotated bibliography due.

February 29: 
Pearse, "The Coming Revolution" (essay, online at CELT)
James Connolly, "In this Supreme Hour of Our National Danger" (essay, online at CELT)
O'Casey, The Plough and the Stars (play)
Exchange between Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington and O'Casey in papers (in class)
Yeats, "Easter, 1916," "Sixteen Dead Men," "The Rose Tree," "The Leaders of the Crowd" (poems)
James Stephens, "The Insurrection in Dublin" (online)
BBC site for the Easter Rising (online)
The 1916 Easter Rising (lecture, in class)

March 7: 
(More on Easter Rising.)
O'Casey,  The Shadow of a Gunman (play)
Juno and the Paycock (play)

March 14:
Research day. Work on your research and your prospectus this week!  Class does not meet.

March 15 (Thursday): 
*Prospectus due to by midnight. I will have sporadic email access over that weekend but will email by March 21 to let you know I've received your prospectus. Continue to work on your research.  If I see major problems with your project, I will email you before March 26 (Monday).


March 28:
Research day.  Class does not meet. You will receive feedback on your prospectus by email this week.

April 4: 
Joyce, Dubliners: "The Sisters," "An Encounter"
Selected Joyce letters from back of text.
*Rough draft of research paper due.

April 11: 
Joyce, Dubliners: "Araby," "Eveline," "Two Gallants"

April 18:
Joyce, Dubliners: "The Boarding House," "A Mother," "Clay."

April 25:  (changes as per in-class announcement, 4/18)
Joyce, Dubliners: "A Little Cloud," "Counterparts," ["Ivy Day in the Committee Room"--if we have time], "The Dead"

May 2: Last day.  Evaluations.   Yeats, "Meditations in a Time of Civil War," "The Coat," "Man and the Echo," "The Circus Animals Desertion," "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz," "A Stick of Incense," "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop" (poems)

May 7 (Monday):  *Final draft of paper due by midnight.  If you turn in your essay by email, please bring the prospectus and any drafts to my office or to the final exam.

May 9: FINAL EXAMINATION, 7-9 pm (NOTE: regular classroom, regular time).  Rescheduling available for students with conflicting final examination times, following University rescheduling rules. Students must make arrangements prior to May 2.

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